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The MYPLACE project will contribute towards the expected impacts listed in the ‘Participation and citizenship in Europe’ work programme through its promotion of a major pan-European research project that directly explores how European democracy has emerged historically out of traditions of 'unity in diversity' and maps how young people today are taking up the latest challenge to this process.
It does this specifically by:
- fostering unity in the EU enlargement process
- establishing sustainable scientific networks
- countering political extremism and promoting democracy and cohesion
- creating sustainable Youth Policy Advisory Groups
- significantly enhancing understanding of youth civic engagement
- producing new scientific insights via the utilisation of quantitative and qualitative research methods and a multi-disciplinary approach
The ability of MYPLACE to achieve these impacts presupposes a number of conditions.
- Firstly, it is premised upon the assumption that there are no major geopolitical shifts in the EU space over the course of the project and no extended international conflict emerges that might disrupt this overall internal policy direction within the EU or its approach to relations with candidate and neighbourhood countries. Shorter or more localised conflicts, such as the 2008 Russian-Georgian conflict would not derail the project although would incur short-term logistical and practical challenges.
- Secondly, it assumes the continued promotion of active citizenship among young people at EU policy level. Given the continuity in policy from the Youth Programme (2000-06) into the current Youth in Action Programme (2007-13) and the recent adoption of a new framework for EU cooperation in the youth field, 2010-18, there is considerable reason to assume the continuation of this commitment to the promotion of young people’s active civic and political engagement even in what will be difficult financial times.
Thirdly, achieving the impacts stated depends upon the continued support of independent and critical social sciences within national and European science and research policies and programmes; it is these that sustain the institutions in which those engaged in this project are based.
While we would anticipate that the burdens on individual researchers and institutions are likely to increase over the course of the proposed project, due to financial cuts arising from the wider economic situation, in all partner countries there is strong commitment to the production of high quality, critical social science. Inclusion in the kind of pan-European collaborative envisaged by MYPLACE, moreover, would itself strengthen this commitment.