The Citizens’ App: Europe in the palm of your hand

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Photo credit: European Parliament

In a bid to draw in citizens from across the continent, the EU is set to roll out a major new initiative that aims to inform people on the achievements of the European project, future goals, and the European Parliament’s hand in making these objectives a reality.

Set to be released in 2019, The Citizens’ App will inform citizens on how they can get involved in European politics, as well as give an insight into the background of one of the most ambitious political projects in modern history.

The app will be available for users to download on smartphones and will be customizable based on a number of metrics, including geo-location and personal interests, it also allows for users to be updated on the progress of topics they follow.

The fully personalisable software will be available in each of the 24 recognized languages of the European Union and will allow users to tailor their own experience as well as access a host of multimedia content such as videos and podcasts.

Users will also be able to add events to their personal calendar, sign up for email updates, and share content across social media.

Produced in collaboration with the European Parliament, the smartphone app comes at a time in which the EU is taking steps to ensure a high voter turnout in the run-up to the European elections in 2019.

What Europe Does For Me

A key feature of the Citizens’ App will be the opportunity to directly access the ‘What Europe Does For Me’ portal. The website was launched earlier this year and aims to demonstrate the EU’s positive impact on citizens across the continent.

“Europeans ask what the EU has done for them and this new European Parliament website provides clear, jargon-free answers,” European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said on launching the website in September.

“It will be a valuable tool in bringing Europe closer to its citizens”.

The interactive and multilingual website covers a breadth of issues that affect citizens as well as regional information and advice on how the EU has helped to shape their everyday lives, in straightforward language, with concrete examples.

Users can search under three metrics: ‘In my region,’ ‘In my life,’ and ‘In focus.’

The ‘In my region’ section features detailed insights into how the EU has helped to support projects in specific locations across the continent. ‘In my life,’ demonstrates what the EU has done in personal and vocational capacities related to European citizens. And the ‘In focus’ area details some of the policy areas in which the EU has prioritized, ranging from the fight against unemployment to environmental protection.

A vital feature of the Citizens’ App, the ‘What Europe Does For Me’ portal is necessary reading for those who would like to stay well-informed ahead of the 2019 European Elections.

Single digital gateway

The establishment of The Citizens’ App follows a boost in the EU’s digital application initiatives, after agreement was reached earlier this year for the creation of a single digital gateway, an online portal that will provide access and links to national and EU web resources as a means to offer users information on how to exercise their rights as EU citizens.

Akin to The Citizens’ App, the single digital gateway project, named “Your Europe,” vies to provide a user-friendly portal for EU citizens to obtain practical information about living and working in the Union.

The “Your Europe” portal will offer easy access to information related to doing business in the EU, working, studying or moving from one location to another on the continent, residency procedures, healthcare formalities, vehicle registration requirements, pension benefits and insurance schemes. In short, all the procedures coterminous with being a member state in the EU’s single market structure.

The Citizens’ App is just the latest in a series of innovative digital projects embarked on by the EU. It will help to inform individuals on how the European Parliament represents them and how the future direction of the legislative branch of the EU will affect their lives.

Offering users a portable history of the EU in the palm of their hands, The Citizens’ App will be the first of its kind to provide an insight into the broad history and ambitious future of the European Parliament.

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