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Meine Rechte = deine Rechte? Gleiche Chancen in Europa!
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Jun 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." This is the first sentence of Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But if all people are free and equal, why have people in the Ukraine been fighting for closer relations with the EU for almost a year? And why does the EU exist, after all? If all humans are equal, why are the chances to find a job in some countries better than in others? What holds the EU citizens still together in times of economic crisis? These are just a few of the questions, which were discussed by 60 young adults from Germany, Poland and Ukraine at the seminar "My rights = your rights" which took place from 7-15 February 2015 in the European Academy of Otzenhausen. With a view to the contents, the young adults got a better knowledge of each other and the respective cultures of the other participants and be made aware of cultural differences. The aim was to make them learn to work together despite these differences, to discuss and to elaborate projects. The participants worked on different topics. In each of them the themes "equality" or "inequality" were focused. Finally, the students created their own projects about how to call attention on inequlity in a creative way. During the teaching unit "My values = your values?" the participants studied the European values according to article II of the EU Treaty: equality, democracy, liberty, human rights and the rule of law. The seminar aimed to make the participants understand the importance of these values in the context of the European integration process, in particular against the backdrop of the protests in Ukraine. It aimed to explain the young adults that the EU was indeed founded as an economic community, but that it is above all a community of values, which has guaranteed peace among the EU member States since the end of World War II. Against this backdrop the seminar also aimed to make the participants know their rights (civic, political, social, economic rights…). On the one hand the focus was on human rights with information "on the spot" about the functions of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. On the other hand the specific right of EU citizens, above all the right of free movement of persons, were studied. On this basis the young adults were informed about programmes and opportunities with a view to living and working abroad in Europe over the short or long term. At a discussion with an ALDE representative (The European Association for Local Policy) in Strasbourg the participants learned how they can commit themselves actively in favour of Europe. Another element of the seminar was to encourage young people to participate in political life. As the participants were informed about their rights and opportunities in the first part of the seminar, the next part was dedicated to an exchange of experiences with a view to situations when their rights are or were violated. On the basis of the documentary "Everyday Rebellion" by the Riahi brothers, the participants previously got to know different ways of social protest. Based on their personal experience, they were asked to develop own creative projects with a view to raising public awareness, which point to and inform about these failings. Thus, the students created short films and put them together as a whole. One additional group wrote an own song which brought the different films together. The project promoted intercultural communication among the young people and their spirit of initiative and enterprise. At the seminar the organizers tried to do without "traditional" speeches as far as possible. The focus was instead on working in trinational groups. In the course of the event the young adults got to know different learning methods. They included, apart from interactive introductory speeches, group work on various contents, a world café, discussions among each other, in the plenary and with experts, autonomous research work, presentation of the results in English and their native language and the development and implementation of the own project.

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