The project «EU future – Doing it together!» was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”
Applicable to the Strand 2 – Measure 2.1 “Town-Twinning”
|Participation: The project involved 361 citizens, notably 140 participants from the city of Klanjec (Croatia), 35 participants from the city of Wilamowice (Poland), 19 participants from Rajecke Teplice (Slovakia), 20 participants from the city of Dolny Benešov (Czech Republic), 15 participants from Héviz (Hungary), 39 participants from Novi Sad (Serbia), 43 participants from Bihać (Bosnia and Hezegovina), 20 participants from Občina Starše (Slovenia), 30 participants from Bistrica ob Sotli (Slovenia).Location/ Dates: The event took place in Klanjec (Croatia), from 05/10/2018 to 07/10/2018
The day of 05/10/2018 was dedicated to the arrival of participants, their gathering, accommodation and then project activities starting with presentation about timetable of activities. On Friday, workshop of making the website started. Team of younger participants continued the work on project web site that has started within last year’s project activities. Seminar and discussion “Possibilities for citizens to participate in decision making processes about future of EU” was held with the participation of most participants of project. It was a platform for participants to express their opinions and thoughts about civil participations in decision making processes on EU level. Discussion showed there is not enough interaction and dialogue between citizens and elected representatives in EU Parliament and that citizens expect that their opinions are taken in consideration when decisions are being made not just those of political parties.
On the workshop „White paper on the Future of Europe – the future of Europe is in our hands” participants learned and debated about five possible scenarios of EU future was held. Participants had opportunity to show their view which scenario is more possible, but also have expressed in one word or sentence what they feel is the most important for EU future. Most of them wrote “safety”, then “equality”, “openness”, “regulated market” and “expansion”. Most participants stated that in the future, EU should lean more to the model that USA applies.
Part of programme was marking European year of cultural heritage and intercultural exchange between participants under the name “„Where the past meets the future”. On the first day, participants presented their cultural heritage from places they come to encourage people to learn about cultural diversity of European peoples.
The day of 06/10/2018 was dedicated to workshop „Making the project idea for joint partner programme “Network of towns“. Interested participants from 6 partner towns have been exchanging ideas about joint project idea for possible further upgrade of cooperation within Programme “Network of towns“. The workshop was continued on the next (last) day of project.
Partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina moderated discussion “I am European” where participants from EU member and non-members states exchanged thoughts on what being European means to them, and if identifying yourself as European decreases your national identity. Participants from Poland, Slovakia and Czech think that national identity should have more importance, while participants from Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia and BiH think that living in EU does not mean losing your identity, on contrary it is advantage being citizen of European Union.
In the afternoon, on the main square, programme „Celebrating European year of cultural heritage – cultural show” was held. Participants showed part of their cultural heritage to large number of visitors.
Debate „Doing Much More Together” – citizens role in the future of EU” which was moderated by representatives of senior association from Slovenia, had accent on citizens perception and views about possibilities of making common European policies in different areas of action that in their opinion should contain more balanced shared attitudes, since only united in common policies we can do more.
The day of 07/10/2018 was dedicated to „Discussion about accession of west Balkan countries to EU” for which was big interest because the project involved representatives from BiH and Serbia. Citizens from other states expressed positive opinions on accession of west Balkan countries, especially because of actual migration problems. Citizens from Serbia and BiH have expressed dissatisfaction with their government work and their wishes on accession to happen before 2025. As the answer to the rising euroscepticism amongst EU citizens, they give examples of advantages that EU citizens have opposite to them.
Discussion about the role of culture and art in the future of European Union was moderated by representatives of cultural association from Hungary. The conclusion of this discussion is that diversity is the true value of the united Europe and that culture and art are always integrating factors and therefore very important for the future of EU.
“Final thoughts on the Future of EU – do we need enthusiasm and how can we achieve it” was a debate where participants discussed how much positive EU citizen’s attitudes and enthusiasm can contribute to a stable EU future. There is a desire that in the future EU becomes more Union of Citizens, and less affected by the national divisions between member states, and to achieve this, we have to insist on the achievement of fundamental values EU was founded.
At the end of last day, final workshop of making the website was held, in the late afternoon participants have left.