It is evident how awareness is lacking in European citizens on certain EU related issues, making it a priority for the Institution to promote any means to increase it.
Knowing principles and policies of the European Union, would make it possible for citizens to actively contribute to its improvement.
There are evident and proven socio-economic benefits for Member States of the EU, which citizens should be aware of, to make the best out of it.
For instance, it is useful to know how and why Member States contribute to the European budget and what the money is used for. A certain amount of the EU budget is granted to citizens in the form of funds and allocated for different purposes. The so-called indirect funds are meant to support citizens and local development, while direct funds aim at supporting research, values and principles promoted at the European level. It could be compared to a national taxation system where people contribute to the State’s finances to have access to services but addressing different priorities. In the light of this idea, it becomes easier to understand the logic behind European Funds, especially direct funds. The European Union does not grant money to help citizens pursuing their personal interests but wants them to engage in activities that can give a contribution to the European objectives. This is what can be defined as a win-win situation, where project ideas can become reality thanks to a consistent economic support, if they support the European Union in reaching their goals.
If citizens are not made aware about funding opportunities, they are already prevented from accessing them. In addition, if they are not aware about their purpose, they cannot think of designing winning projects.
We are currently living the transition from the old MFF to the new, that will cover the 2021/2027 period. It involves the release of new Calls for Proposals with the scope of going towards a more digitalized, resilient, fair, and green Europe. These are the principles defined as priorities by the EU Institutions, evidently linked to the main issues we are facing: an extremely polluted world, a health emergency that has put the world in the need of more digitalization and capacity of better handling future similar situations.
It is, therefore, clear that the more European funds are used, the more we can move faster towards a more sustainable and fairer world.