Europe on Track final stop – 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. Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:59:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.11 Last Stop of Team Blue: Naples, the City of Strong Opinions /last-stop-of-team-blue-naples-the-city-of-strong-opinions/ Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:09:36 +0000 /?p=6869 By Hanna Polischuk

And the trip of the Team Blue is coming to an end.

Arriving to the port of Naples by ferry, also provided by InterRail as well as all the trains before, the feeling of the ultimate destination made us feel a bit sad. Anyway, one more local was awaiting, so we started our preparations.13254199_616349558512685_8107840103327829189_n

Naples is not only the city of the best pizza in the world, but also a city of tradition, architecture, sea port and brave, strong opinions. Young people are not afraid to express what they think and draw attention to what they consider the important issues. A good example of the fact that the young people care and do not stand aside is the demonstration regarding the mysterious disappearance and further discovery of the tortured body of the PhD student Giulio Regeni in Egypt. We saw this demonstration while looking for interview respondents for our project, and when we saw our AEGEE member, Vincenzo as a participant, we asked him more regarding the topic and joined as well.

We organized the EoT session on the first day of our arrival. AEGEE-Napoli arranged everything in a very nice way, and even though it was grey rainy day, inside of the building we had a cozy and warm atmosphere. Moreover, the project manager of Europe on Track, Nicola Guida, and Sofia Lobakina, attended our last presentation, which was a big honour for our team members. Overall, we had 13 participants and the whole evening for the discussions.13267726_616349371846037_6546641549880635412_n

In the beginning, we introduced the project and presented the results from our trip and all the previous stops. In the next activity, which we call “Map Your Europe”, in the same way as at the previous stops, the participants were divided into two groups and had to draw Europe as they perceive it today (with or without the borders). One of the teams divided Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus into 2 parts stating that one is European, the other is not. Another team just divided Cyprus and Turkey. Both of them excluded the UK. For us it was surprising to see the division of Ukraine and Russia into two parts each, that was a new approach.

444Closing our event, we had one more activity, in which everyone could express their personal opinion on the issue. There was a line with the critical points on the two edges, “yes” and “no” with “zero”, i.e. neutral opinion, in the middle. We were asking the questions, and according to their personal answers, the participants were choosing the place on the line to show how strong they agree or disagree with the statement.

Surprising for us all was the first and  we thought the easiest question, “Do you feel European?” There were not many optimistic answers, and it seems the EU fails to have appreciation in the South of Italy. However, on the question about trusting the EU institutions, most of the participants answered “neutral”, and those who said “yes”, explained it by better functioning according to the Italian ones; those who answered “no” blame the institutions in leaving all the responsibility of the refugee crisis on other countries and is failing in managing it. Finally, the last interesting question was regarding the borders, “Is opening Schengen to other countries a good idea?” We got a big “Yes” from everyone, but it was agreed that this should be done until it is safe.13239382_616349235179384_623226194745115593_n

Having such a productive discussion, taking some interviews on the streets, talking to Project Team members of “Europe on Track” and taking part in the demonstration was how we ended our trip as the Ambassadors of this wonderful project. We would like to express our huge gratitudes to the Project Team, all the locals who hosted us and helped with everything, and special thanks to Interrail for making all this possible! I personally would like to thank my team members, Benedetto and Ksenia, with whom we spent all this time together, travelling, learning, answering to the challenges and making a change!

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If you have a chance to become an Ambassador of the Europe on Track #4, don’t hesitate, do it!

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Europe on Track 2: The great Finale /europe-on-track-2-the-great-finale/ Thu, 15 May 2014 16:20:37 +0000 /?p=5255 31 days, 25 cities and 16 countries since the departure from Brussels on 9th April, the Europe on Track 2 teams arrived at their last stops: Strasbourg and Budapest, respectively.

Europe on Track, winner of the 2013 European Charlemagne Youth Prize,was asked to present the project to inspire the more than 5,000 young people meeting in Strasbourg for the European Youth Event 2014. The session was moderated by Mrs Katrin Ruhrmann, director for Information Offices of European Parliament, and Mrs Bettina Leysen, vice-chairwoman of the Charlemagne Prize Foundation.

Around a hundred participants during the Europe on Track session in the European Parliament i Strasbourg

Around a hundred participants during the Europe on Track session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Réka Salamon, project coordinator, and Mathieu Soete, traveller from the first edition, had the chance to debate the conclusions of the project with a full room of youngsters from all EU member states. The audience proved to be very active, especially regarding the topics of youth participation and youth employment. A secondary school student from Cyprus demanded more complete education on democratic participation to be able to better exercise their right to vote. “The system of our parents’ generation doesn’t work anymore”, remarked one of the participants when asked how to enhance their chances of employment.
Mrs Katrin Ruhrmann ended the fruitful session encouraging the participants to keep voicing their demands and ideas through projects like Europe on Track, ensuring that the input gathered does reach policy makers.

 

At the same time, the second team of travellers took part in a conference in the Corvinus university of Budapest aiming to raise awareness of the upcoming European Parliamentary Elections and of the importance of active citizenship. AEGEE-Budapest, ESN Hungary, the National Youth Council, the Higher Education Student Organizations Association and GovFaces participated in the presentations that later gave way to a lively discussion. Students raised contrasting opinions on the importance the Hungarian society gives to active participation when living in a reality of economic decay and disillusionment with politics.​

AEGEE will embark now on the last phase of the project, analysing all the input received to support its advocacy work both in Brussels and at local level. Similarly to the previous edition, AEGEE will collect all opinions and recommendations in a results booklet and a documentary giving an insight into how the youth wants to shape the future of Europe, their future.

Budapest

“We are extremely proud of how far AEGEE´s Europe on Track initiative has reached, how it has been able to mobilize not only AEGEEans all over the continent, but also concerned young people wanting to share their visions and to participate in the construction of a new Europe. Thank you to our partners Interrail, the Open Society Foundation, Youth For Public Transport, Debating Europe and to the team and ambassadors, for allowing to develop this tool for young people from young people to bring a strong youth and student message to the institutions in Brussels.”
Luis Alvarado Martínez, President of AEGEE-Europe.

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