Quick overview of the project’s activities

CEC/ May 8, 2020/ News

Vote4Europe? has come to an end… Here is a quick overview of the activities held during this project

The project “Vote4Europe?” was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”

Applicable to the Strand 2, Measure 2.3 – “Civil Society Projects”

Event 1: Poznan, Poland

Participation: It brought together 64 citizens, including 48 from the city of Poznan (Poland), 2 from Ajaccio (France), 3 from the cities of Brussels and Liège (Belgium), 1 from Barcelona (Spain), 5 from the Netherlands, 1 from Romania, 1 from Turkey, 1 from Lithuania, 1 from Georgia and 1 from Ukraine.

Location/Date: The event took place at the Barka Foundation in Poznan (Poland) on February 15th 2019.

Description: At the beginning of the conference, each of the project partners presented the organisation they represent (CEC, CIJ, CIVITAS, TRINIJOVE, ACFI). Guests from the Netherlands, Lithuania and Ireland were also invited to introduce themselves.

Then, Jadzia Sadowska, one of the representatives of the Barka Foundation, presented the results of a survey of 102 young people between 18 and 35 years old. The participants in the survey answered questions about their knowledge of the European Union, but also about their feelings about the Union. Most of the respondents are participants in projects run by the Foundation, participants in social integration centres in and around Poznań, and residents of training centres and social housing.

After presenting the results of the questionnaire, the MEP Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz took the floor. The subject of her speech was “What is the strength of the European Union? After that there was a debate where participants asked questions to Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz.

In the second part of the seminar, a panel discussion was held on the topic “Why do you think it is important to vote? ».

The speakers of this panel were DSc Filip Kaczmarek, Polish politician and university professor; Eric Degimbe, Director of the Comité Européen de Coordination (CEC); Ewa Sadowska, Barka Ireland.

After lunch, workshops were organised. The conference participants were divided into 4 groups and discussed 4 issues facing the EU as a community.

At the end of the workshop, each group had to prepare written questions that the CEC would send to the Members of the new European Parliament during the period July – September 2019.

Here are the questions prepared: Workshop 1 “Youth unemployment

How can the image / attractiveness of VET be improved?

Workshop 2 “How to combat terrorism?

How could the EU achieve balance and mutual understanding between EU citizens and migrants from the Middle East in terms of religion, politics, values when talking about terrorism?

Workshop 3 “How to fight climate change?

How to reduce CO2 production and maintain a competitive economy?

Workshop 4 “Migration

How to develop a real and effective European policy for the integration of migrants in Europe?

Event 2 Barcelona

Participation: The seminar was attended by 103 people. 99 came from the city of Barcelona (a majority of who were young people from the Trinijove Foundation from the Trinitat Vella district and the Sant Andreu district in Barcelona), 2 participants came from the city of Brussels (Belgium), 2 from the city of Bastia (France), 1 from Cluj-Napoca in Romania and 2 from Poznan in Poland.

Place and date: The event took place in Barcelona in the meeting room of the Trinitat Civic Centre on March 6th 2019.

Description: The aim of the seminar was to inform and raise awareness among young people about the importance of their participation and involvement in the European debate.

The young people present at the seminar asked these questions of a professional, social or personal nature, which are important in their daily lives but will be especially important in their future.

What issues were discussed?

– Unemployment

– Job security

– Gender Equality

– Inclusion of women in male domains

– Immigration

– Environment 

The opening of the transnational seminar in the reception hall of the Civic Centre Trinitat Vella was presented by the Trinijove Private Foundation.

In the second part, Laia Ortiz, second mayor of Barcelona, councillor for social affairs and councillor of the district of Sant Andreu de Paloma addressed the participants.

Afterwards, Ernest Urtasun (MEP – Greens/EFA) addressed the audience and stressed the importance of young people’s electoral vote nowadays. He also answered young people’s questions about the European Union and its institutions.

He encouraged them not to be afraid to express themselves and be heard by the European institutions.

 In general, the results of the questionnaires are optimistic and positive, either in terms of the number of questionnaires completed or in terms of the content and messages they reveal.

Although the final evaluation is good, the information obtained should also be used to continue the hard work and find new ways to encourage those young people who still have disengagement, reluctance, or lack of commitment to the project. The European Commission is also aware of the need for the European Parliament to be receptive to and/or politically disaffected from feeling receptive to and participating in the European debate.

Event 3 Cluj-Napoca

Participation: The event brought together 56 people from 9 countries: 48 from the city of Cluj-Napoca in Romania, 1 from Barcelona in Spain, 1 from Budapest in Hungary, 1 from Bologna in Italy, 1 from Turkey, 2 from Poznan in Poland, 1 from Riga in Latvia, 1 from Brussels in Belgium, 1 from Bastia in France.

Venue and date: The seminar took place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, on March 22nd 2019.

Description: At the conference, we presented the results of the questionnaire on how young people see the EU, what they can expect from the EU and what values the EU should stand for.

After this section, we invited our two MEPs Daniel Buda and Iuliu Winkler to speak about their role in the European Parliament in order to give the participants a better understanding of how the EU works. They also talked about BREXIT and mass manipulation, the communication channels of politicians. After their introduction our young people started to ask them questions.

In the second part of the seminar we divided the group for the workshops which were:

1. The Power of Civic Engagement – The Declic Community – Cluj Napoca

2. Information and Power with Ciprian Cucu, Forum Apulum – Alba Iulia

3. Priorities and realities in the E.U. with Simona Bartiş, Civitas Foundation for Civil Society – Cluj Napoca

And at the end, we had a feedback and conclusion session where the trainers presented the topic of their workshops and their conclusions.

We considered that the seminar was a success, the young people were involved in the process, they asked questions to the MEPs, they participate in our workshops to develop their critical thinking, to increase their knowledge about the European mechanism and yet they want to know how to build their future. During the question and answer session with the MEPs, when asked about this reliable source of information they can use, an interesting debate started between the participants and they shared ideas on how they create their own opinions, which shows that a new generation of young people is being born.

Event 4 Brussels

Participation: This seminar organised by ACFI, one of the Belgian partners of the project, took place at a national level in the Idea 53 Training through Work Workshop in Anderlecht. It brought together 27 people. Most of them came from ACFI’s centres.

Place and date: This event took place in Brussels on April 23rd 2019.

Description: 3 working groups met to inform low-skilled young people about the initiatives taken by the European Commission in the fields of reception of migrants, training and employment in particular for those furthest from the labour market, environmental protection and the fight against climate change. These working groups made it possible to briefly explain the EU initiatives in these three areas and above all to give the floor to young people to give us their visions and prepare questions to put to MEP Philippe Lamberts during the transnational seminar the following day.             

Event 5 Brussels

Participation: The meeting brought together 76 participants of which 49 came from the cities of Brussels, Tournai and Liège in Belgium, 5 from the cities of Bastia and Ajaccio in France, 4 from the city of Barcelona in Spain, 4 from Poznan in Poland, 3 from Cluj-Napoca in Romania, 1 from Sofia in Bulgaria but also 1 from Italy, 1 from Syria, 1 from Afghanistan and 2 from Greece.

Place and date: The event took place at the “Idea 53” Training Through Work Workshop in Brussels on April 24th 2019.

Description: Presentation of the results of the 155 replies to the questionnaires on the functioning of the European Parliament and the topics to be discussed with MEPs.

Presentation of the open letter on the opinion of low-skilled young people on the EU and its functioning.

Debate between young people and MEP Philippe Lamberts on the importance of voting in the European elections.

Event 6 Ajaccio

Participation: 46 people from the city of Ajaccio and its surroundings were present for this national seminar organised by the ICJ, the French partner of the project.

Venue and date: The seminar took place on May 6th 2019 at the Centre social des Saline in Ajaccio.

Description: The Coopérative d’Initiative Jeunes has worked with social and training centres to bring young people together. We have worked in round table format with a focus on dialogue and exchange.

Different themes were discussed: citizenship and European elections, mobility, living together, environment but also the functioning of the European institutions.

Event 7 Targu Mures (Romania)

Participation: The national seminar organized by the Romanian partners of the project, the Civitas Foundation, gathered 51 participants from 17 to 21 years old.

Place and date: It took place on May 7th 2019 at the Traian Savulescu College of Agriculture in Targu Mures, Romania.

Description: Presentation of the objectives of the project. Review of the participation of young Romanians who participated in the transnational seminar on April 24th 2019 and their visit to the House of European History on 24/04/19. On the basis of these testimonies of young people, the organizers presented the advantages offered by the E.U. in terms of mobility in Europe as well as the possibilities to travel, study and work in Europe through the Erasmus+ programmes, the European solidarity body. 

The opportunity and the importance of being able to participate in the European elections and the socio-political problems that Romanians are facing and the protest movements of the population towards their ruling class. Videos were also shown illustrating the importance of going to vote and especially the consequences of not going to vote and leaving this power to others.  

Event 8 Ajaccio

Participation: 51 people came together for this seminar, 41 of whom came from the cities of Ajaccio and Bastia, 3 from the cities of Brussels and Liège, 1 from Barcelona, 1 from the city of Poznan, 1 from the city of Cluj-Napoca, 1 from the city of Považská Bystrica, 1 from the city of Linz and 1 from Portugal.

Place and date: The seminar took place at the Maison de quartier des Cannes in Ajaccio on May 14th 2019.

Description: The Vote4Europe? transnational seminar took place in Ajaccio, France, with the presence of Mayor Laurent Marcangeli and former MEP François Alfonsi.

Representatives of different youth movements were also present to explain to the public their roles but also and above all the interest of voting in the European elections.

Event 9 Barcelona

Participation: 40 young Spaniards from various districts of Barcelona gathered at this national meeting organized by our Spanish partner “Trinijove”.

Place and date: the meeting took place at the “Casa de les Aigues communitary center of Art – Trinijove”, on June 14th 2019.

Description: Selection of questions to be put to the MEPs and selection of the young people who will ask the questions at the final seminar in Brussels and will intervene in the project video.    

Event 10 Brussels

Participation: Final seminar in Brussels on March 6th 2020 with about 100 participants from Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Greece, Romania, Poland, France, Portugal, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Luxembourg.

Venue and date: European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels on March 6th 2020 but cancelled due to the Coronavirus crisis.

Description: Opening by Gilles PELAYO, Head of Unit “Europe for Citizens”. Presentation of the results of the project and debate between young people, Commissioner SCHMIT, EESC Vice-President Isabel CANO and MEPs Ernest URTASUN (Greens/EFA), Leila CHAIBI (GUE/NGL), Sylwia SPUREK (S&D) and Cristian GHINEA (Renew).

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