Young participants from Croatia, France, Italy, Malta, the Republic of North Macedonia and Romania took part in the summer school “Get involved. Participate for Europe and your Town”. After presentations, workshops and visits to different institutions, they left Strasbourg for their hometowns on Saturday – spreading the message of European cooperation to their communities.
The summer school was part of ALDA’s project INTACT. It familiarised the participants with the concepts of youth involvement and democracy on local and European level. Moreover, it also gave them the opportunity to learn about project management and creating youth participation projects themselves.Participants were actively involved in activities and discussions and it was their contribution that made the event a success.
Activities included presentations given by representatives of the Municipality of Strasbourg, the Council of Europe and the Director of the Association of Local Democracy Agencies. Working groups on European values and democratic principles were organised. The summer school was an important occasion to deepen these topics and share opinions.Although each participant expressed his or her own ideas, there was a common feeling about the most important values for the whole group. This agreement on basic principles can be considered a first achievement of building European identity.
A simulation of European Parliament work was also organised to make participants more familiar with EU institutions and to put into practice the knowledge gained in the workshop on EU institutions.
To top the programme off, two visits were organised. The first one led the participants to the European Parliament, where the MEP Rainer Wieland received them warmly. They then and one at the Council of Europe where François Friederich held a lesson about democratic principles and a presentation of the role that the Council has in this field.
The Summer School concluded with a workshop about Project Management.This was a useful opportunity for participants to learn how create their own projects. They also developed ideas about how to improve active citizenship and encourage young people to become more active both locally and at EU level.
The project INTACT is co-funded by the European Commission in the framework of the « Europe for Citizens » programme. ALDA wishes to thank the Municipality of Strasbourg and the Crédit Mutuel for their generous support.