Within the framework of the project Un-conventional constitution, led by the Directorate of Youth Policy of the Municipality of Vicenza and focused on a comparative analysis of constitutional charters, a group of 36 young Italians aged 16-30 met with ALDA’s staff of the Strasbourg office on Monday, 18 March.
The meeting took place in conjunction with the plenary session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and was an occasion of visiting ALDA’s stand and being informed on the activities of the organisation.
The Un-conventional constitution project, funded by Regione Veneto (Italy), aimed at fostering the engagement, the social inclusion and active citizenship of young people. It was an opportunity for all the students of the Vicenza high schools to debate and share views on the constitutional texts of Italy, USA, China and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union by applying creative and artistic approaches. The authors of the best analysis were granted the opportunity of a 4 days’ visit to Strasbourg, capital of Europe.
Aldo Xhani, ALDA project manager, welcomed the participants at ALDA’s headquarters in the Council of Europe and provided them with a general overview of the organisation’s main traits and of its role of renowned European stakeholder in the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level. Focus was put on ALDA’s distinctiveness of bringing together local authorities and CSOs and on the wide geographical area covered by its activities such as wider Europe, the Caucasus and Northern Africa.
The introduction was followed by a questions and answers session in which the participants required further information on the possibilities of a major impact as regards the development of democracy in Northern Africa as well as on concrete examples of European projects. As for the latter, the interest focused in particular on European programmes such as Youth in Action and Europe for Citizens, with special attention on the project management cycle. POPEYE, granted by the European Commission in 2012 and whose implementation phase has been launched this March, was showcased as a concrete ALDA project in the youth field, coping with a topic of strong impact such as youth employment in rural areas.