The aim of this project was to promote EU values and to disseminate among youth in Romania information about EU institutions and main policies regarding cultural diversity, social inclusion and combating discrimination, as well as opportunities for citizens and civil society groups to engage with EU institutions and to participate in the European debate on these issues.
Students from 10 Universities in Romania were supported to initiate and implement European projects favouring respect for cultural diversity, non-discrimination and solidarity, especially towards Roma, immigrants and other disadvantaged groups, in the context of European integration and of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All – 2007.
The 10 teams of students and their professors were invited to attend an international conference with guests from EU institutions, national and European experts selected together with the partner organisations. A representative of the National Council for Combating Discrimination (the structure established in Romania according to the two anti-discrimination directives of the EU) also participated. Some guests addressed the participants through videoconference so that the student participants got used to such an event. The conference was followed by workshops that focused on practical issues concerning the setting-up of local European Student Clubs and on development of European projects favouring respect for cultural diversity, non-discrimination and solidarity, especially towards Roma, immigrants and other disadvantaged groups, in the context of European integration.
Each student team established a European Student Club, consisting of at least 20 students as regular members and elaborated a local strategy and action plan. A series of meetings, with presentations and debates, were organised by each European Student Club. Whenever possible, local experts were invited to contribute. The topics included: generalities about EU and European institutions; opportunities for dialogue between civil society and EU institutions; the European Constitution; The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; the rights of EU citizens and their challenges; EU and young people (including the European Youth Pact, the YOUTH Programme, EU youth policies and European Youth Forum); EU and a society of cultural pluralism, tolerance and respect for diversity in a context of globalisation; the European conference “Youth in Action for Diversity and Tolerance” and the Declaration adopted on this occasion. Each local European Student Club organised at least one videoconference in which students from their University were able to address questions to invited experts and EU officials from other countries and to interact with young people from different European countries, to discuss the way EU principles and policies reflect in their respective local and national contexts.
Project duration: 2006-2007
The Martens Society (www.martens.ee)
The Youth Express Network (http://youthexpressnetwork.org/)