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«Understanding our need as EU citizens: a resilient Europe» aLMUSSAFES (SPAIN)

«Understanding our need as EU citizens: a resilient Europe» aLMUSSAFES (SPAIN)

During the closing event of the FUTUREU Program, a meticulously planned agenda was executed and all activities were carried out successfully and with great success.

On November 21, the participants arrived and were accommodated at the Bartos Hotel. The day concluded with a warm welcome dinner held at the same hotel.

November 22 began with a meeting of the participants in the assembly hall of the Llar dels Jubilats, where attendees were welcomed and their attendance was documented. The day included presentations on citizen initiatives, which included analysis of the future situation of the EU, identification of challenges, selection of initiatives and concrete definition of objectives and steps for their implementation.

After a coffee break, dissemination activities and presentation of the project results were carried out in the afternoon. Each partner presented their achievements in 5 to 10 minutes, covering social media posts, press releases and local project-level activities.

November 23 marked the closing session of the project. A sustainability agreement was signed and a final video of the project was produced, with brief interviews with the participants for its creation.

The day concluded with a lunch break and an afternoon free of programming for the participants, followed by a closing dinner to jointly evaluate the project activities.

On November 24, the partners left Almussafes, returning to their respective locations.

The event was an enriching and successful meeting. Participants were immersed in debates, workshops and presentations focused on understanding the needs of EU citizens and strengthening a resilient Europe. During this meeting, the future challenges and opportunities for the European Union were discussed in depth, developing specific citizen initiatives. The event demonstrated notable collaboration between partners, resulting in the successful dissemination of project results and the creation of a sustainability agreement. In short, it was an impactful event that fostered insightful debates and laid the foundations for concrete strategies towards a more resilient and participatory European future.

From Local to Global – Bucharest (romania)

From Local to Global – Bucharest (romania)

24/10/2023

Arrival of Participants from each partner delegation. Welcome dinner.

25/10/2023

The session was held in the conference room of the Ibis Hotel, where the participants were accommodated. The session started with a welcome speech by the president of the Impressum Association, Mihai Valeriu, in the framework of the FuturEU project, but also provided information about the role of the association and a summary of the situation in Romania regarding the active participation of young people at local and European level. The president focused on the role of the country in European approaches and how European directives, values and perspectives are integrated. Ms Valeria Paraschiva then took over the session. Participants introduced themselves and the association they represent. An energizer and icebreaker session was opened: using unrealistic and figurative images, participants had to choose an image that represents them and how they position themselves on the path of active community participation. The common insights from the debriefing process were: the need to act in the present moment, the need to reduce the barriers that both communities and organisations feel in terms of active participation, and the presence of potential and opportunities offered by young people themselves in our community environments.

Then the «From Local to Global» presentation session began. Each partner presented their expertise on the evolution of the countries, ways and best practices of engagement and development of the Union and how citizens could contribute to the development of European citizenship. In this way, participants could learn about other participation mechanisms, especially for young people, in which they can play a leading role in the European framework.

In the afternoon, Miss Valeria Paraschiva opened the session – Europe for You. Young people, most of them volunteers in student associations or volunteers from different national NGOs participated and exemplified and supported the need to involve young people, but, more importantly, what are the barriers they encounter that stop or reduce their willingness to participate. It included discussions about experiences in civic projects, the influence young people had on local and national policies, barriers to involvement, the use of technology and social media, successful local initiatives, essential skills for civic engagement, motivation for youth participation, and how to balance civic involvement with other responsibilities. Additionally, it considered the role of educational institutions in promoting and facilitating civic engagement among students.

The partners stressed the need to identify ways in which volunteering can be better presented to the community: the direct and indirect, personal and community benefits, the need to identify a means of communication that appeals to young people, and the possibility of better including volunteering in school or university.

The first day session ended with the start of the role play activity –  Gamification. In this session, we explored how participants made a difference in EU policy through local initiatives by engaging in educational games. The role-play game assigned participants roles representing different EU stakeholders, including EU Commissioners, MEPs, lobbyists, NGO representatives, and citizens. Teams were formed based on these roles, creating a mix of stakeholders to simulate real-world dynamics. The participants were divided into two large groups, and each received a scenario that identified a dilemma to be solved. Resolving it required each role to analyze their perspective and bring it as authentically as possible into the role-play.

26/10/2023

The day began with a visit to the City Hall of Sector Three in Bucharest, as this local administration was chosen due to Impressum’s activities in Sector Three, offering clear insights into the relationship with the municipality. Mayor of Sector Three, Robert Negoita, engaged the participants in an open discussion, sharing the roles held as a member in the European Committee of the Regions, former President of the Association of Municipalities in Romania, and describing the ongoing efforts to maintain community relations and support youth projects and initiatives within Sector Three’s municipality. The participants learned about the digitization process and how it has enabled the City Hall to be closer to the citizens and their needs. Until lunchtime, participants had free time in Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park, a point of attraction and pride for Sector Three.

The second part of the day began with a debrief and discussion regarding the role-play game: problem-solving, how participants felt in their assigned roles, and what they would take away from the activity. Participants expressed that it is relatively impossible to solve such a dilemma when all involved roles are rigid, fail to understand other perspectives, and are not willing to identify solutions that satisfy all parties involved. They emphasized the need to thoroughly understand the roles of all social and political institutions to seek their assistance, the importance of young people/community having genuine, accurate, and valid knowledge about institutional processes to participate in joint actions, and the importance of being flexible and adaptable in response to changes in the surroundings.

The day continued with a feedback session, planning for future activities (both personal and those of the represented partner or the project, dissemination), and the distribution of participation certificates.

27/10/2023

Departure of participants.

MEETING IN DIÓSD (HUNGARY)

MEETING IN DIÓSD (HUNGARY)

The activities of the event took place in the House of Culture of City Diósd, located in the centre of the city.

The basis of the professional work was a lecture accompanied by a ppt presentation, the topic of which was: ‘Presentation and rules of application of the European citizens’ initiative’ (ECI). In addition, some Hungarian internet-based interfaces supporting civil initiatives were also presented, showing concrete examples of initiatives.

After the presentation, the partner delegations held a joint discussion on the topic. As part of this, short written answers were given to the following seven point questions:

1) Have you heard about European citizens’ initiative?
2) How do think this procedure can be effective?
3) At the European level, what kind of topic would be useful to choose?
4) Do you think that citizens want to participate in EU programs in order to change the EU?
5) How could you motivate people to deal with common European issues?
6) Do you think Euroscepticism is the reason why people do not want to participate in such activities?
7) Could you say examples of initiatives at local, national and EU level?

Participants were ready to express their opinions to the questions.

Another professional topic of the meeting related to the theme of ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’, which dealt with the two-year program initiated by the EU, carried out by involving all member-states in the period of 2020-2022. The theme was introduced by a ppt presentation (8 slides), and followed by a discussion in the frame of a working groups titled: «European Citizen Initiatives based on the Conference on the Future of Europe’s ideas report». Participants were prepared for a common discussion, and the lead partner led the workshop activity by listening and gathering the opinions of the delegates. Additionally, the materials of the National Activity Report of each country could be used for setting up a Compendium of the European Citizen Initiatives.

In line with the Agenda, the actual status and tasks of the project implementation, communication and dissemination activities were discussed in a session led by the project coordinator of Lead Partner Municipality of Almussafes on June 2.

As a complementary activity related to the theme of the project, a guided tour of the Hungarian Parliament building took place. The importance of the role of the parliament in the democratic society was supported by a personal view of the historic building, hearing about the most significant events of the Hungarian parliamentarism, connecting the topic with the recent theme of the project: ‘Understanding our need as EU citizens, Resilient Europe’.

All in all, a very satisfactory meeting where it was possible to discover the Hungarian culture and share experiences among the participants from different countries.

Euromunicipalism, beyond EU capital cities

Information and schedule of working days in Gharb (Malta)

Project partners and interested people from Malta, Spain, Poland, Rumania, Greece, Hungary and Netherlands, will discuss about:

-EuroMuncipalism

– Citizen initiatives and collaboration between the council and the citizens

-The municipality revolution

– EU policies and its application at local level

– Regional government
– “New participation tools for building an inclusive Europe” EU policies and its application at local level.

– Collecting ideas for European Citizen Initiatives

And much more about Maltese culture and traditions.