3 days of international activities within VIT project
ALDA organized three days of activities from 17th to 19th April in Pula. These events were the last international events organised within the VIT project, which will be ended by the end of June.
This project has been lasted for two years and aims at facilitating debate, action and reflexion between partners on how citizens may enhance governance in Europe and how town twinning can contribute to the dissemination of European Union values and the construction of a European identity. At the same time, the project wishes to revitalize existing town-twinning relations of the partner towns and initiate new twinning.
The first event organised on Wednesday 17th April aimed at presenting the results of the VIT project and conclusions that can be made on the basis of the two last years of project. It was also the occasion to present to participants the core of the final publication of the VIT project that will be edited by the end of June. This publication will show and explain the steps of creating a network, the benefits of twinning and the opportunities for citizens to actively participate to the development of the society, mainly through volunteering.
The second day of activities consisted in an interactive and very participative activity called "Creative Café". The main goal of this activity was to brainstorm and proposed recommendations integrating the contributions of experts and practitioners on the future of town twinning and the role of citizens. Participants were divided in four tables, each of them having a specific theme. The four topics of discussion were "Benefits of town twinning for Local Authorities and citizens", "Cooperation between LA and CSOs for the long-term success of town twinning", "Citizen participation and role of volunteering to keep town twinning alive" and "attractive/innovative forms of town twinning and renewal of issues tackled". Each participant spent 20 minutes on each table before being asked to move to another table to contribute to another discussion. This Creative Café led to very interesting discussions among participants and draft recommendations for the development of future successful town-twinning.
Finally, the last day of activity was dedicated to an international Conference on the 2013 European Year for Citizens. This conference was organised in Pula in the context of Croatian Accession and gathered high-level experts. Ms Degen from the Task Force for the European Year for Citizens in the European Commission presented the European Year for Citizens, the context of its adoption, its aims and expected results. She also explained the role of the European Commission in the preparation and implementation of the EYC, and the ways the European Commission's work is articulated with the European Alliance for the Year. Then Mr Suesser introduced to participants the European Year for Citizens Alliance (EYAC) and Ms Rauzan, the Croatian Alliance for the Year. All these presentations allowed participants to have a complete understanding of the Year and of the respective role of each stakeholder.
The second part of the conference will focus on the European Citizenship in Croatia in the context of accession. Ms Tomičić from the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs in Croatia explained the role and tools of this office, of CSOs and Public Bodies to make the EU citizenship and rights attached a reality for Croatian citizens. Her presentation was completed by concrete examples of projects implemented in the field on European Citizenship in Croatia by the Foundation for partnership and civil society development. The conference was opened and moderated by Mr Oriano Otocan, President of ALDA.
For more information, please contact Marine Henry, ALDA project manager, firstname.lastname@example.org