CODES: Comprehending & Debating EuroScepticism

Beginning in the autumn of 2017, DGAP will participate in CODES, a project co-funded by the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme.

The European Union is taking off into the future. After a major loss of reputation in recent years due to the financial crisis, Brexit, and other setbacks, the EU responded by presenting its White Paper on the future of Europe in March 2017. Coinciding with the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, there is a demand for new visions.

The CODES project (“Comprehending and Debating Euroscepticism”) –  ties in with the EU’s White paper strategy and addresses those who will decide its destiny: the citizens of the European Union.

In cooperation with European partner institutions, a series of citizens’ dialogues will take place in different countries. The DGAP will organize three events in various regions of Germany in order to talk to local citizens about their hopes and fears for the EU.

As the project develops, local experts and players will be included to discuss the results of the citizens’ dialogues and to develop possible communication measures. At the final stakeholder meeting in Brussels, the consortium will gather the findings and map out a new communication strategy for the European Union.

Within the CODES project, DGAP organized the following events:

  • Three national debates in Cologne, Hamburg and Frankfurt, from 10/10/2017 until 22/10/2017 with 60 participants altogether. The citizens involved in the debates expressed their wish for an open dialogue about the future development of the European Union. There was a mutual consent that the EU needs to tackle urgent reforms and further engage in certain policy fields, such as the foreign and security policy.
  • Two roundtable workshops with local leaders in Stuttgart and Leipzig, from 28/11/2017 until 11/12/2017 with 30 participants altogether. The second round of events brought together participants from the cultural and civil society sector, higher education and participants from city administrations and those involved in local and regional politics. The aim was to evaluate the preceding national debates and deliver suggestions for a new communication strategy of the EU. The participants agreed that it was most promising to make the European Union more approachable and let citizens experience Europe in their daily lives. It was deemed crucial to give them a chance to establish a personal and emotional connection apart from the rather technocratic and distant views of the EU they are commonly confronted with.

The project is co-funded by the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme.

Responsible Persons

  • Dr. Cornelius Adebahr

    Dr. Cornelius Adebahr

    Associate Fellow, Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies

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