PEAC was a European project co-financed by the Europe for Citizens programme in 2011. The project idea was born from a path of collaboration established between Sern and some member cooperative associations. Given the opportunity provided by the European Community, Legacoop Parma enthusiastically joined the Sern proposal. The project consisted of job shadowing experiences targeted at members and leaders of the cooperatives or advisers. The partners gave advise to cooperative professionals. The exchange took place during the first half of 2011 and consisted of five days of job shadowing in each country. During the exchange, the national and European legislation within which cooperatives operate and the associations and cooperatives’ organisational settings, were discussed. The host cooperatives assigned a local tutor to the hosted colleagues, involving them in the daily work activity. The themes of observation included: the organisation of the work, relations between the organisation and its members, relations with the stakeholders, best practices applied within the cooperatives, financial and administrative aspects. Each participant was asked to fill in an observation form about these particular themes.
The project PEAC aimed to define an innovative method for developing exchanges of personnel among the participating organizations. It focused on encouraging interaction between citizens and organisations from the two countries on a transnational level, as well as on an individual level. The identified objectives were the following:
- Improvement of the knowledge and skills of the participants
- Creation or improvement of the contacts among civil society organisations participating in the project
- Opportunity of developing a method for stimulating attention towards aspects related to social inclusion and equal opportunity practices among citizen
It constituted the most effective way to promote active citizenship and to learn about another culture by developing at the same time a sense of direct contribution to the European integration process. Being part of job shadowing activities, gives a unique opportunity to the target groups that differs substantially compared to the traditional seminar-based type of project.
The project moreover encouraged interaction between citizens and organizations from the countries since each participant had to participate actively in the exchanges, which lead to interaction on a transnational level, as well as on an individual level. As far as the specific priorities the project dealt with issues related to the topic of the European Year of combating poverty and social exclusion. Several of the participating organizations involved were social cooperatives who promoted social inclusion by supporting people in vulnerable situations. The project addressed in particular two priorities of the year: promoting inclusive labour markets and overcoming discrimination (also gender wise) and promoting social inclusion.
Project Under Implementation