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Gemeinsam Europa gestalten
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Jan 1, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea of the transnational youth initiative "Building Europe Together" is based on the following guiding principles: Every European citizen can contribute to make a place in Europe more attractive to live and thus practically to make Europe a more attractive place to live. We, the project participants, are convinced that Europe can only be structured through shared commitment beyond the borders of any European country; because in terms of mobility and economic integration Europeans are closely connected and cannot therefore afford to reduce their world to their own hometowns, as it is a matter of time that social problems in an EU member state affect the well-being in another. Therefore, we believe it is useful to take care not only for the interests of the people in the own hometowns, but to participate in designing attractive places to live in other European countries. Having these thoughts in mind, we developed our project idea with overall twenty nine German and Bulgarian participants with the mission to make a Bulgarian city more attractive to live. Teams of people with and without disabilities, with and without migration background and with different social backgrounds were formed in West Germany and Bulgaria. Especially for people in risk of discrimination, it is often difficult to feel belonging to a place and we wish that this would change! That is why this project gives these people the opportunity to help determine how a city should look like, so that they can feel good residing it.In our common urban design, we will not look for usual solutions of social problems: "Want to make it work better? Then just follow the example of the richer countries!" Rather, we want to use a method based on inclusion: "I accept you with your limitations and potential and want to know what you really need in order to offer you help, as you took part in decision-making and really want to accept this help!" Therefore, the German participants go to Bulgaria not in the role of a fault-finder; their hosts, the Bulgarian participants, will be „experts in showing their own world“ with its limitations and possibilities. These limitations and possibilities are to be respected by all project participants and so they will together contribute to sustainable solutions to social problems.We will prepare a meeting in the Bulgarian town Razlog and together with locals realize prospective ideas on how the city can be made more attractive to live. We will also organize an exhibition and a discussion with representatives from politics, economy and culture to present our ideas in the form of art works and to clarify our questions. Through an online exchange, we want to reflect on our own inclusive experiences and make them comprehensible to interested groups. Besides, the online exchange will help us gather ideas on how to make our own hometown more attractive to live. Furthermore we will participate in the production of a documentary. Finally, we will organize a film screening. The film should serve as an important basis for the discussion with policy makers and the struggle with responsible authorities to intensify the inclusive development of living together. We also want to extend a network to work together with prospective ideas on how to build an inclusive Europe and promote it in a meaningful way.
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