Pavel – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Sun, 15 Oct 2017 15:11:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 Outcome of World Youth Conference Sri Lanka /outcome-of-world-youth-conference-sri-lanka/ Mon, 02 Jun 2014 13:16:53 +0000 /?p=5354 AEGEE-Europe was present in the World Youth Conference in Sri Lanka, with the participation of our Liaison Officer towards the European Youth Forum, Marko Grdosic, and liaison officer towards United Nations, Laia Garcia working on young people’s involvement and participation in the post 2015 MDG process of the UN.

World Youth Conference

During the 1 week conference, representatives from all the Governments in the world (both Government Official from each of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and youth representatives from each of the National Youth Councils) together with international youth prepresentatives from the biggest  International Youth Networks in the world, met and dived into hard and heated discussions and negotiations, on what should be the worldwide position from young people, to be sent to Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations for the upcomming process of the Post 2015 Millenium Development Goals Agenda.

Among the topics negotiated you could find: Poverty Erradication, Good Governance, Access to Quality Education, Nutrition Security, Healthy life styles, Employment & Entrepeneurship, Gender Equality, Ending Systemic inequalities, Empowering Marginalized Youth, Inclusion through Sports and Culture, Sustainability and Peace among others. Find the full outcome document.

AEGEE had the opportunity to participate fully in the discussions and negotiations being both present with Marko and Laia, but also represented by Astrid Schrader who was part of the official facilitators team of the World Youth Conference Team, ensuring proper and guided discussions throughout the whole event.

AEGEE-Europe looks forward to the reaction of the Secretary General of the United Nations. The World Youth Conference has been a great step in asking young people about the Post 2015 MDG agenda, and including them in the discussion. Now UN must ensure that young people’s voices are not a mere paper archived in the UN Headquartes, but that these recommendations are fully endorses by all UN Systam bodies, world Governments and reflected in the final outcome decisions regarding the new Millenium Development Goals.

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Spanish Electoral Board forbids the EU to promote voting in Spain. /spanish-electoral-board-forbids-the-eu-to-promote-voting-in-spain/ Mon, 19 May 2014 13:05:38 +0000 /?p=5270

On a resolution issued on the 20th of March, the Spanish Electoral Board (administrative organ that veils for the neutrality of the elections) banned the possibility of a direct encouragement of Spanish citizens to vote by any public. Concretely, it forbids the public powers to use images of people voting, urns or slogans urging to participate in the election process.

AEGEE believes that such an interpretation of the law does not follow the democratic values, since one of the pillars of a democratic society is participation in the election of their representatives, and the right to vote should be encouraged with stronger means than the right to abstain. Indeed, this decision is justified by interpreting that “the right to abstain is an option as legitimate as the right to vote”, thus only information about the elections can be provided, however any incentive to participate to the elections is not authorized.

We would like to point out that Spain is the only country in Europe with such legislation. We recommend the Spanish authorities to analyze the context and the situation in other European countries. The diversity of rules that we have in the European elections leads to a situation where we have on the one hand the Belgian law, where it is compulsory for citizens to vote in elections; whereas on the other hand, in Spain, it is not even allowed to promote voting.

AEGEE, which is currently carrying out the Y Vote 2014 campaign to encourage students and first time voters to participate in the upcoming European elections on 22nd-25th of May, knows well how big a challenge can be to bring the trust back to the citizens. We believe that Member States, instead of taking a neutral role, should rather support civil society organisations in fighting political disaffection by encouraging their citizens to cast their vote and to participate in the decision-making process at all levels.

In the end, one should not forget that abstaining to vote is far different from casting a white ballot. If the former can be explained by a wide range of reasons (lack of awareness, disinterest, lack of time…), the latter is interpreted as a sign of nonconformity and lack of proper candidate to represent them. To sum up, abstention highlights a dysfunction on the elector side , whereas a white ballot underlines a lack of suitable options on the candidates side. On top of that, it has been shown already that politicians are not taking abstention seriously enough to change anything in their political stand.

At this very same moment, the Y Vote campaign is touring in a bus around Spain, visiting Madrid, Valladolid, A Coruña, Oviedo, Santander, Bilbao, Burgos, Zaragoza and Barcelona, with debates with MEP candidates, street actions and a special focus on youth eployment and the solutions to the problems of European youth. The bus tour will finish on May 20th, 5 days before the elections take place in Spain.

Written by Pablo Hernández (AEGEE-Alicante), Policy Officer of AEGEE-Europe for Youth Participation

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AEGEE-Europe Regrets the Referendum in Crimea /aegee-europe-regrets-the-referendum-in-crimea/ Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:05:43 +0000 /?p=4352 On March 16, 2014, upon the prior decision of the National Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the referendum was held on the future status of the territory of Ukraine and possible succession of Crimean Autonomous Republic to the Russian Federation.

We consider this referendum as illegal and illegitimate and contradicting first of all to the Constitution of Ukraine. Though the right of self-determination exists (UN Charter, Article 1), the situation is more complex in the peninsula as Crimea is voting to be not only independent but for joining the Russian Federation. Secondly, such referenda should be agreed upon by the country’s government whereas in this case, Crimea organised it by itself, which relates to secession rather than self determination. In addition, the referendum happens in a context of illegal occupation by unidentified military forces (likely to be Russian) of the territory of Ukraine,  which is in violation with the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapon (Budapest Memorandum of 1994) where the Russian Federation agreed to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine, thus its results could not be recognized. We deeply regret the organization of this referendum itself. In our belief it would bring only additional tensions and escalation of the regional situation, thus harming directly the regional security.

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during the Crimean referendum, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Residents of Ukraine’s Crimea region are voting in a contentious referendum on whether to split off and seek annexation by Russia. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

In our deep conviction, the Ukrainian people should decide their future as a united and independent nation. In this regard, only diplomatic and peaceful talks with the respect of all international law norms (including territorial integrity of Ukraine) may allow Ukraine, Russian Federation and the European Union to avoid the further escalation of the situation. However, the results of Crimea Referendum could not be considered as legitimate and they only complicated future efforts to resolve crisis. In all our previous statements we stated clearly for numerous times, that there is no grounding allowingRussian Federation to intervene in Ukrainian internal affairs through its respective actions in Crimean Peninsula.

In addition to this, we strongly call  the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs to evaluate as soon as possible the existing situation over Crimea and decide on certain and urgent measures/sanctions against the Russian Federation, in line with the declaration of the EU Heads of State and Government of the EU of 6 March, unless the Russian side would not take real actions and moves for the de-escalation of the existing situation. The EU should speak and act in one voice: separate negotiations and solutions are not an option anymore for overcoming the existing deadlock.

Simultaneously, we encourage all our AEGEE members in Ukraine, and particularly in AEGEE-Sevastopol, to continue their further activities in a working routine and in the European spirit of AEGEE/European Students’ Forum.

Written by Armenak Minasyants, the Policy Officer of AEGEE-Europe for European Neighbourhood Policy.

AEGEE Eastern Partnership Project Team

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AEGEE-Europe invites you to our press conference on establishing a pro-European movement in Ukraine /aegee-europe-invites-you-to-our-press-conference-on-establishing-a-pro-european-movement-in-ukraine/ Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:36:05 +0000 /?p=4338 Context

Ukraine needs more than ever a strong civil society, connected with other European organizations and able to provide the citizens of Ukraine with opportunities to participate in the public debate in their country and in the European level. Therefore, on 6th – 8th March, AEGEE-Europe will be in Kyiv as part of the delegation of European Movement International,  to involve youth and students in the establishment of a permanent European Movement in Ukraine.

The delegation will meet with local EU representatives, Polish and German Ambassadors to Ukraine, Pro-European Foundations, local media, Ukrainian Parliamentarians, business and energy industry representations, grassroots political movements as well as the British, German and Polish chambers of commerce in Ukraine.

Full details of the delegation’s programme (as of 06/03/14) can be downloaded here: Kiev programme

The Delegation

The delegation to establish a European Movement in Ukraine will be headed by the European Movement International’s President Mr Jo Leinen MEP and will consist of European Movement representatives from Poland and the United Kingdom, AEGEE-Europe – The European Students’ Forum as well as representatives from the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, the Union of European Federalists and the Young European Federalists.

Technical Information

The press conference will take place at 11:00 (EET) on Friday 7th March at the Ukrinform Press Center: Ukrinform, Bohdan Khmelnytsky St, Kyiv, Ukraine 01001

For accreditation, please contact the Ukrinform Press Centre: +38(044) 279-22-42
[ENDS]

Notes to Editors 

1. AEGEE-Europe is the biggest students’ network in Europe, gathering 200 local groups in 40 countries. We strive for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. Through our activities, we empower students and young people in Europe to take an active role in society. AEGEE strengthens mutual understanding among young Europeans and brings Europe closer to young people.

2. The European Movement International (EMI) is one of the largest pan and pro-European civil society organisations with currently more than 70 Member Organisations, bringing together representatives from European associations, political parties, enterprises and trade unions.www.europeanmovement.eu

Media Contact

Miguel Gallardo: +32 487 410 809 // miguel.gallardo@aegee.org

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Erasmus: Will you Vote? /erasmus-will-you-vote/ Tue, 18 Feb 2014 11:08:07 +0000 /?p=4265 Brussels, Belgium – 11th of February 2014 – The Launching Conference of the Erasmus Voting Assessment (EVA) project took place at the European Parliament in Brussels.

EVA_Conference_web_spotlight

The European Students Forum (AEGEE-Europe), with the support of its partners – the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and Generation Europe Foundation (GEF) – organised a conference to launch the new EU funded project under the Lifelong Learning Programme: Erasmus Voting Assessment. The event, hosted by the Parliament’s Intergroup on Youth Issues, gathered several important stakeholders. Doris Pack, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the CULT Committee and Rapporteur of the European Parliament for Erasmus+ opened the conference, giving valuable input and stressing the importance of exploring the influence of the Erasmus programme on EU citizenship. Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the Erasmus Unit of DG EAC, represented the European Commission. She stressed the value and impact of the project and stated that its results will reinforce the importance of Erasmus+ to policy makers and MEPs. Frank Welz, Vice President of the European Sociological Association and member of the Advisory board of the EVA project, also joined the discussion, providing an academic research perspective.  The audience was enriched with members from several youth organisations and EU platforms interested in the project and its outcomes.

The partners presented the main project milestones so far, such as the background report and the two surveys, created by GEF, as well as the promotional campaign, designed by ESN. The first survey aims to explore the attitude of students towards European identity and the European Parliament elections that will take place in May 2014. The second survey will be released directly after the elections and explore whether students actually voted. The final report, which will include the background report as well as the survey results and analysis, will be released in September 2014, during the project’s final conference.

The Erasmus Voting Assessment survey has been launched! Visit our website to fill in the survey: www.erasmusvoting.eu

For more information contact us: mailto:info@erasmusvoting.eu

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Conference on Networking among youth workers – road to greater recognition of youth work at EU level /conference-on-networking-among-youth-workers-road-to-greater-recognition-of-youth-work-at-eu-level/ Wed, 22 Jan 2014 16:47:58 +0000 /?p=4182 Youth Workers and Non Formal Education are the main drivers to promote lifelong learning processes. Such a processes ensures social and economic development of civilizations, providing the development of personal and social skills and therefore can play a key role in improving the employability and mobility, as well as on the recognition of competences gained from that frameworks.

The Conference “Conference on Networking among youth workers – road to greater recognition of youth work at EU level” took place at the European Parliament on 21st of January 2014. Conference was organized by the European Students’ Forum (AEGEE-Europe) with the support of Youth for Exchange and Understanding International hosted by MEP Marian Harkin.

The event gathered Laura Lopez-Bech from European Youth Forum, Udo Teichmann from SALTO-Training & Cooperation and Agata Patecka from SOLIDAR. With presence of International Youth Non-Governmental organizations, experts and individuals interested on the topics moderated by Luis Alvarado Martinez (President of AEGEE-Europe) to present the political agenda and work development of the European Qualifications Framework – Advisory Board and position of the European Youth Forum, Youthpass Study impact and the Youth Workers competences and presentation of 2 Good Practices implemented By Solidar. The last part of the Conference was dedicated for a consultation on a European Network for the Youth Work and recognition of competences. Youth for Exchange and Understanding counted on the presence of its Secretary General, Tamara Gojkovic, and the coordinator of the project Marko Paunovic. Finally, Madalena Sousa, Officer from AEGEE, presented the long term stategy and the need for a common database for youth workers in Europe.

It was emphasized the important role that this project can have on the recognition of competences of the youth workers covered by the certification provided however there are in general some gaps in the field that should also be addressed when stressing certificating youth work experiences such as: who, how and for what should be certifying competences? Youth workers or Volunteers? What quality assurance? What kind of recognition is needed? Which common strategies?. On the other hand was presented also the agenda of the Advisory Board of the EQF that also could be a way were we can present this project as an good practice and through the European Youth Forum we can collaborate on following the work development of this group. From the project “Building Learning Societies” was presented some results that emphasize the Majority of people take part in non-formal education and training activities and most of the undertaken education and training is job-related. To finalize the presentations panel was presented the project Recognition of non-formal and informal competences of workers’ representatives” from which some recommendation were emphasized: Recognition of the value of non-professional youth work with a policy instrument and the Definition of key competences.

The event was used to kick off long-term project “Certification of the qualifications of youth workers in NGOs – road to greater recognition of youth work” which previews a creation of a tool able to certify the competences gained in the youth work and implementation of advocacy actions and initiatives dedicated to the recognition of the youth work and non-formal education. The project will be implemented in cooperation between YEU International (Administrative office in Faro, Portugal), AEGEE Europe (Belgium), Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece), MODAVI (Italy) and Krakow University of Economics from Poland. The European Commission’s “Lifelong Learning Programme”, managed by National Agency of Portugal finances this 2-year project.

AEGEE Europe and YEU InternationalYouth Workers and Non Formal Education are the main drivers to promote lifelong learning processes that ensures social and economic development of civilizations, providing the development of personal and social skills and therefore can play a key role in improving the employability and mobility, as well as on the recognition of competences gained from that frameworks.

The Conference “Conference on Networking among youth workers – road to greater recognition of youth work at EU level” took place at the European Parliament on 21st of January 2014, organized by the European Students’ Forum (AEGEE-Europe) with the support of Youth for Exchange and Understanding International hosted by MEP Marian Harkin.

The event gathered Laura Lopez-Bech from European Youth Forum, Udo Teichmann from SALTO-Training & Cooperation and Agata Patecka from SOLIDAR. With presence of International Youth Non-Governmental organizations, experts and individuals interested on the topics moderated by Luis Alvarado Martinez (President of AEGEE-Europe) to present the political agenda and work development of the European Qualifications Framework – Advisory Board and position of the European Youth Forum, Youthpass Study impact and the Youth Workers competences and presentation of 2 Good Practices implemented By Solidar. The last part of the Conference was dedicated for a consultation on a European Network for the Youth Work and recognition of competences. Youth for Exchange and Understanding counted on the presence of its Secretary General, Tamara Gojkovic, and the coordinator of the project Marko Paunovic. Finally, Madalena Sousa, Officer from AEGEE, presented the long term stategy and the need for a common database for youth workers in Europe.

It was emphasized the important role that this project can have on the recognition of competences of the youth workers covered by the certification provided however there are in general some gaps in the field that should also be addressed when stressing certificating youth work experiences such as: who, how and for what should be certifying competences? Youth workers or Volunteers? What quality assurance? What kind of recognition is needed? Which common strategies?. On the other hand was presented also the agenda of the Advisory Board of the EQF that also could be a way were we can present this project as an good practice and through the European Youth Forum we can collaborate on following the work development of this group. From the project “Building Learning Societies” was presented some results that emphasize the Majority of people take part in non-formal education and training activities and most of the undertaken education and training is job-related. To finalize the presentations panel was presented the project Recognition of non-formal and informal competences of workers’ representatives” from which some recommendation were emphasized: Recognition of the value of non-professional youth work with a policy instrument and the Definition of key competences.

The event was used to kick off long-term project “Certification of the qualifications of youth workers in NGOs – road to greater recognition of youth work” which previews a creation of a tool able to certify the competences gained in the youth work and implementation of advocacy actions and initiatives dedicated to the recognition of the youth work and non-formal education. The project will be implemented in cooperation between YEU International (Administrative office in Faro, Portugal), AEGEE Europe (Belgium), Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece), MODAVI (Italy) and Krakow University of Economics from Poland. The European Commission’s “Lifelong Learning Programme”, managed by National Agency of Portugal finances this 2-year project.

AEGEE Europe and YEU International

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AEGEE Promotional Materials Design Contest /aegee-promotional-materials-design-contest/ Mon, 20 Jan 2014 15:01:06 +0000 /?p=4165 AEGEE-Europe issues an international Design Contest to provide designs of the official AEGEE Promotional Materials.

Concept:

Contest is for a set of 4 different promotional materials which should have visual connection between each other. Such a promotional materials will be to promote AEGEE across the Europe.

Format of designs:

  • Poster – A2 size, colour 4/0
  • Leaflet – A4 size, double folded, colour 4/4
  • Flyer – A6 size, colour 4/4
  • Flyer – A6 size, colour 1/1

Design Guidelines

  1. Design must respect AEGEE Visual Identity, custom design elements are allowed and welcome
  2. Designs should be computer generated preferably in vector art form or as an Illustrator file, although alternate files will be accepted in the contest.
  3. Designs should reflect the specific identity of the organisation
    • International
    • No National Level
    • Voluntary
    • Young
    • Dynamic
    • Pro-European
  4. Design of the leaflets should include the text of AEGEE Identity
  5. Promotional materials will be translated in other languages
  6. Usage of AEGEE Stock pictures is possible via request
  7. All entries must be original and own creation.
  8. Artwork must not be fashioned after or appear similar to trademarked or copyrighted material.
  9. By submitting a design under Creative Commons Licences
  10. Submission of designs is made online, via the form accessible at https://podio.com/webforms/6715127/520281

Who can participate:

Contest is open to everybody and there is no limitation in the number of proposals that can be send per each participant.

Target Group of the promotional materials

  • University Students

Prize

All entry designs will be screened and those that comply with the rules and have met the guidelines and specifications as read above and on the Guidelines will be judged by the Board of Directors of AEGEE-Europe.

The winning design will receive 2x InterRail Global Pass 10 days within 22 days valued 800 EUR, to be used before the end of 2014. The prize will not be given in cash in any case.

Deadline for submission

9th of February at 23:59 CET

Contact Person

Pavel Zbornik – pavel.zbornik@aegee.org

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Position Paper on Combating Homophobia in Europe /combationg-homophobia-in-europe/ Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:56:31 +0000 /?p=4074 General Context

The Doctrine of Human Rights has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world ever since the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Human rights are conceived both as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). They are, therefore, applicable to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people (LGBT’s). The rights of LGBT’s have been concurred slowly: It was not until 2011 the United Nations Human Rights passed its first resolution recognising LGBT rights. urged all countries which had not yet done so, to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights. Nowadays, however, laws affecting LGBT’s still vary greatly by country, ranging from death penalty to recognition of same-sex marriage.

A vital aspect of the recognition of equal rights for LGBT’s is dealing with homophobia, the irrational fear of, and aversion to homosexuality and LGBT’s based on prejudice.contributes to discrimination of and violence directed at LGBT’s. To ensure equal rights for LGBT’s in Europe, it is necessary to eradicate homophobia and promote a culture of freedom, tolerance and equality among citizens and in legal systems. This will contribute to a Europe in which same-sex partners in all Member States will enjoy the rights and protections enjoyed by married opposite sex partners and consequently will not suffer discrimination and disadvantage. Having said that, a difficult task lies ahead, as homophobia is institutionalised, e.g. being incorporated in religious teachings or being state-sponsored: many world religions, like Christianity and Islam, contain anti-homosexual teachings and in several countries homosexuality is criminalised and penalised. Thus, creation and careful implementation of homophobia-eradicating policies is a difficult task, but its importance is undeniable.

Overarching intentions on EU level

Fighting homophobia is an important facet of the fundamental core of the European Union (EU) on treaty level, where both any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited. Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union specifically states that “the Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail”. Article 10 and 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union respectively specify that “in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation” and that “without prejudice to the other provisions of the Treaties and within the limits of the powers conferred by them upon the Union, the Council, acting unanimously in accordance with a special legislative procedure and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation”. Lastly, the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is part of the Lisbon treaty, is the first international charter to explicitly include the term ‘sexual orientation’. Eradicating homophobia is thus a desirable goal at the heart of the concept of the EU.

Specific context of policy on homophobia in the European Union

The principle of equality and non-discrimination is a fundamental element in the protection of human rights, including the rights of LGBT’s, on UN and EU level. Despite that, homophobic acts, which occur on a regular basis in nearly all EU member states, point to the systematic violation of those fundamental rights of LGBT’s within the EU. An example hereof is the increased anti-gay violence in France during and after the adoption of the ‘marriage for all’ law.

Several recommendations and resolutions have therefore been issued to take the requisite measures to combat (incitement to) homophobia. One example hereof is the European Parliament (EP) resolution on homophobia in Europe adopted on 18 January 2006. With this resolution, the EP states that, although in some Member States’ authorities strongly condemn homophobic acts, this is not the case in all other Member States. The EP consequently calls upon the Member States to take further action both on EU and national level to eradicate homophobia and promote a culture of freedom and equality among citizens and in legal systems. Apart from this resolution, the EP has the Intergroup on LGBT Rights as its tool to combat homophobia. The Intergroup’s work consists of monitoring the work of the European Union and ensuring that LGBT issues are included in the reports, amendments and resolution the EP works on.

On all institutional levels of the EU, the fight against homophobia is limited to monitoring issues, writing reports and adopting resolutions or amendments. Given the juridical framework and status of EU institutions, these are the few available instruments EU institutions have to combat homophobia. In terms of policy-making on eradicating homophobia, however, more concrete opportunities should be created and actions should be taken.

Position of AEGEE-Europe

AEGEE-Europe declares in its Statement of Principles its ‘faith in a Europe standing for liberty, democracy’, its ‘respect for human rights and the rule of law’, and its ‘will to cooperate with institutions that promote these concepts’. Consequently, AEGEE-Europe and its members are active supporters of European actions promoting equality and human rights. We recognise their importance in combating homophobia. Eradication of homophobia all legal means will make Europe more inclusive, ensuring equal opportunities and respect among citizens and in the legal systems.

AEGEE-Europe underlines the necessity to strongly condemn discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as repeatedly stated by the European Parliament. Furthermore, AEGEE-Europe encourages all resolutions and amendments adopted by the various EU institutions that call upon countries in Europe to move towards ensuring equal opportunities, inclusion and respect, and provide protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity, and recognition of same-sex families. Hence, we agree that LGBT’s should not under any circumstance be discriminated based on prejudices regarding their sexual orientation and gender expression or identity, but be treated equally on a legal basis. Initiatives taken by European Institutions and civil society, that promote the human rights of LGBT’s and remind Member States and their authorities or their Human Rights obligation, contribute to the eradication of homophobia.

AEGEE-Europe affirms that homophobia, observable in critical and hostile behaviour such as discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientations that are non-heterosexual, should be combated by legal, political and educational means, in order for the combat to be effective and sustainable. We welcome all initiatives by European, national, regional and local authorities taken accordingly.

AEGEE-Europe strongly resents the current anti-gay movements in Europe. Herewith we especially refer to the new Russian law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ and the outburst of violence in France in response to the approval of the ‘marriage-for-all-bill’. In turn, we approve the advance of samesex marriage throughout Europe.

Recommendations

Recommendations for NGO’s

First, AEGEE-Europe invites NGO’s working in the field of Human Rights and LGBT rights in particular, to increase their initiatives to combat homophobia. NGO’s should develop various educational strategies to inform European citizens about LGBT issues and rights linked to equality. Starting from regular public actions (e.g. International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)) to Non-Formal Education initiatives (e.g. round-table discussions, working groups, international seminars, internships). We strongly advise the undertaking of joint initiatives and active cooperation with a variety of other relevant stakeholders to ensure the widest possible outreach.

Second, NGO’s are urged to keep track of and document international, European and national developments regarding homophobia and LGBT rights, and submit these in the form of reports to relevant stakeholders, policy makers and European, national, regional and local authorities.

Third, NGO’s are encouraged to pay special attention to promote their initiatives combating homophobia towards youth. AEGEE-Europe strongly believes including the younger generations of European citizens in those initiatives. This will actively inform them about the importance of respect, equality and human rights for LGBT’s will grow more tolerant human beings.

Fourth, NGO’s are encouraged to practice what they preach by promoting and facilitating equality and human rights for LGBT’s within their organisation.

Fifth, we stress the importance of cooperation of NGO’s with policy makers in developing operational strategies on combating homophobia, as law is a necessary condition for policy to work. The combination of education, political and juridical means is essential in successfully combating homophobia in a sustainable way.

Lastly, AEGEE-Europe underlines the importance of virtual campaigns in addition to personal contact and encourages the use of social media and online forums as tools for raising awareness on equality and human rights for LGBT’s and starting discussions regarding the matter.

Recommendations for collective action

First, AEGEE-Europe expresses its will to support the sharing of best practices and the promotion of joint activities. Only when active links between various sectors and different relevant stakeholders are forged, can homophobia be effectively combated. Establishing cooperation between NGO’s, academic institutions, enterprises, research institutions and political institutions will enhance the affectivity and efficiency of combating homophobia across varying market contexts. Participation in platforms like the European Youth Forum, which represents 99 youth organisations, will get the message across to tens of millions of young people from all over Europe and convince them to represent their common interest.

Second, we invite all relevant stakeholders, ranging from citizens and enterprises to political and educational contingents, to join, actively support or promote the yearly Pride Parade in their country or region. These Parades serve to create favourable conditions for the international and local openness and acceptance towards LGBT’s, and henceforth help to combat homophobia.

Third, AEGEE-Europe urges all relevant stakeholders and other interested parties, as well as policy makers, to actively support and take part in the IDAHO. This Day, created in 2004, opts for drawing attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the issue and is therefore an easily accessible, effective, low key and visible moment to take action.

Finally, we underline the importance of sharing these practices outside the European continent. Both the Gay Prides and IDAHO already are examples of worldwide initiatives to combat homophobia. AEGEE-Europe encourages cooperation and initiatives between all networks worldwide operating around the common goal of promoting equality and human rights for LGBT’s and combating homophobia.

Recommendations for policy makers

First, AEGEE-Europe recognises both the difficulties and importance of the creation of overarching policies aiming to combat homophobia and strive for equality and human rights for LGBT’s. Despite the limited legal influence of EU institutions, a European-wide legal and policy framework should be established. This overarching, homogeneous framework should contain a clear set of rules for countries to ensure equality and human rights for LGBT’s in accordance with the Treaty of the European Union, the Treaty of the European Community and the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. Although the core ideal (equality) should remain the same, we realise that in different national legislations, the (protection and insurance of) equality and human rights for LGBT’s may be implemented differently.

Second, policymakers are encouraged to pay special attention to youth. AEGEE-Europe’s expertise in the field of youth and Non-Formal Education may be helpful towards developing creative and broad initiatives that enhance young people’s understanding of equality and human rights for LGBT’s. Policymakers are invited to facilitate these initiatives of AEGEE-Europe and organisations alike in the broadest sense of the word.

Finally, AEGEE-Europe stresses the need for empirical, evidence-based research and documentation on homophobia and the position of LGBT’s in all European countries. We urge policymakers to keep themselves informed on the most current situation at all times and respond accordingly.

About AEGEE

AEGEE/ European Students’ Forum was born in 1986 with the vision of creating a unified Europe, based on democracy and respect for human rights, bringing together students with different cultural backgrounds. Today, AEGEE is Europe’s largest interdisciplinary youth organisation: 40 countries, 200 cities, 13 000 friends.

This network provides the ideal platform for young volunteers to work together on cross-border activities such as international conferences, seminars, exchanges, training courses, and case study trips. In line with the challenges young people are currently facing in Europe, AEGEE’s work in the period 2011-14 is focused on three main areas: promotion of youth participation, development of European relations with its neighbours, and inclusion of minorities.

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Event Invitation: Conference on Networking among Youth Workers – road to greater Recognition of Youth Work at European level /event-invitation-networking-among-youth-workers-road-to-greater-recognition-at-european-level/ Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:16:49 +0000 /?p=4060 Considering this, some visibility events in five EU participatory countries of the project have been organized to give an answer to its goals, to create this tool properly according to the needs of the youth workers and to enhance the advocacy process inherent to the needs of the field/project.

Networking among Youth Workers – road to greater Recognition at European level

Therefore this event pretend to present to present the project and its tools, to share the European priorities for Youth Work – Recognition and certification of Skills and Competences through different current projects/ processes on EU level, what are the challenges for the youth field in this context, what is the strategic pathway for recognition on policy level, actions for the future and also to gather relevant stakeholders working in the same field for a strongest discussion and debate reinforcing the purpose, efficiency and collaboration within the database.

According with the main goal of advocating for a strong recognition we believe that organizing it during Lifelong Learning Week will bring an added value on the political impact. We believe that the outcomes of this event will contribute positively for the modernization of education and training systems in Europe.

A recognized educational provider is a guarantee of a success individual and collectively development.

Organizers: AEGEE-Europe with the support of YEU
Date: 21st January 2014 (2pm-5pm)

The event will take place under the Lifelong Learning Week. For more information please click on the link: http://www.eucis-lll.eu/events/lifelong-learning-week/)

Local: European Parliament (Room to be confirmed), Hosted by ALDE Group: MEP Marian Harkin
Expected Participants: Experts in Youth Work and Youth Workers, NGO’s working in the field of recognition and certifications of competences acquired through Non Formal Learning contexts and other interested stakeholders
Agenda: Draft Agenda_ Participants

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Call for National Stakeholders of the Pan-European Database “Certification of the Qualifications of the Youth Workers” /call-for-national-stakeholders-of-the-pan-european-database-certification-of-the-qualifications-of-the-youth-workers/ Tue, 12 Nov 2013 15:21:13 +0000 /?p=4045 Certification of the Qualifications of the Youth Workers in NGOs logoThis pan-European database is one of the outcomes of this project. It aims to the development of a database and network consisting of contact details and basic information about youth Stakeholders throughout Europe. As well as youth workers so as to meet the demand and supply of work in all participating countries and beyond and to allow youth workers to find employment or volunteer work in case of a need to do so. Using this network and database as a trampoline it will enable the organizations in the future to work on advocacy for the recognition of qualification of youth workers and impact of youth work. (CALL FOR STAKEHOLDERS)

AEGEE-Europe is launching the Call for National Stakeholders for the Pan-European Database of the Project “Certification of the Qualifications of the Youth Workers” in Belgium. This call is for organizations and individuals working in the field. Check the information & Criteria in the Call and if you or your organization have the profile apply Now.

Visit the website of the Project: http://youth-workers.eu/Certification of the Qualifications of the Youth Workers in NGOs logoThis pan-European database is one of the outcomes of this project. It aims to the development of a database and network consisting of contact details and basic information about youth Stakeholders throughout Europe, as well as youth workers so as to meet the demand and supply of work in all participating countries and beyond and to allow youth workers to find employment or volunteer work in case of a need to do so. Using this network and database as a trampoline it will enable the organizations in the future to work on advocacy for the recognition of qualification of youth workers and impact of youth work. (CALL FOR STAKEHOLDERS)

AEGEE-Europe is launching the Call for National Stakeholders for the Pan-European Database of the Project “Certification of the Qualifications of the Youth Workers” in Belgium. This call is for organizations and individuals working in the field. Check the information & Criteria in the Call and if you or your organization have the profile apply Now.

Visit the website of the Project: http://youth-workers.eu/

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