About us

Active Citizenship Network (ACN) is one of the most widespread and flexible European network, composed by more than 100 civic, patients and users organizations. Established in 2001, it is coordinated by Cittadinanzattiva, the Italian non-profit organization founded in 1978, independent from any political affiliation, trade unions, private companies and public institutions.
The main objectives of ACN are the promotion of civic activism and participation in the political arena,and the protection of citizens’ rights, which are both the strength and the uniqueness of ACN.

As an international interface of Cittadinanzattiva, ACN focuses on the following two objectives:

  • encourage the active participation of citizens in the European policy-making in order to promote the construction of an “European active citizenship”, through the citizens’ powers  and responsibilities in public policies.This includes:
    • recognizing the primary role of citizens and civic organizations in the care of the common good;
    • supporting citizen’s participation in policy making at local, national and EU level;
    • involving them in the defence of their fundamental rights as citizens, patients, consumers, passengers, users, savers, etc.
  • promote abroad all the successful experiences achieved by Cittadinanzattiva in Italy.

Since its inception, the partnership has been enhanced by the involvement of partners in common projects, political initiatives and actions, all founded on strong co-operation ties.
Together with its partners, ACN operates in several different fields and it is an ideal actor for those public and private subjects that consider relevant the involvement of citizens in their activities.

Field of actions
Over the years, ACN has promoted several political activities and carried out more than 30 EU projects together with partners from EU and extra EU countries, working as a leader or partner in a consortium or consultant as an advisor in the following areas:

  • Assessing, monitoring and promoting the respect of patients' rights
  • Patients’empowerment and involvement
  • Cross-border Healthcare
  • Fight against unnecessary suffering and chronic pain
  • Collecting best practices
  • Volunteering
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Civic evaluation in the Public Services
  • Healthy ageing and elderly care
  • Sustainable issues in different areas: mobility, energy, healthcare system, etc.

ACN is also active in Colombia since 2009 with a Citizen Advisory Centre on Public Services and Health.

2002: drafting the European Charter of Patients’ Rights which hasbecome a reference for EU citizens’ healthcarerights.
The majority of these rights were also embodied within the Council conclusions on Common values and principles in EU Health Systems adopted in June 2006.
Recently, the EU Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare officially recognizes the “right to free choice” and the “right to information” included in the European Charter of Patients' Rights.

2005-2006: drafting the European Charter of Active Citizenship, in collaboration with FONDACA, to bridge the gap existing in the EU about the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities of civic organisations acting in the public policies.

2007: launching of the European Patients’ Rights Day, celebrated every year on the 18th April with local, national and EU events.

2007: awarded the Civil Society Prize of the European Economic and Social Committee for its work on citizens’ rights.

2009-2012: in Colombia, technical advisor to the United Nation Development Programme for the development of activities in the field of civic participation.

2011: drafting the First Charter of Patients’ Rights in Colombia.

2015: Promotion of the Member of European Parliament Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” with the support of associations from all over Europe.

Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network is officially recognized by European Commission as:

...and official partner of

  • “European Mobility Week”, led by DG Environment
  • “Your passenger rights at hand”, led by DG Move
  • “Connect4Climate”, initiative for global cooperation on climate change led by World Bank

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