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Giovani europei a confronto per un’Europa a “regola d’arte" - di Europa si deve cantare
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The design idea of the project is based on the desire to talk about europe and to enhance the sense of belonging of young generations towards institutions and places of European democracy: that’s why it was decided to involve young people of three countries: Italy, Albania and Greece. Even though they are geographically neighbors, they have very different feelings of belonging to Europe. So the challenge was to give the opportunity of exchanging ideas among young people that live apparently very different lives, in spite of common dreams, aspirations and interests. The general objective was to strengthen the sense of belonging to Europe and to improve the level of participation and active citizenship of youth. Specific objectives were: to inform about the potential of ERASMUS+ programs, to promote a better communication among young people coming from different backgrounds that spoke different languages, using innovative methods based on artistic and non-verbal language (music, theatre); to gain better awareness of the meaning of European Union to reinforce the unifying aspect of a common European citizenship instead of single national identities; to stimulate civic involvement and youth participation to political life considered as a tool to promote a better management of conflicts between ethnic groups and minorities, often provoked by disaffection to politics, economic crisis and migrations. 42 young people participated to the exchange: 14 young Italians of LVIA association, 14 Albanian of Ambasadoret e Paqes, 14 Greeks of United Societies of Balkans (USB). Each organization could count on the participation of young people already involved in their own voluntary activities (especially Italy and Albania), but also on other new participants. Every organization tried to make a selection taking into account and giving value to cultural and religion differences, social class and gender, being careful to people with recognized disadvantages (economic, social, cultural). This decision has been made to fight political disaffection at every level and in different environments, to pull out the deepest dreams of young people and express them in the form of an active citizenship. As scheduled, the activities developed in three main stages: preliminary, during the exchange and after the exchange (dissemination). The preparatory work lasted about four months (June to October), during which each association was responsible for organizing workshops in their own countries, that were attended by young people selected. The workshops have served to create the first opportunities of sharing among the participants of the same country, to build a family and cohesive atmosphere, and work on activities that were then proposed and implemented during the days of the exchange. The themes of the project of the workshop activities were: the European Union as place of democracy, the feeling of belonging or not that young people have about Europe, the methods of communication through artistic expression, the use of new media and web 2.0, the deepening of territorial and cultural realities of the three countries. In addition to the workshop, there was the preliminary visit that took place on 25/26/27 September in Thessaloniki where the peer leaders of the three countries met and shared ideas that emerged from the workshops, defining more specifically the logistics and the timetable of the days of the exchange. The activities carried out during the exchange, based on the previous plan, have been characterized by a growing trend: (1) initially there was a phase of socialization and mutual understanding in order to create a functional environment for sharing, then, through artistic techniques that have been the background of all activities, has started (2) a phase of deconstruction and externalization of problems that each country lives within itself and in relations with Europe, followed by (3) a phase of construction and concrete commitment proposals. The exchange ended with the evaluation of activities and sharing of results. The project has had a direct impact on young participants as it has developed a more active social participation, has developed better intercultural and integration attitudes, has increased the sense of belonging to Europe, has changed the perception of Europe as a network of people, not just a set of states and borders, has enhanced knowledge of political, geographical and cultural characteristics of different countries, has raised awareness of the value of everyone’s civic engagement and the related responsibilities, it has created opportunities for reflection on the meaning of political commitment.
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