Re-connecting Europe

Re-connecting Europe – challenges and opportunities for better integration

#reconEurope
#europeforcitizens

The recent growth of anti-European movements, including those ones which appeal to the strategic use of rumours and falsehoods makes Europeans wonder whether Europe in the 21st century is a success story of peaceful cooperation or an example of failed chances and wrong decisions? The Europeans start blaming each other for the multiply crises that put the European integration to the proof. People need a space to act and have any influence on the future alternatively to what is proposed by some increasing xenophobic narratives. We need to reverse the impression that “solidarity” is only imposed by European institutions and show how important is the bottom-up civic perspective making this value so powerful.

Re-connecting Europe is project aimed at creating such a common space to discuss and work together by confronting views and experience on most currently engaging and divisive issues for Europeans, especially within “old” EU – “new” EU and the North-South dimensions.

The participants will be engaged into the learning process from the recognition of common problems and challenges, trough critical approach towards the new technologies of communications, effective acting by means of such instruments of democratic society as open debates, info campaigns, public assemblies, cultural events.
All activities, both on local and international level, will give them an opportunity to get known and share different perspectives on what bothers Europeans most: increasing frustration on economic inequality, challenges of multicultural societies, tensions of refugees crisis ? Whether there are more issues which are rising tensions in response to different visions of the future of common Europe.

We will be searching for mutual understanding for those fears and expectations and working together on possible ways and solutions for citizens and civic organizations to have an impact on re-connecting Europeans. The most important is to go beyond the schemes and stereotypes developed recently around the idea of European integration to create a positive message of the mutual respect across all political and national boundaries.

  • The project is be based on transnational exchange and collaboration among organizations and citizens from Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Italy and Serbia, taking up activities within interactive methods and tools from varied disciplines. The whole process will be led on local and international level. Each Partner will share and lead the part of the learning process within transnational activities dedicated to particular issue in which is more experienced and active:
    intercultural dialogue through art (Slovakia),
  • responsible European communication in the age of digital revolution (Germany),
  • solidarity and networking (Poland),
  • inclusion and combatting stigmatization on “immigrants” (Italy),
  • joint venture actions for the future (Serbia).

October – December 2017
All local work groups in Poland, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia and Germany will start with diagnosing the background of Euro-skeptical attitudes and narratives in their local communities and/or other most current and discussed issues concerning the future of Europe at their national level (e.g. meetings, workshops, discussions, media research, surveys, interviews). They will prepared material to be presented during first Transnational Activity “North meets South: challenges of European integration” in Slovakia (e.g. in the format of photos, short films, reportages or other visual presentations):

8-11 December 2017 Festival in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
This activity will combine meetings, workshops and seminars dedicated to debate common problems and challenges based on results of local groups’ researches. This will be the time of collective reflection on challenges of the future shape of European construction. The program of event will be enriched by theatre, performances and creations linked with annual Festival EMBARGO on human rights. Participants will meet and know each other; they will exchange their experience, knowledge and visions; they will get know the methodology of open debates, info campaigns and expression trough art.

January – March 2018
Groups will continue working on results of the first transnational activity referring to critical view/research on the representation of those issues in media/social media/internet – according to limits of Freedom of Speech draw by national legislations. They will be preparing material (presentations or short workshops) to be presented I discussed during the second transnational meeting:

22-24 March 2018 (tbc) Seminar “Responsible communication in the age of digital revolution” in Berlin, Germany
During the activity participants will develop mutual understanding, get to know the meaning of freedom of expression as an European value, strengthen their judgement (particularly in regard to manipulation in the media). This will be reached by using a mix of various interactive and innovative methods e.g. mind maps, flipped classroom, peer-to-peer dialogue, World Café, study trips, impulse presentations. – the disscusion and view-sharing on issues tackled during the researches’ phase and TA 1 are being developed. Participants will enhance their media literacy, reinforce their sense of responsibility towards the community and their individual role in shaping Europe’s future.

April – May 2018
Basing on up-to-date project results and own initiatives participants will be preparing workshops and presentations for wide public about possibilities of volunteering and joint-actions to embody the idea of solidarity.

10-13 May 2018 Actions “Europe – Mode on: solidarity” in Warsaw, Poland
It aims to improve civic participation trough an action of volunteering and public assemblies; It consist of a) collective discussion and work on the pillars of solid Europe; b) meetings with representatives of EC on European Solidarity Corps; c) taking part in mass demonstration: Schuman Parade with “message for Europe”; d) implementing workshops and presentations for wide public at street event. Participants will gain knowledge about being more active, efficient and visible in their local communities; the joint activities will be presented and disseminate as good practice example.

May-June 2018
Local actions through media in Italy – web radio format debates on issues developed within local groups’ researches and tackle the main project’s topics (e.g. Euroscepticism, stereotypes, solidarity, migration, nationalism); in cooperation with the local University web Radio will be set and manage by local participants (with representatives of migrants community).

8-10. June 2018 study visit for NGO and youth workers “Make your voice heard – web radio debates on the future of Europe” in Calgliari, Italy
The study visit will allow to share the experience, methodology and results of local web radio format debates set up and managed by local participants which had been aired by the time of the visit (5 debates). The visit consist of a) the discussion on results of debates b) presentation of the format be possibly replicate in all partners countries involved c) meetings with local migrant communities and organizations working on integration and social inclusion to share best practice. Participants will develop their knowledge about the objective information on the difference between debating facts and post-truth propaganda , culture of debating, facilitations and effective use of communication tools; they will get to know the good examples of integration and inclusion of minorities and migrants to be multiplied.

June – September 2018
Local groups keep on developing ideas for European projects/local initiatives in response to challenges discussed during previous project’s activities with use and support of all tools and methods presented and worked out collecting recommendations and good practices as project’s results.

18-19. October 2018 International Contact Making Seminar “Re-connecting Europe” in Novi Sad, Serbia
It aims to develop new international projects among project partners/participants and other stakeholders, also from other countries (e.g. B&H, Croatia, Albania). It consist of: a) partner-finding and networking b) promoting co-operation between institutions and organizations in the EU and Partner Countries; c) providing information about the EU funding possibilities(Europe for Citizens, Erasmus+, Creative Europe, Danube Transnational Programme); d) presentation of project’s results, good practices and recommendations; e) overall evaluation session.

During the project participants will be managing blogs linked to the Partners project websites. The blogs will give a possibility to share and describe their experience, observations and accomplishments in attractive and creative way by writings articles, posting photographs, audio and video material. Facebook pages of all partner organizations will be used to announce upcoming events and share the results of project activities as well as to share photos and videos. We will encourage our participants to set up and moderate their own FB groups, as well as to share the information via their own social media usage.

Outcomes of projects activities, participants’ researches and/or surveys, reviewed methods and worked out approaches will be presented during the final seminar and then edited and published on the project website as free-download toolkit. The toolkit will be disseminated to our networks, youth workers, experts, policy makers and university students to promote further activities promoting European civic education.

PARTNERS:
POLSKA FUNDACJA IM. ROBERTA SCHUMANA
ASSOCIAZIONE INTERCULTURALE NUR
USTANOVA STUDENTSKI KULTURNI CENTAR
Záhrada – Centrum nezávislej kultury
EUROPAISCHE AKADEMIE BERLIN e.V.

CONTACT:
Rado Sloboda
radoslavml.sloboda@gmail.com / +421 944 613 695