The info day held at the Albert Borschette Conference Centre in Brussels brought together almost 200 people as representatives of regions, municipalities and their associations, the newly established network of national Programme information points and other beneficiaries of the programme . The event provided information on the main changes on the programme guide, the priority themes of the programme for 2009, the major events foreseen in 2009, the new Europe for citizens contact points, and best practices. It was also an occasion to interact and to exchange views and to network.
The Annual Thematic Priorities for 2009 are the following:
1. The future of the European Union and its basic values
The focus in 2009 is on Celebrations of Europe Day on 9 May; Celebrations to mark the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
2. Active European citizenship: participation and democracy in Europe
The focus in 2009 is on:
a) European Parliament elections and institutional developments. The focus is not on elections as such but on elections in the context of participatory democracy.
b) Participation of women to political life (analysis of various practices, new initiatives)
3. Intercultural dialogue
The focus in 2009 is on: Integration of intercultural dialogue: methodological aspects. The projects of this year should emphasize methodological aspects and lessons learned during last year projects.
4. People’s well-being in Europe: employment, social cohesion and sustainable development
The focus in 2009 is on: Citizens’ engagement with the big social issues which constitute the European Union’s political priorities, such as climate change and energy. Actions which exploit the potential of sporting activities in promoting voluntary work and active citizenship are also considered among priorities.
5. Impact of EU policies in societies
The focus in 2009 is on: the challenges of immigration - involving citizens in analyzing various dimensions of immigration - chances and opportunities created through mobility within EU; the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009.