“A European dream” is a youth exchange project developed by young people, through which we wish to trace the beginning and the development of the idea of Europe and European values through history and current geopolitical events. Through our individual studies and media research we realized that this is knowledge a European citizen should necessarily be equipped with, but for some reason we do not get this knowledge in institutions and we also don’t talk about European politics and history among young people because it’s just not “cool”.

EUD exchange

The project is very relevant to us in the context of the current geopolitical situation in Europe where integration of nations, as well as the masses of new refugees, seems almost impossible.

In response to Brexit, president of the European Parliament recently stated in a public article that “EU is in a deep crisis of identity”. We’d like to address this existential crisis and try to understand it through understanding our common history and current situation via storytelling methods.

Through debating techniques we’d like to shape, develop and confront our opinions about Europe. In the end we will seek common solutions through cultural activism methods such as Theatre of the Oppressed and also stage a theatrical performance in the streets to include the local population into the discourse about European Union and its “crisis”.

theatre of the opressed_ljubljana

Through the project we would like to address a question: is European integration even possible in this moment and how? How to integrate different nations, and do they even want that (UK for example)? How do we also integrate tens of thousands of new citizens of EU that came here because of the wars in Middle East? We would like to address a human need for common identity and make sense of this identity in the context of European Union. Our goal is to equip participants with tools to be able to find their own answers to questions about EU and be able to think about it critically as well.

25 young people from five very geopolitically diverse countries and cultures will come together for 9 days in the youth exchange. We have included countries such as Turkey, which is in deep national crisis and has been on the “brink of EU” for several years; with the current rise of Erdogan’s power, Euro-Turkish relations are more and more strained. Northern Ireland is facing the dire consequences of referendum about Great Britain in EU. Radical right-wind politicians are on the rise in the Netherlands, and yet Netherlands has had quite successful refugee integration. Poland, too, has been radically leaning towards the right wing politics, which poses the question when “enough is enough” and EU has (or can?) intervene in the politics of a national state. Slovenia, being somewhat in the middle of all of these situations, would try to connect them all into a debate.

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Our aim is to start a process of critical thinking about national and international values and identities. We want to contribute to the active participation of youth in the discourse about Europe, European Union and “European crisis” and equip them with knowledge to be able to successfully participate in debates about these topics. We will encourage young people to organise micro-events in their local environments to develop active participation among their peers as well, because we want our participants to think about what kind of change they wish to see in Europe even after they leave the exchange.

PROJECT DURATION: 1.2. – 31.5.2017

PROJECT PARTNERS: The Inside Out Programme (Northern Ireland), Lycian Pathfinders Youth Group (Turkey), Stichting Diversiteitland (The Netherlands), Civis Polonus Foundation (Poland), Zavod APIS (Slovenia)

PROJECT COORDINATOR: Zavod APIS

PROJECT LEADER: Sara Širnik

The project is funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

LOGOTIPI_erasmus in movit