European Citizen Action Service
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The European Citizen Action Service is a Brussels based NGO with 25 years of existence. Its mission is to: Defend citizens’ free movement rights and help them fully tap the potential of EU citizenship; Campaign for transparency and institutional reforms in the EU to bring it closer to its citizens and promote an inclusive decision-making; Promote the enforcement of European fundamental freedoms and good governance principles;Strengthen the European strategy of NGOs in member, applicant and Neighbourhood countries of the European Union (EU). ECAS aspires to be the EU Resource Centre on citizens’ rights, campaigning for an inclusive, transparent and democratic Europe, where the benefits of EU citizenship can be fully reaped. Finally, ECAS firmly believes that civil society should be involved more in the EU political landscape. To this end it offers training and guidance on EU funding programmes, advocacy and communication strategies to build its capacities to engage with the EU.
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Our work is structured around 3 focus areas: 1. "EU rights" - Helping EU citizens to exercise their right to free movement and developing in-depth knowledge of the main obstacles to be addressed; 2. "Digital Democracy" - Helping citizens use digital tools to voice their opinions in EU policy-making and reduce the gap between them and political elites; 3. "Beyond the EU" - Helping build strong, performant and sustainable civil society organisations in the Western Balkans & Turkey. ECAS' Digital Democracy Agenda explores the democratic potential of information and communication technology (ICT) in order to reduce the gap between the political elites and citizens. Its goal is to remove potential barriers to participation that translate into a general feeling of exclusion and engage groups that are underrepresented. ECAS also actively supports the implementation of the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy in the EU: the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). Through the ECI Support Center it offers advice and support to ECI organisers. The EU Rights Clinic is a not-for-profit service offered by ECAS in collaboration with the University of Kent in Brussels. It provides legal help to EU citizens and their family members in order to overcome problems they encounter when moving within the EU, while offering Law students the opportunity to develop their skills as legal practitioners.
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