Press launching conference of project WE NET

On 29th June 2015, Marco Boaria, Head of Resources and Development Unit, and Anna Ditta, Project Development Officer, together with the representatives of the City of Thiene, such as Andrea Zorzan, Councillor for Environment of City of Thiene, were present to the Press Launching Conference of project WE NET in Thiene, Italy.

The project WE NET – Working for Environmentally Educated Towns is financed by the European programme “Europe for Citizens”. The aim of this project is the environmental education focusing on the respect of citizens towards the environment and the adoption of an appropriate behaviour which would not only prevent the pollution and degradation of the cities but which would also stimulate the concrete actions towards sustainable development, according to the priorities of European Year of Development 2015. This two-year project was developed by the City of Thiene, lead partner of the project, in collaboration with ALDA. In this project are involved 12 partners from 8 European countries: France, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia, Malta and Italy.

This project is an important step toward the implementation of better practices in the field of environment and sustainable development of cities. The Councillor for Environment of the City of Thiene, Andrea Zorzan, said: “In the times of lack of finances, every municipality requires the access to the European funds. We managed to work hard. Only 20 projects were admitted and we gained 8th place among projects financed by the programme “Europe for Citizens” which was opened for 39 nations, showing our capacity of creating a project in the international environment. It is a challenge for the City of Thiene and for its administration to be a leader of a twelve-partner project. I think that the City of Thiene deserve to be a leader of the project whose impact is going to influence the whole territory.”

The Secretary General of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida, added: “The project WE NET represents an important challenge for ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy. WE NET is going to involve the administrations and civil societies of 12 cities from 8 countries from enlarged Europe to deal with the sustainable development topic with focus on recycling. The environmental protection is the crucial concern for the citizens and as such can be transformed into a tool to promote the active citizens participation. During the time of political alienation and the important challenge on the level of environment, WE NET tackles both issues at local and EU level.”

Please see also the news in local media altovicentinonline.it

On 29th June 2015, Marco Boaria, Head of Resources and Development Unit, and Anna Ditta, Project Development Officer, together with the representatives of the City of Thiene, such as Andrea Zorzan, Councillor for Environment of City of Thiene, were present to the Press Launching Conference of project WE NET in Thiene, Italy.

The project WE NET – Working for Environmentally Educated Towns is financed by the European programme “Europe for Citizens”. The aim of this project is the environmental education focusing on the respect of citizens towards the environment and the adoption of an appropriate behaviour which would not only prevent the pollution and degradation of the cities but which would also stimulate the concrete actions towards sustainable development, according to the priorities of European Year of Development 2015. This two-year project was developed by the City of Thiene, lead partner of the project, in collaboration with ALDA. In this project are involved 12 partners from 8 European countries: France, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia, Malta and Italy.

This project is an important step toward the implementation of better practices in the field of environment and sustainable development of cities. The Councillor for Environment of the City of Thiene, Andrea Zorzan, said: “In the times of lack of finances, every municipality requires the access to the European funds. We managed to work hard. Only 20 projects were admitted and we gained 8th place among projects financed by the programme “Europe for Citizens” which was opened for 39 nations, showing our capacity of creating a project in the international environment. It is a challenge for the City of Thiene and for its administration to be a leader of a twelve-partner project. I think that the City of Thiene deserve to be a leader of the project whose impact is going to influence the whole territory.”

The Secretary General of ALDA, Antonella Valmorbida, added: “The project WE NET represents an important challenge for ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy. WE NET is going to involve the administrations and civil societies of 12 cities from 8 countries from enlarged Europe to deal with the sustainable development topic with focus on recycling. The environmental protection is the crucial concern for the citizens and as such can be transformed into a tool to promote the active citizens participation. During the time of political alienation and the important challenge on the level of environment, WE NET tackles both issues at local and EU level.”

Please see also the news in local media altovicentinonline.it


Vicenza Municipality opens its doors to 90 youngsters - EYES and T-TRUST projects

Health, environmental protection and prevention of early school leaving: the institutional welcome of Vicenza Municipality to the 90 youngsters coming from all around Europe to discuss these topics.
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On 27th June 2015, a meeting between the representatives of Vicenza Municipality and 90 youngsters coming from all around Europe was held. Participants were involved in two European projects: the project EYES – European Youth Environment Sentinels – coordinated by ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, related to health and environmental protection, and T-TRUST project coordinated by Coopérative Margherita, which is about the issue of early school leaving.

After a week of activities held on the area of Vicenza, Italy, Mr. Federico Formisano, President of the Municipality Council, held an institutional welcome for participants in the city, which is part of UNESCO heritage, hosting them in one of the most beautiful room of the Municipality, and introducing the daily work done in that very elegant building in order to ensure efficiency, protection and services to all citizens. Apart from the examples of good governance at local level, the hosts demonstrated their deep commitment to improve relationships with other countries: Vicenza Municipality, in fact, is particularly involved in several cooperation and twinning of towns. In its work, this municipality has always been very close to ALDA, organisation dedicated to development of European projects that promote democracy and citizens’ participation, but also very close to the work of Margherita Cooperative, which since 1987, works on the area of Sandrigo (VI) with services for elderly people, disabled and minors.

Mr. Formisano’s introduction was followed by the welcome speech of Mr. Giancarlo Pesce, Councillor delegated to twinning of towns, who discussed the participation of Vicenza Municipality at the European level, such as the event TEDx Vicenza “Planting the Seeds”, ongoing on the same day at Teatro Olimpico. His motivation inspired the young audience, and demonstrated the will to intensify the exchanges, contacts and collaboration of the municipality, as source of authentic knowledge.

The youngsters equally participated in the discussions and asked specific questions concerning the issues discussed in the framework of projects, giving relevance to themes such as: sensitive social issues, the attention to security, balance gender, and the problem of privatization of water. Mr. Formisano answered each question giving practical examples and solutions performed by Vicenza Municipality. Furthermore, the adoption of a common, shared and efficient European policy is the goal we all should achieve to ensure progress and growth in Europe of today.

For further information on EYES project, watch the video report of TViweb about the visit of EYES participants in Arcugnano, Lago di Fimon.

Health, environmental protection and prevention of early school leaving: the institutional welcome of Vicenza Municipality to the 90 youngsters coming from all around Europe to discuss these topics.
***

On 27th June 2015, a meeting between the representatives of Vicenza Municipality and 90 youngsters coming from all around Europe was held. Participants were involved in two European projects: the project EYES – European Youth Environment Sentinels – coordinated by ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, related to health and environmental protection, and T-TRUST project coordinated by Coopérative Margherita, which is about the issue of early school leaving.

After a week of activities held on the area of Vicenza, Italy, Mr. Federico Formisano, President of the Municipality Council, held an institutional welcome for participants in the city, which is part of UNESCO heritage, hosting them in one of the most beautiful room of the Municipality, and introducing the daily work done in that very elegant building in order to ensure efficiency, protection and services to all citizens. Apart from the examples of good governance at local level, the hosts demonstrated their deep commitment to improve relationships with other countries: Vicenza Municipality, in fact, is particularly involved in several cooperation and twinning of towns. In its work, this municipality has always been very close to ALDA, organisation dedicated to development of European projects that promote democracy and citizens’ participation, but also very close to the work of Margherita Cooperative, which since 1987, works on the area of Sandrigo (VI) with services for elderly people, disabled and minors.

Mr. Formisano’s introduction was followed by the welcome speech of Mr. Giancarlo Pesce, Councillor delegated to twinning of towns, who discussed the participation of Vicenza Municipality at the European level, such as the event TEDx Vicenza “Planting the Seeds”, ongoing on the same day at Teatro Olimpico. His motivation inspired the young audience, and demonstrated the will to intensify the exchanges, contacts and collaboration of the municipality, as source of authentic knowledge.

The youngsters equally participated in the discussions and asked specific questions concerning the issues discussed in the framework of projects, giving relevance to themes such as: sensitive social issues, the attention to security, balance gender, and the problem of privatization of water. Mr. Formisano answered each question giving practical examples and solutions performed by Vicenza Municipality. Furthermore, the adoption of a common, shared and efficient European policy is the goal we all should achieve to ensure progress and growth in Europe of today.

For further information on EYES project, watch the video report of TViweb about the visit of EYES participants in Arcugnano, Lago di Fimon.


Statement of ALDA about migration and necessity of humanitarian assistance

The European Union is witnessing perhaps the largest scale of immigration wave ever with some 153,000 migrants who have been detected at its external borders since the beginning of this year and arriving at its “gates” in south Italy and as of recently at the Hungary’s border with Serbia. One of the biggest surges happened at the beginning of June when nearly 6000 people were plucked from the sea at the south Italy’s coast, while at the other gate – some 80,000 refugees and migrants have reached Hungary since the beginning of this year.

Facing the global phenomenon of mass migration which, according to recent estimations has become larger in scope and numbers than the one happened after the World War II, the DG Migration and Home Affairs has launched a scope of comprehensive policy measures granting institutional responses and even more calling for adequate responses by the MS mostly affected by the influx of migrants. However, the main challenge in facing the phenomenon still remains unresolved, in other words how to protect the migrants’ lives and the rights of asylum seekers on one hand, and the security of the EU external borders on the other. On their long and exhausting escape from civil war, despair, famine and misery they are using dangerous routes, risking kidnapping, human trafficking, robbery, jail and even death. At the end of the day, only those who have enough money to pay the traffickers, those patient enough to try to cross the border several times or those who are lenient enough to endure lack of any decent living conditions along the way, and in border areas in particular, can consider themselves as “lucky asylum seekers” in the EU.

The European Union is witnessing perhaps the largest scale of immigration wave ever with some 153,000 migrants who have been detected at its external borders since the beginning of this year and arriving at its “gates” in south Italy and as of recently at the Hungary’s border with Serbia. One of the biggest surges happened at the beginning of June when nearly 6000 people were plucked from the sea at the south Italy’s coast, while at the other gate – some 80,000 refugees and migrants have reached Hungary since the beginning of this year.

Facing the global phenomenon of mass migration which, according to recent estimations has become larger in scope and numbers than the one happened after the World War II, the DG Migration and Home Affairs has launched a scope of comprehensive policy measures granting institutional responses and even more calling for adequate responses by the MS mostly affected by the influx of migrants. However, the main challenge in facing the phenomenon still remains unresolved, in other words how to protect the migrants’ lives and the rights of asylum seekers on one hand, and the security of the EU external borders on the other. On their long and exhausting escape from civil war, despair, famine and misery they are using dangerous routes, risking kidnapping, human trafficking, robbery, jail and even death. At the end of the day, only those who have enough money to pay the traffickers, those patient enough to try to cross the border several times or those who are lenient enough to endure lack of any decent living conditions along the way, and in border areas in particular, can consider themselves as “lucky asylum seekers” in the EU.


ALDA discussed the win-win strategies for migrants inclusion

Inclusion of migrants in labour markets and public life at the local level is one of the challenges tackled by ALDA and we therefore couldn’t miss a chance to participate in conference holding a title „Integrating migrants into the labour market: a win win situation for all“. The event took place on 25 June 2015 in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

The third-country nationals immigrating into the EU to work, study or with the purpose of family reunification have generally lower rates of employment and activity than the native population and are facing a wide range of challenges and disadvantages while accessing the labour market. We discussed with the participants the need of transparent and harmonized admission procedures among the Member States; improvement in access to information, education and language support for migrants; implementation of appropriate legislation which prevent exploitation of vulnerable groups; recognition of foreigner qualifications; and implementation of the right of free movement for migrants legally residing in the EU territory.

The event is followed by the public consultation on Blue cards open to all citizens, organisations and third-country nationals. More information is available (ici.

Inclusion of migrants in labour markets and public life at the local level is one of the challenges tackled by ALDA and we therefore couldn’t miss a chance to participate in conference holding a title „Integrating migrants into the labour market: a win win situation for all“. The event took place on 25 June 2015 in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

The third-country nationals immigrating into the EU to work, study or with the purpose of family reunification have generally lower rates of employment and activity than the native population and are facing a wide range of challenges and disadvantages while accessing the labour market. We discussed with the participants the need of transparent and harmonized admission procedures among the Member States; improvement in access to information, education and language support for migrants; implementation of appropriate legislation which prevent exploitation of vulnerable groups; recognition of foreigner qualifications; and implementation of the right of free movement for migrants legally residing in the EU territory.

The event is followed by the public consultation on Blue cards open to all citizens, organisations and third-country nationals. More information is available (ici.


The statement by Alessandro Perelli, Vice-president of ALDA: “The new Tunisia have became a target of terrorism because it adopted European progressive values”

The statement by Alessandro Perelli, Vice-president of ALDA: “The new Tunisia have became a target of terrorism because it adopted European progressive values”

The terrorist attacks of IS (Islamic State) are more frequent also in Europe and have caused hundreds of innocent victims. The European Union finds itself on the crossroads. On the one hand, it is its responsibility to accept the political refugees and provide them with hospitality. On the other hand, EU should put in place a common policy, which should provide to all those people who are willing to leave their own countries and land onto the Italian coasts with a decent life in their origin country, instead. At the same time, the EU must face the challenge posed by terrorism, which exploits migration fluxed to get stronger.

But the tragedy of Sousse, in Tunisia, shows that IS has a precise strategy and their acting is not random. The new Tunisia, lay and democratic, became again the target of terrorism, after the massacre in the museum in Tunis. This attack hit very severely the Tunisian nation and its people, who had the courage to choose the same values of democracy and liberty, through its new Constitution, promoting the respect to all religions, the defence of the minorities, equal opportunities and the active citizenship which is the base of the modern and progressive European society.

ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy is going to continue with its work together with Lam Echalm, and its President Moncef Ben Slimane and other Tunisian friend who joint the way of the democratic and civilian laws promotion; and is going to strengthen the effort to be able to quickly introduce Local Democracy Agency in Tunisia, the first LDA in the Mediterranean area.

The statement by Alessandro Perelli, Vice-president of ALDA: “The new Tunisia have became a target of terrorism because it adopted European progressive values”

The terrorist attacks of IS (Islamic State) are more frequent also in Europe and have caused hundreds of innocent victims. The European Union finds itself on the crossroads. On the one hand, it is its responsibility to accept the political refugees and provide them with hospitality. On the other hand, EU should put in place a common policy, which should provide to all those people who are willing to leave their own countries and land onto the Italian coasts with a decent life in their origin country, instead. At the same time, the EU must face the challenge posed by terrorism, which exploits migration fluxed to get stronger.

But the tragedy of Sousse, in Tunisia, shows that IS has a precise strategy and their acting is not random. The new Tunisia, lay and democratic, became again the target of terrorism, after the massacre in the museum in Tunis. This attack hit very severely the Tunisian nation and its people, who had the courage to choose the same values of democracy and liberty, through its new Constitution, promoting the respect to all religions, the defence of the minorities, equal opportunities and the active citizenship which is the base of the modern and progressive European society.

ALDA – European Association for Local Democracy is going to continue with its work together with Lam Echalm, and its President Moncef Ben Slimane and other Tunisian friend who joint the way of the democratic and civilian laws promotion; and is going to strengthen the effort to be able to quickly introduce Local Democracy Agency in Tunisia, the first LDA in the Mediterranean area.


ALDA took part of the panel debate "Small is Beautiful" in Brussels

On 17 June, Ela Horoszko, Project Manager and Eastern Partnership Coordinator, took part in the panel debate entitled “Small is Beautiful: Increasing Democracy at the Local Level”.

The event was moderated by Ryan Heath from Politico. Ben Duke from Keele University took part to present his academic research on participatory democracy. The event was attended by a mix of stakeholders form the EU institutions, NGOs, industry and media.

On 17 June, Ela Horoszko, Project Manager and Eastern Partnership Coordinator, took part in the panel debate entitled “Small is Beautiful: Increasing Democracy at the Local Level”.

The event was moderated by Ryan Heath from Politico. Ben Duke from Keele University took part to present his academic research on participatory democracy. The event was attended by a mix of stakeholders form the EU institutions, NGOs, industry and media.


“Reshaping Europe” together in Brussels

On 23 and 24 June, ALDA has participated in the large-scale conference on „Reshaping Europe: Civil Society’s Perspective on the Europe of Tomorrow“ organized by Various Interests Group III of the EECS in Brussels.

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The objective of the conference was to examine and review the work of the Group over the last five years and provide space for discussion with the representatives of civil society on the future challenges and developments.

The seminar “The Europe of Today and Tomorrow: What Challenges? What Perspectives” was an occasion to reflect topics such as the role of culture and European identities in the civil society, social innovation and social economy, need for restructuration of European education systems or innovative approaches to measures of the economic growth. In the afternoon, ALDA contributed to the outcomes of the working group Participative Democracy and Active Citizenship and of its sub-group on volunteering. Three recommendations were produced: strengthening the motivation of volunteers by promoting the values and benefits of voluntary work; improving the infrastructure for volunteering by setting and upgrading national legislations, focusing on quality of the work and ensuring sustainable and accessible funding; and setting up the measurement of voluntary work in order to improve the statistical data on organizations and improve the recognition of voluntary work by European employers.

In the morning of 24 June, the recommendation of each group were presented and discussed. The session was also an opportunity to reflect on the future perspectives of the EU in relation to the civil society, summarizing the main challenges and opportunities Europe faces today.

On 23 and 24 June, ALDA has participated in the large-scale conference on „Reshaping Europe: Civil Society’s Perspective on the Europe of Tomorrow“ organized by Various Interests Group III of the EECS in Brussels.

***

The objective of the conference was to examine and review the work of the Group over the last five years and provide space for discussion with the representatives of civil society on the future challenges and developments.

The seminar “The Europe of Today and Tomorrow: What Challenges? What Perspectives” was an occasion to reflect topics such as the role of culture and European identities in the civil society, social innovation and social economy, need for restructuration of European education systems or innovative approaches to measures of the economic growth. In the afternoon, ALDA contributed to the outcomes of the working group Participative Democracy and Active Citizenship and of its sub-group on volunteering. Three recommendations were produced: strengthening the motivation of volunteers by promoting the values and benefits of voluntary work; improving the infrastructure for volunteering by setting and upgrading national legislations, focusing on quality of the work and ensuring sustainable and accessible funding; and setting up the measurement of voluntary work in order to improve the statistical data on organizations and improve the recognition of voluntary work by European employers.

In the morning of 24 June, the recommendation of each group were presented and discussed. The session was also an opportunity to reflect on the future perspectives of the EU in relation to the civil society, summarizing the main challenges and opportunities Europe faces today.


The cooperation between Lower-Normandy and Macedonia supports the 8th French film festival in Macedonia

C'est avec un profond regret et une profonde tristesse que nous vous informons que notre Sasa Marinkov est décédé aujourd'hui, samedi 23 janvier 2021.
En tant que délégué de l'Agence pour la démocratie locale de la Serbie centrale et méridionale, Sasa fait partie de l'ALDA et du Réseau des Balkans pour la démocratie locale - BNLD depuis plus d'une décennie.
TAujourd'hui, nous avons perdu un membre précieux de notre famille. Il était un travailleur modeste et visionnaire, engagé, un combattant pour des changements positifs dans la communauté.
Plus important encore, nous avons perdu aujourd'hui un véritable ami qui nous accompagnait dans tous nos hauts et nos bas. Ami dont nous nous souviendrions vraiment et que nous adorerions jusqu'à la fin des jours.
Sasa, nous vous remercions pour tout ce que vous avez fait pour nous et votre communauté. Nous continuerons à nous battre pour votre cause: c'est la seule chose que nous pouvons faire pour atteindre votre vision.
Il nous manquera énormément maintenant et il en sera de même dans le futur.
 
Farwell, Sasa
De Oriano Otocan, président d'ALDA; Antonella Valmorbida, secrétaire générale de l'ALDA; le personnel de l'ALDA; le Conseil d'Administration de l'ALDA et les collègues Délégués

The French film festival in Macedonia took place from the 17th until the 20th of June 2015 for the eight year in a row, organized by the French Institute in Skopje and supported by the Region Lower Normandy.
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This festival’s main objective is to promote French culture in Macedonia through the seventh art, French film. During one week, movies from the Cannes festival, as well as some classic and important movies from the French box-office, were presented for the Macedonian public.

This year, the festival also opened a program in the form of workshops and a competition in the field of film and new media, dedicated to Macedonian youth. They had the opportunity to create their own short movie through new media using their Smartphone. The festival proposed 2 workshops where the young participants met with professionals from the Association Metamophorsis, partner of the cooperation between Lower-Normandy and Macedonia, who gave them technical knowledge and support on how to construct their video clip. The main goal of this action was to create a reflection on the freedom of speech, and to show to the youngsters that they have the tools to express themselves.

The short movie of Kosta Lazarov was the winner of the competition, and won the prize to participate to the French festival Off Courts in Trouville, in the Region Lower Normandy. He will have the opportunity to create a new short movie with the support of film professionals. This prize has been offered by the Regional council of Lower Normandy and the association Off of Trouville.

The French film festival is supported by the cooperation between Lower Normandy and Macedonia, coordinated by ALDA.


20 June 2015 – World Refugee Day: Immigration, reception and SPRAR in the spotlight

On 20th June 2015, coinciding with the World Refugee Day, the Association Embassy of LDA Zavidovici, in cooperation with Amnesty International, “Médicins sans Frontières” and Cavana educational community, organised an event on immigration, raising awareness on reception and SPRAR.

***

The event took place in Brescia, and saw the participation of some volunteers that shared their experiences and witnesses on this emergent serious problem, affecting Italy and all Europe in these last years.

Mr. Agostino Zanotti, Director of the Association LDA Zavidovici, introduced the event, indicating the first shocking figure: only in the last 5 month, 1.750 desperate people lost their life trying to reach our coasts. And for them who survive the terrible sea journey, another sad obstacle remains: the “European wall”, which counts lot of countries that often want to reject them. His intervention also included a video realised by INTERNAZIONALE, that shows some scenes filmed in the Strait of Sicily and Lampedusa. The video collected the witnesses of physicians and volunteers involved in activities of rescue and assistance to immigrants on the field, stating the dramatic situation and confirming the fact that the Mediterranean is the most dangerous migratory route of the world.

But why should we welcome them? And why they try to escape from their countries? Firstly, we have duty to guarantee the inviolable rights of the individual: in Italian Constitution it’s clearly expressed the right to have a free and dignified existence and the right of asylum seeking. In addiction we always should consider the terrible circumstances that motivate them to get away from their mother lands: conflicts, hunger, poverty and tortures still affect many countries. Amnesty International declare that in 112 countries torture is still admitted by law. The estimate number of refugees in 2014 is 59 millions: the 86% of them have been hosted by the third world countries; only the 14% has been helped by the industrialised ones, and that’s a shame. Refugees mostly come from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. Italy, despite the fact that it is the first territory in which refugees land, it is only at the 6th position in the list of countries hosting immigrants, preceded by Germany, USA, France, Sweden and Turkey.

The structured receptions provided by the SPRAR programme, from the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016, are supposed to be 21.000. The programme do not provide just the first assistance, but it also aims to the rehabilitation of refugees’ potentials, in order to give them the hope and the opportunity to start a new life and be protagonists of their renewed life.

Mr. Andrea Ciocca form Bergamo, Italy, works with “Médicins sans frontiers” (MSF) since 2008, operating in particular in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Ukraine and Lampedusa as last mission. MSF has the role to provide health services and medical care in emergency situations, mostly caused by outbreaks, hunger, conflicts and wars. Andrea tells his story and his experiences, explaining the work that MSF is doing in displaced people’s camps and refugees camps: in particular they are working to reduce malnutrition, to improve vaccination, and they are now focusing also on mental diseases and sexual violence. In Italy, they are acting on health services in camps for refugees, during the first aid on rescue at sea, and on rehabilitation of torture victims. On behalf of MSF, Andrea calls for three urgent needs: the responsibility of Governments to help for rescues, the “demolition of the wall” that Europe is building rejecting to host immigrants, and a more human assistance to ensure the minimal standards of human rights. He also introduced the Campaign #milionidipassi (millions steps) to help refugees.

This intervention was followed by the one from Simone, a volunteer that works for the Italian section of Amnesty International, a movement where volunteer are particularly involved, that acted on this issue with the Campaign SOS Europe. He started with a short introduction to clarify the meaning of different words (often improperly used) such as citizen, foreign, non-EU member state, migrant,  immigrant, displaced person, asylum seeker or refugee. Then he explained in details the different programmes dedicated to the firs aid: “Operazione Mare Nostrum” and “Triton”.

Operazione Mare Nostrum was an Italian solution under the responsibility of the Italian Navy, activated in 2014 to respond to the dramatic situation occurred in 2013, when 500 people lost their life during their sea journey, very close to Italian coasts. The plan included the interception of boats and the rescue at the sea. It lasted one year, 140.000 people were saved for the total cost of 100 million of euros, which means around 700 euros for each human life. Considered too much expensive, the programme was interrupted, and this choice was furthermore justified by the fact that the issue of immigration was not only an Italian problem, but an European matter. Operazione Mare Nostrum was consequently replaced in 2015 by another programme, called Triton, which was really cheaper compared with the first one: it costed 2/3 less. This solution was very appreciated for the protection of the State’s finances, but it caused a lot of deaths more: while in 2014, with Operazione Mare Nostrum, from 1st January to 20th April, we counted 17 victims, in 2015 with Triton, always from 1st January to 20th April the number of victims increased up to 1.700. Considering this data, what is the price that a human life deserves?

Amnesty International asks to EU to improve the operations in Mediterranean Sea and in Aegean Sea, assure legal migration to reach Europe, ensure the asylum right and stop cooperation and migration with Countries who violate human rights.

Among the interventions, also the witness of Juan, from Uruguay is very important. Juan is a man victim of the law of the state of emergency, used in 1970 in Uruguay to repress political opposition. He became a political prisoner, being arrested in 1971, and he was victim of horrible tortures as well as all 17.000 prisoners. Violence was not only affecting prisoners, but it was threaten all citizens. He survived thanks to music, writing new melodies and trying to play them with his guitar when allowed. He got his freedom after 13 years and half.

Another volunteer working in Cavana educational community shared his experience, talking about the protection of children that reach our country alone, without parents. They typically come from Albania or Kosovo, facing a very hard journey, looking for a better future. Unaccompanied children are protected by the New York Convention of 1989, which provide them with the possibility of having a residency permit until the age of 18. Children can be also adopted by their relatives, if there are some in the same country, they must be financially supported by the Municipality which host them.

The event was a great occasion to better understand rules and dynamics of this urgent matter, listening to the witnesses of people directly involved in operations to save human lives. ALDA has been working for many years with the Association LDA Zavidovici, and we really appreciate the commitment and the dedication to improving solidarity and better life conditions.

On 20th June 2015, coinciding with the World Refugee Day, the Association Embassy of LDA Zavidovici, in cooperation with Amnesty International, “Médicins sans Frontières” and Cavana educational community, organised an event on immigration, raising awareness on reception and SPRAR.

***

The event took place in Brescia, and saw the participation of some volunteers that shared their experiences and witnesses on this emergent serious problem, affecting Italy and all Europe in these last years.

Mr. Agostino Zanotti, Director of the Association LDA Zavidovici, introduced the event, indicating the first shocking figure: only in the last 5 month, 1.750 desperate people lost their life trying to reach our coasts. And for them who survive the terrible sea journey, another sad obstacle remains: the “European wall”, which counts lot of countries that often want to reject them. His intervention also included a video realised by INTERNAZIONALE, that shows some scenes filmed in the Strait of Sicily and Lampedusa. The video collected the witnesses of physicians and volunteers involved in activities of rescue and assistance to immigrants on the field, stating the dramatic situation and confirming the fact that the Mediterranean is the most dangerous migratory route of the world.

But why should we welcome them? And why they try to escape from their countries? Firstly, we have duty to guarantee the inviolable rights of the individual: in Italian Constitution it’s clearly expressed the right to have a free and dignified existence and the right of asylum seeking. In addiction we always should consider the terrible circumstances that motivate them to get away from their mother lands: conflicts, hunger, poverty and tortures still affect many countries. Amnesty International declare that in 112 countries torture is still admitted by law. The estimate number of refugees in 2014 is 59 millions: the 86% of them have been hosted by the third world countries; only the 14% has been helped by the industrialised ones, and that’s a shame. Refugees mostly come from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. Italy, despite the fact that it is the first territory in which refugees land, it is only at the 6th position in the list of countries hosting immigrants, preceded by Germany, USA, France, Sweden and Turkey.

The structured receptions provided by the SPRAR programme, from the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016, are supposed to be 21.000. The programme do not provide just the first assistance, but it also aims to the rehabilitation of refugees’ potentials, in order to give them the hope and the opportunity to start a new life and be protagonists of their renewed life.

Mr. Andrea Ciocca form Bergamo, Italy, works with “Médicins sans frontiers” (MSF) since 2008, operating in particular in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Ukraine and Lampedusa as last mission. MSF has the role to provide health services and medical care in emergency situations, mostly caused by outbreaks, hunger, conflicts and wars. Andrea tells his story and his experiences, explaining the work that MSF is doing in displaced people’s camps and refugees camps: in particular they are working to reduce malnutrition, to improve vaccination, and they are now focusing also on mental diseases and sexual violence. In Italy, they are acting on health services in camps for refugees, during the first aid on rescue at sea, and on rehabilitation of torture victims. On behalf of MSF, Andrea calls for three urgent needs: the responsibility of Governments to help for rescues, the “demolition of the wall” that Europe is building rejecting to host immigrants, and a more human assistance to ensure the minimal standards of human rights. He also introduced the Campaign #milionidipassi (millions steps) to help refugees.

This intervention was followed by the one from Simone, a volunteer that works for the Italian section of Amnesty International, a movement where volunteer are particularly involved, that acted on this issue with the Campaign SOS Europe. He started with a short introduction to clarify the meaning of different words (often improperly used) such as citizen, foreign, non-EU member state, migrant,  immigrant, displaced person, asylum seeker or refugee. Then he explained in details the different programmes dedicated to the firs aid: “Operazione Mare Nostrum” and “Triton”.

Operazione Mare Nostrum was an Italian solution under the responsibility of the Italian Navy, activated in 2014 to respond to the dramatic situation occurred in 2013, when 500 people lost their life during their sea journey, very close to Italian coasts. The plan included the interception of boats and the rescue at the sea. It lasted one year, 140.000 people were saved for the total cost of 100 million of euros, which means around 700 euros for each human life. Considered too much expensive, the programme was interrupted, and this choice was furthermore justified by the fact that the issue of immigration was not only an Italian problem, but an European matter. Operazione Mare Nostrum was consequently replaced in 2015 by another programme, called Triton, which was really cheaper compared with the first one: it costed 2/3 less. This solution was very appreciated for the protection of the State’s finances, but it caused a lot of deaths more: while in 2014, with Operazione Mare Nostrum, from 1st January to 20th April, we counted 17 victims, in 2015 with Triton, always from 1st January to 20th April the number of victims increased up to 1.700. Considering this data, what is the price that a human life deserves?

Amnesty International asks to EU to improve the operations in Mediterranean Sea and in Aegean Sea, assure legal migration to reach Europe, ensure the asylum right and stop cooperation and migration with Countries who violate human rights.

Among the interventions, also the witness of Juan, from Uruguay is very important. Juan is a man victim of the law of the state of emergency, used in 1970 in Uruguay to repress political opposition. He became a political prisoner, being arrested in 1971, and he was victim of horrible tortures as well as all 17.000 prisoners. Violence was not only affecting prisoners, but it was threaten all citizens. He survived thanks to music, writing new melodies and trying to play them with his guitar when allowed. He got his freedom after 13 years and half.

Another volunteer working in Cavana educational community shared his experience, talking about the protection of children that reach our country alone, without parents. They typically come from Albania or Kosovo, facing a very hard journey, looking for a better future. Unaccompanied children are protected by the New York Convention of 1989, which provide them with the possibility of having a residency permit until the age of 18. Children can be also adopted by their relatives, if there are some in the same country, they must be financially supported by the Municipality which host them.

The event was a great occasion to better understand rules and dynamics of this urgent matter, listening to the witnesses of people directly involved in operations to save human lives. ALDA has been working for many years with the Association LDA Zavidovici, and we really appreciate the commitment and the dedication to improving solidarity and better life conditions.


Project EYES: 8-days training hosted in Vicenza, Italy

The 8-day training of Project EYES – European Youth Environment Sentinels – is taking place in Vicenza, Italy, from 21 to 28 June.

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Forty-five participants coming from 15 countries are now involved in the training, that in these first days gave them the opportunity to know each other, to learn more about the ERASMUS+ programme, and to start working on the exchange of good practices on health and environmental protection.

The project, funded by ERASMUS+ programme, aims to put the civic participation of young Europeans at the service of health and environment. By offering young people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to interact, share knowledge and debate, this proposal aims at reducing the distance between citizens and Europe – both as an institution and as a combination of communities and cultures.

The main objective is to involve youth workers active in the field of  health promotion and protection of the environment, and to ensure that their views are heard at European level. To do this, mixed pairs of “sentinels” (observes, alert and local stakeholders on topics of health and environment launchers) will be formed by each of our partners. Their participation in activities under the project is given a “multiplier” role through local initiatives: these pairs will give young people and others in their community the opportunity to be active on issues related to health and the environment, and to make recommendations at the local, national, and European levels.

During this week they will also have the opportunity to participate to one of the most important manifestatiosn for environmental protection, called Festambiente, and will also meet other forty-five participants attending to another project, T-TRUST, coordinated by Margherita Social Cooperative with ALDA as partner, focusing on contributions to prevent early school leaving which is taking place in Sandrigo (VI).

Regardez la video report of TViweb about the visit of EYES participants in Arcugnano, Lago di Fimon.

The 8-day training of Project EYES – European Youth Environment Sentinels – is taking place in Vicenza, Italy, from 21 to 28 June.

***

Forty-five participants coming from 15 countries are now involved in the training, that in these first days gave them the opportunity to know each other, to learn more about the ERASMUS+ programme, and to start working on the exchange of good practices on health and environmental protection.

The project, funded by ERASMUS+ programme, aims to put the civic participation of young Europeans at the service of health and environment. By offering young people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to interact, share knowledge and debate, this proposal aims at reducing the distance between citizens and Europe – both as an institution and as a combination of communities and cultures.

The main objective is to involve youth workers active in the field of  health promotion and protection of the environment, and to ensure that their views are heard at European level. To do this, mixed pairs of “sentinels” (observes, alert and local stakeholders on topics of health and environment launchers) will be formed by each of our partners. Their participation in activities under the project is given a “multiplier” role through local initiatives: these pairs will give young people and others in their community the opportunity to be active on issues related to health and the environment, and to make recommendations at the local, national, and European levels.

During this week they will also have the opportunity to participate to one of the most important manifestatiosn for environmental protection, called Festambiente, and will also meet other forty-five participants attending to another project, T-TRUST, coordinated by Margherita Social Cooperative with ALDA as partner, focusing on contributions to prevent early school leaving which is taking place in Sandrigo (VI).

Regardez la video report of TViweb about the visit of EYES participants in Arcugnano, Lago di Fimon.