While positive elements, like the ‘Partnerships Principle’ in some funding streams must be strengthened, the next EU budget cycle should move towards genuine participation of citizens and civil society in EU spending.
Piloting new tools, such as participatory budgeting, could be a powerful and timely statement about building democracy together in Europe. These tools should involve a diversity of citizens and focus on building a society we want to live in: flourishing, inclusive, resilient and zero carbon communities.
Citizen investment platforms for things like renewable energy, or using digital, cultural and civic space to engage people, all hold high potential to build renewed sense of ownership and belief in the European project.
Civil society should also see how the interests of taxpayers are safeguarded through strengthened rules and institutions to fight corruption, and they should have the right tools to make governments and other beneficiaries accountable for the use of EU money.
We call on European and national decision makers to ensure that the EU budget works for the people and with the people, with greater transparency, respectful of diversity and meaningful participation of the citizens. (Sustainability principle 1)