SAMPAŞ's New EU Project STEP Has Started!

On the 2nd and 3rd of June 2015, the partners of the EU project “STEP - Societal and political engagement of young people and their perspectives on Europe” met for a kick-off meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece.

According to the recent findings of the Eurobarometer (Standard EB 77, spring 2012), half of the young people tend to distrust the European Union. Traditional channels of representative democracy, such as voting at elections and joining political parties only partially stimulate young people’s interest in active participation. However, the participation of young people in decision making is extremely important in environmental issues, as young people will have to live longer with the consequences of current decisions, and have special concerns and responsibilities in relation to the environment. Thus, their participation in environmental decision making is an essential part of developing a sustainable future.

The STEP project aims to develop and pilot test a cloud eParticipation SaaS platform, (available as a mobile application and through a web platform) enhanced with web / social media mining, gamification, machine translation, and visualisation features, which will promote the societal and political participation of young people in the decision-making process on environmental issues. Five pilots in an operational environment have been selected for the deployment of STEP solution in 4 countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey) with the participation of one regional authority, 3 municipalities, and an association of municipalities. The pilots are expected to involve testing by 8.200 young users and 85 policy makers.

The STEP consortium, with DRAXIS Environmental S.A. as the coordinator, comprises 13 partners located in 8 different countries. The project has officially begun on the 1st of June 2015, while its final results are expected in November 2017.

Participating Partners 

Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece

Linguatec GmbH, Germany

University of Abertay Dundee, U.K.

Inmark Estudios Y Estrategias S.A., SPain

Region of Crete, Greece

Sampas Bilisim Ve Iletisim Sistemleri Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S., Turkey

Hatay Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey

Associazione dei Comuni della Locride, Italy

YEE-Youth and Environment Europe, Czech Republic

Ajuntament de Mollet del Vallès, Spain

Kairos Future Group, Sweden

Valdemoro Municipality, Spain