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European Commission to finance the RECONNECT project as part of Horizon 2020
The project “Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and Rule of Law” (RECONNECT) begins with the statement that the European Union (EU) and Member States are confronted with an existential crisis which concerns the whole of Europe. As a result of several consecutive crises, a growing part of society views the EU as a non-democratic and unjust political system. General trust in EU and Member State institutions is on the decline and the rising calls to shift power to the national level have been shaking the EU. In this regard, the main assumption of the project is the fact that today’s deeply diversified and multi-faceted Union must be more firmly rooted in justice and solidarity in order to achieve balance. The working hypothesis claims that European governments may regain power and legitimacy due to democracy and the rule of law which will recognise citizens’ aspirations and preferences. This will allow for the regaining of trust and recognising the EU as a provider of politics truly aimed at establishing “a society in which … justice [and] solidarity … prevail”, in line with the provisions of Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. Thanks to an exceptional multidisciplinary consortium of scientists, the project will analyse the existential challenges before the power and justice of the EU, through a complex analysis of the principles, practice and perceptions of democracy and the rule of law in the EU. The approach to the ultimate recipient makes it possible to indicate how democratic principles, the principle of the rule of law and institutional practice resonate with the actual aspirations, perceptions and preferences of citizens. The primary objective is to make a contribution to a new and complex narrative for Europe, one which will involve citizens in “revolutionising” European management. By means of an effective impact and proliferation strategy and through tailor-made political guidelines and suggestions regarding amendments to the Treaty, the RECONNECT project strives not only to strengthen the EU’s normative foundations but also to reach out to European citizens and to shape a joint European identity and a commitment to what unites Europeans, and not to what divides them.
The international consortium implementing the "Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and Rule of Law” (RECONNECT)” project comprises 18 leading European universities.
Head of the project is Dr hab. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, associate professor; 2017-2018 LAPA Fellow Princeton University; Head of the Department of European Law and Comparative Legal Studies at the University of Gdańsk’s Faculty of Law and Administration. The project will be implemented from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2020. Funding for the University of Gdańsk is 138,000 EUR.