The project “On Tour for Europe – Bringing youth step by step to active citizenship and job-creation”

Throughout four conferences taking place in 2015 and 2016, the EU-funded project – “On Tour for Europe. Bringing Youth Step by Step to Active Citizenship and Job Creation” brought together cities and partners from nine EU Member States (Belgium, Greece, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Estonia and Lithuania) in order to discuss youth employment in the European Union.

Participants included representatives of eleven partner cities and towns (represented but not limited to three appointed delegates); EU bodies and politicians; partners of already existing projects; NGOs; local and regional authorities and experts. Furthermore, the Project was strongly attached to the network of Medium Sized Cities: Eurotowns.

Following the policies established on the European Plan for Youth Employment, and approved by the European Commission in 2014, the project sought to present different applied or applicable formulas to stimulate the creation of more sustainable employment opportunities and entrepreneurship for youngsters through:

– Raising awareness about unemployment issues affecting younger generations

– The exchange of information and knowledge among participants for the design of specific plans and actions concerning youth (un)employment.

– The establishment of network contacts for feedback on own local projects and/or start further (funded) cooperation

– The presentation of EU-policy and funding possibilities regarding the creation of job opportunities and entrepreneurship for youngsters.

– Stimulating youngsters to take own responsibilities in employment initiatives and entrepreneurship, in particular for youngsters part of vulnerable groups.

 The first conference took place in Kaunas (Lithuania) on Spetember 23-26, 2015 .The event involved  140  citizens, including  114  participants from the city of Kaunas (Lithuania), 3 participants from the city of Abegondo (Spain),  6 participants from the city of Detmold (Germany), 5 participants from the city of Hasselt (Belgium), 2 participants from the city of Oraiokastro (Greece), 3 participants from the city of Saint-Omer (France), 2 participants from the city of Sandwich (United Kingdom), 3 participants from the city of Schiedam (the Netherlands), 2 participants from the city of Tartu (Estonia)

The aim of the event was the theme “where to find and how to use EU-information on employment and entrepreneurship”. In Kaunas the kick-off of the whole project was given. During this event best practices were exchanged amongst the participants. A reflection on the freedom of information, while remembering the Soviet occupation in Lithuania was also one of the subjects of this conference. The project started with a meeting, followed by a short tour through the history of communications and information technology. Next an ice-breaking activity was planned. The day ended with the introduction of the themes of this conference. On 24/09 and 25/09 several speakers spoke about different objects and study visits to different sites were planned. These visits and speakers were linked to group discussions. On the evening of the 25th the conference was closed. On the last day a visit to the genocide victims museum was planned.

The project conference events in Kaunas was organized by Kaunas City Municipality in cooperation with Vytautas Magnus University, Science and Technology Park “Technopolis”, Kaunas “Europe Direct” information center, the society of XXVII Book Lovers. The project was supported by European Commission “Europe for Citizens” programme.

The second conference took place in April 2016 (Abegondo, Spain), from  27/04/2016  to 30/04/2016. This event involved  113  citizens, including  81  participants from the city of Abegondo (Spain),

3 participants from the city of Detmold (Germany), 11 participants from the city of Hasselt (Belgium), 3 participants from the city of Kaunas (Lithuania), 3 participants from the city of Oraiokastro (Greece),  1 participant from the city of Reggio Emilia (Italy), 2 participants from the city of Mölndal (Sweden),  3 participants from the city of Saint-Omer (France), 2 participants from the city of Sandwich (United Kingdom),  4 participants from the city of Schiedam (the Netherlands).

The aim of the event was the theme “information on strength of citizens to affect EU-policy employment / entrepreneurship”. For this second event gaining an insight in EU-structures and possibilities for dialoguing were aimed at. During this conference gaining an insight in EU-structures and possibilities for dialoguing were aimed at. There was also time for historical reflection. The event was opened with an ice-breaking activity and a welcome dinner. On 28/09 and 29/09 several speakers came to the conference to tell a little bit more about different objects. The participants also visited a few sites. On the evening of the 29th the conference was closed. On the last day a guided tour to the Santa Cruz Castle was planned.

 The third conference took place in September 2016 (Hasselt, Belgium), from 06/09/2016 to 09/09/2016. The event involved  101  citizens, including  70  participants from the city of Hasselt (Belgium),

5 participants from the city of Abegondo (Spain), 5 participants from the city of Detmold (Germany), 2 participants from the city of Reggio Emilia (Italy), 1 participant from the city of Sindelfingen (Germany),  1 participant from the city of Gävle (Sweden), 1 participant from the city of Varberg (Sweden),  1 participant from the city of Hastings (United Kingdom), 5 participants from the city of Kaunas (Lithuania),  4 participants from the city of Oraiokastro (Greece), 1 participant from the city of Saint-Omer (France), 1 participant from the city of Sandwich (United Kingdrom), 4 participants from the city of Schiedam (the Netherlands).

The aim of the event was the theme “organisation and working of EU-institutions and insight in participative policy possibilities”. This third event was hosted by the lead partner of the project, Hasselt. On the first day the participants were welcomed to the city of Hasselt by a guided tour, an ice-breaking activity and a welcome dinner. On the second day of the event the participants visited the European Parliament in Brussels where they got the opportunity to discuss the subject of the conference with Members of Parliament. The participants gathered more information on the organisation and working of EU-institutions and received insight in participative policy possibilities on employment, eliminating a number of prejudices. On 08/09 a visit and workshops at Corda Campus and vzw Arktos were planned. On the evening of the 8th the conference was closed. On the last day a guided tour to Herkenrode Abbey was planned.

 The fourth and the last conference took place in November 2016 (Detmold, Germany), from  07/11/2016  to 10/11/2016. The event involved  110  citizens, including  82  participants from the city of Detmold (Germany), 4 participants from the city of Abegondo (Spain), 8 participants from the city of Hasselt (Belgium), 4 participants from the city of Kaunas (Lithuania),  4 participants from the city of Oraiokastro (Greece),  1 participant from the city of Reggio Emilia (Italy),  3 participants from the city of Saint-Omer (France),  1 participant from the city of Sandwich (United Kingdom),  3 participants from the city of Schiedam (the Netherlands).

The aim of the event was the theme “stimulating lasting involvement of citizens / youngsters in EU-participation”. Another subject was how to improve input and contacts. The participants exchanged visions on the future of Europe. A historical reflection on the past with site visits that reminds the Holocaust and the fall of the Berlin Wall were added to this conference as well. The Detmold-conference was the last event regarding ‘On Tour for Europe’. The conference started by a guided tour through the city, a welcome word, an ice-breaking activity and a welcome word. On 8/11 and 9/11 several speakers informed the participants about the subject they came to talk about. The participants also discovered the city and its projects regarding youth employment. The planned speakers and the study visits throughout the city were linked to different workshops and group discussions. On 9/11 the conference was closed by giving a summary of the whole project and by inviting the partners to organise a continuation of the ‘On Tour for Europe’-project.

 

 

 

May Kaunas City always remain the symbol of Lithuanian strength. 07/03/98

Former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus

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