© FutureLab Europe
© FutureLab Europe

Building a voice and making it heard

Europe is a multi-level governance system and participation in European democracies starts at grassroots level. Yet, every day’s news show that policy-makers, both at the European and national level, are disconnected from citizens’ daily considerations and that Europe is too often perceived as an elite project. 

To turn this around, the Allianz Cultural Foundation decided in 2014 to become a partner of the FutureLab Europe programme to help to encourage young Europeans in their active citizenship efforts at their level, i.e. their communities. The programme offers young citizens of Europe the concrete chance to shape the reality around them by providing support for the concrete implementation of their own ideas and projects, as well as the unique opportunity to interact with decision-makers and other young people. It allows them to enhance their credentials as European citizens and to take action in support of the European idea, in particular on topics related to democratic values in Europe, equal opportunities for young people, and European identity. These themes are the three focal topics of the programme.

Actions and Events

Each year, a new generation of FutureLab Europe enters the programme, participating in the FutureLab Annual Forum – a multi-day event during which about 20 young people from across Europe are introduced to the EU and the three focal topics of the programme. This introduction week provides participants with the relevant skills to participate in projects, debates and writings in the context of the programme. While in Brussels, participants also brainstorm about ideas for projects with a civic impact, to be implemented once they return to their country of residence. The projects’ impact and results are presented at a second FutureLab Europe event in September in Brussels.

A Network of Partners

FutureLab Europe was established in 2011 and is supported by the Network of European Foundations (NEF), a consortium of major European foundations, and financed by seven of them. The European Policy Centre in Brussels is responsible for the practical implementation.

The funding foundations are the Allianz Kulturstiftung (Germany), King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium), the Evens Foundation (Belgium), the Robert Bosch Foundation (Germany), Fritt Ord Foundation (Norway), Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Ronda (Spain) and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal).

Skill up – FutureLab participants present their local project