"Let's meet our Neighbours and the World"


After spending a great time together, please find below the report on the seminar!

Files to download


1. Background of the Seminar

The idea of having a big kick-off seminar that would open possibilities for cooperation with the Neighbouring Countries and the World within Youth in Action Programme arose in the end of previous year. The summaries of previous Youth Programme and experiences that many organizations gained in projects first with Third Countries, then with Partner Countries and now with the Neighbouring Partner Countries clearly showed a big need to support and develop the cooperation that goes much beyond the borders of European Union.
Neighbouring network
Having a seminar, where representatives from all the regions: Programme Countries, EuroMed, South East Europe as well as Eastern Europe and Caucasus, could meet, create contacts and value the importance of wide international youth cooperation was our dream and also a very concrete aim for the beginning of 2007. We: European Commission, SALTO Regional Resource Centres and French National Agency had a clear vision of organizing an event, where the political input will goes together with a very actual work on future Youth Exchanges, Trainings, Seminars and European Voluntary Service projects.

2. Aims and objectives

Supported by the European Commission's General Directorate for Education and Culture and co-organized by the French National Agency and the three regional SALTO Resource Centres (EuroMed, EECA & SEE), this large event has been the occasion for 130 youth workers to explore ways of cooperation with Partner Countries within the new Youth in Action Programme. The main aim of this event was to introduce/explore the Cooperation with Neighbouring Countries of the European Union and other Partner Countries of the World within the new "Youth in Action Programme".

Specific objectives of this Seminar were:

  • To introduce the political framework of the European Neighbouring Policy.
  • To introduce the Youth in Action program, its new features and explore the possibilities of cooperation with neighbouring countries (and the world).
  • To present the actors and the support structures and to provide work instruments.
  • To explore the richness of the neighbours (regions, youth work realities, good practices in program, and neighbour partner countries.
  • To provide a space for partner matching and project development.

3. Profile of Participants and Selection

In the Seminar took part actors/multipliers from Programme Countries as well as from Neighbouring Partner Countries experienced in youth work and interested in developing cooperation projects together.
Staff of National Agencies of Youth in Action Programme, alongside with the representatives of EuroMed Youth Units has been also taken part in the Seminar.
Information on the Seminar was distributed by the Programme countries' National Agencies (coordinated by the French National Agency, which hosted the Seminar together with SALTO EuroMed) and the Regional SALTOs to their respective information networks. The applications from each region were gathered in appropriate SALTO Resource Centres and the selection was made by them.

Final Number of participants and profile

Total number of participants: 127

From Program Countries: 43

From EECA: 17

From Meda: 13

From SEE: 12

From NAs: 6

From other SALTO RCs: 6

From EuroMed Youth Units: 7 + 1 former NC (Egypt)

Team: 7

Expert guests: 8

Others: 7

All togetherAll togetherAll togetherAll togetherAll togetherAll together
Faces of the neighbours


4. Methodology used

The methodologies of the Seminar were varying from the range of non-formal educational methods (aimed at creation of good atmosphere and group dynamics) until the workshop format and the frontal presentations done by the staff of National Agencies, European support structures (Executive Agency, European Youth Forum and Partnership) and officials from the European Commission.

Wherever possible the working process was organized in dynamic and interactive way (quiz, "talk show", contest etc.), which has given the participants an opportunity to learn about the topics by exploring the world of Youth in Action and its support structures together with the key players of the aforementioned structures and using also the potential of the group: a variety of experiences, starting form totally newcomers to YiA, till people who were quite experienced in the Programme.

Participants has been invited, since the preparation phase before the event, to prepare to be resources of the learning process and they have brought into it their experience, the work on the field of their organisations, their good practices and youth work realities. Participants were empowered to feel the ownership of the space and of the Seminar wherever it was possible.

Also we would like to underline that the space of INJEP was used as a structural element of the Seminar.

Project ideas are waiting to be discussed on the dating board


5. The Process


Wednesday, 30 of May


Arrival of participants
Participants arrived to Marly le Roi. All of them were registered and got the welcome letter prepared by the Team with all the necessary information and also the package of materials (bags with information materials, maps, memory sticks with the logo of Youth in Action, etc.). During the dinner the participants prepared name cards with their names in English and the names of their countries in their national language.

Welcome and getting to known each other

In the evening the first moments of getting acquainted with each other has been organized in the hall of the main building. A short visualization of the team was done after which the exercises "Human Bingo" and "Where is the lie?" have been organized to give participants a possibility to start first contacts and to find out information about each other. A group of participants volunteered for the Neighbours' Night committee.

Results of the day
: Participants got the information pack on the event and started to get to know each other. This part of the program was designed mainly as an icebreaker and a possibility to meet the neighbours present in the seminar.


Thursday, 31 of May: Meeting with neighbours

Plenary sessions - M. Chiris - M. Madrange - M. LejeunePlenary sessionsPlenary sessions

Official opening
The day started with the official opening of the Seminar. Welcome notes have been presented by Hervé Mécheri, Director of INJEP, a brief introduction of the event was done by Jean Chiris, Head of the French National Agency, followed by a speech by Etienne Madranges, Head of Youth and Community Education Unit, French Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports, about the Youth Policy in France. The official opening was finalized by the speech of Pascal Lejeune, Head of the Youth - Programme Unit, General Directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission the European Commission.

...and introduction

Taking in account the big size of the group and the clear decision to organize the whole process on the most dynamic way the introduction of the Programme, of the Team, of the possible contributions of participants and the main aims and objectives was made in the form of "Treasure Hunt", where participants worked in groups of 10 and were exploring the territory of INJEP (working halls, restaurants, facilities etc.) alongside with getting information on the Seminar and meeting the facilitation and logistic teams.

The European Commission: Youth in Action Programme
(brief intro)
A general overview of the Youth in Action programme, has been presented by Pascal Lejeune, Head of the Youth - Programme Unit, General Directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission.
This was the first "appetizer" about the Programme, and was aimed at giving the participants the first overview on the YiA and to prepare them for the other sessions where the specific features of it and the Support Structures facilitation the work in this framework will be presented in deeper details.

Plenary sessions - M. Lejeune - Head of the Youth - Programme Unit, General Directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission

European Policies toward the Neighbouring Countries: Actions 2 and 3 of the Programme
In this programme block the European Policies towards the Neighbouring Countries (ENP and Stabilisation and Association Process) and the cooperation with Neighbouring Partner Countries in the framework of the Actions 2 and 3.1 of the Programme were presented by Giorgio Guazzugli Marini, Programme Manager, General Directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission.
It has been the first moment of deepening of the European Union policy towards Neighbouring countries, bringing the lines and the spirit of the future cooperation also in the field of youth.

Plenary sessions - M. Guazzzugli Marini - Programme Manager, General Directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission

The Regional SALTO Resource Centres

The acquaintance with the Support Structures of the Youth in Action programme has started by Regional SALTO Resource Centres as this are the main structures aimed at promoting the Programme in Neighbouring Regions and facilitating the organization of the projects in the framework of the Programme under the Action 3.1. This is where the specific features for different regions were introduced to participants. The process was organized as a quiz contest where the participants were getting a list of questions and passing through three stations about SALTOs and Regions where their answers were evaluated by "stations" with the staff of National Agencies and Resource Centres. Awards were given to the most successful groups at the end of the exercise.

Organizations' market

The whole afternoon was dedicated to the presentations and mutual acquaintance of the organizations taking part in the Seminar. There was a virtual separation of the Regions and specific "happy hours" for each Region. Here the participants got the opportunity to present their profile, their interests and also to express their preliminary interest with the project ideas presented by the other NGOs via the "I am Interested..." lists.

Organisations' marketOrganisations' market

Neighbours' Night

The Social Committee composed by participants from different countries has arranged the hall (with decorations, national food, drinks and music) for the organization of the intercultural evening ("Neighbours' Night").
The night program was introduced after the dinner and the participants were asked to bring with them to the "Neighbours' Night" half A4 paper writing on it a saying or a fact about their country (on their national language). This served as the entrance ticket for the party and it was also used to facilitate the communication within the group (each person received randomly one of the tickets and had to find out the country of provenience of the saying or the fact).
The opening of the Neighbours' Night was followed by the sharing of food, music, dances and it was a big informal moment to get to know people.

Neighbourhood nightNeighbourhood nightNeighbourhood night

Results of the day:Participants got the information of the Programme of the Seminar, its aims and objectives, ways to contribute, as well as were introduced to the facilitation and logistic teams. During the process they also got acquainted with the space of INJEP and learnt some important technical issues regarding the Seminar.
During the frontal presentations the participants got preliminary information on the Youth in Action Programme of EC, about the policy of EU towards its Neighbouring countries, which was followed by a dynamic introduction to the Regional SALTO Resource Centres and specific procedures for different Neighbouring Regions.
During the Organizations' Market participants provided information on their organizations, on their spheres of interest and also started to form project groups around their project ideas.
The day was finalized by an evening program where participants got a chance to explore the neighbourhood in a more informal atmosphere of intercultural evening, as well as get acquainted with the national food and drinks of different countries. They had also the chance to realize the language variety present at the Seminar.


Friday, 1 of June - Colours of Neighbourhood


The day started with the announcement that, besides the presentations of the support structures, participants would have a space for sharing good practices and experiences during the "Exchange of good practices and youth work realities» session. For this they were requested to bring a tool or a good practice within coffee break, supported by visual facilities to be shared during the open space defined in the programme.

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency: Cooperation with other Partner Countries of the world
The working day started with a presentation made by Fiona Deuss-Fendi from EACEA, where have been introduced the functions of the Agency within the new Youth in Action Programme as well as its support tools. A special part of the presentation was dedicated to the Action 3.2 (Cooperation with other countries of the world), where the procedures and peculiarities of the cooperation projects with other Partner Countries (different from Neighbouring ones) were also presented.

Fiona Deuss Frandi - Responsible for projects encouraging innovation and quality in the Youth Sector - Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Other support structures
: the European Youth Forum the Partnership of Council of Europe and European Commission
The presentation of European Youth Forum as one of the main European youth umbrella organizations was made by Gisele Everard. The structure of the organization, which is uniting the National Youth Councils of European countries as well as European Youth organizations and its main activities were described. Also the role of European Youth Forum in the new Youth in Action Programme was described.
The presentation of European Youth Forum was followed by the presentation of the Partnership which was made by Marta Medlinska. Mrs. Medlinska explained the functioning of the Partnership of Council of Europe and European Commission and also presented the upcoming initiative that will be realized in the framework of the partnership. A brief presentation of a European Campaign All Different- All Equal was also made.

Gisèle Evrard - European Youth Forum
Gisèle Evrard - Marta Medlinska

Parallel workshops: the different Actions for neighbouring cooperation

The Actions available for cooperation with Neighbouring countries were briefly described in the previous parts of the Seminar, but this programme element was dedicated to a more detailed investigation of different Actions (Youth Exchanges, European Voluntary Service and Training and Networking). There were three parallel workshops with two repeating sessions, so the participants had the possibility to chose two Actions and take part in the workshops where this Actions were explored. The workshop presentations were organized in an interactive way, giving participants a possibility to ask questions and to go in details interesting for them.
The workshops were run by the staff of French National Agency with the support of team members.

From left to right : Astrid Von Jacobs, Salima Boudoukha, Flavia Giovanelli, Isabelle Olivier... and without any picture : Madeleine Schmeder


Exchange of good practices and youth work realities

There were 4 zones for exchanging good practices and youth work realities, including one session on recognition of non-formal education (Youthpass). The frame and the guidelines were prepared and delivered by the team. Also it was prepared a map showing the exchange zones. Participants had the possibility to take part in three good practice presentations each. Some successful European youth projects (in the framework of Youth in Action and others) were presented. There was also a great interest for the workshop on Youthpass, as this is a new feature of the Youth in Action Programme and it's interesting to figure out how it will work in the framework of Action 2 and 3.1 when participants from Neighbouring Countries are involved in the projects.

Different Regional procedures with SALTO Resource Centres

The three Regions involved in Neighbouring Policy of EU (SEE, EECA and MEDA) has certain differences in terms of procedures and possibilities for participation in YiA Programme. So it was decided to have a programme element where the participating Regional SALTO Resource Centres could have the chance to provide information on this Regional peculiarities as well as their specific programmes supporting the Programme in respective Regions. Participants received more information on the different Regional procedures, priorities and practicalities as well as SALTOs role/activities in Regions. These parallel meetings were chosen by the participants according to their interests. Members of facilitation team were also taking part in the workshops of their respective Regions as resource persons.

Salto EuromedSalto EECA

Results of the day: This day was mainly dedicated to inform participants on the different support structures that may provide assistance in their European youth work.
Participants got information about the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency and the Action 3.2 of the Programme. They got acquainted with the European Youth Forum and the Partnership and also their role in the new Youth in Action Programme as well as their specific programmes and activities aimed at development of European youth work.
During the sessions on different Actions of the Programme participants got more information on Youth Exchanges, European Voluntary Service and Training and Networking and had a possibility to go deeper on the possibilities provided by this sub-Actions.
Quite a lot of participants came to the Seminar with a background of interesting projects and good practices, and the following programme element gave them possibility to share this experience with their colleagues from other countries and thus to contribute to visibility of Youth in Action and multiplication of the results of their work.
In the final part of the programme participants had the possibility to reflect upon some differences that exist in the three Regions involved in Neighbouring Policy and to receive information on the different procedures and programs that support YiA in respective regions.


Saturday, 2 of June - Colours in Action


The last day of the programme was mainly dedicated to the follow-up (partner matching, project development, etc.) and was ended by a final evaluation and a social programme.

Organisations' marketOrganisations' market

Looking for partners + consultation and information points

The partner matching and project development process started long before the start of the Seminar. Alongside with their applications participants were requested to send their project ideas (through a project template developed by the team). During the organisations' Market participants were asked to put their project ideas on the wall and to gather the names of the people interested in cooperation through "I am interested..." lists put near by their organization stands. So in the moment when the partner matching started, participants already had a feeling about who was interested in their project ideas. The day started with the creation of a project ideas dating gallery on one of the windows of the hall. Participants were asked to put their ideas there and also to write their names on those project ideas in which they are interested in. The further development of the project ideas and discussion in smaller groups were realized in the form of open space where the participants were self-organizing their time.
During the partner matching process, information and consultation points (SALTOs: cooperation and practicalities, financial issues if necessary, Team: methodology, Executive Agency: centralized projects, NAs: different actions) were also available to provide ongoing support to project teams. At the end of the session the results of the partner matching were visualized on the map on Europe and Neighbourhood where the project ideas were also briefly introduced by members of the working groups. In total 34 project ideas were developed by participants (See Annex 3).

Meeting of National Agencies with EuroMed Youth Units

In parallel with the partner matching it was arranged a meeting of the staff of National Agencies of the Youth in Action Programme and representatives of the EuroMed Youth Units. It was a first meeting of contact among the different structures of the two programmes.

All together


What's next?
After the end of the partner matching process participants gathered in the plenary where an inspirational (philosophical-political) input on European international cooperation, perspective and prospective were introduced by the Head of SALTO Euromed Resource Centre, Bernard Abrignani.

The evaluation of the Seminar was designed using both visual/dynamic methods and questionnaires. The Seminar, its content, the methodologies, the information provided, the partnerships building, and the participation level in general were evaluated, at visual level, using the exercise "Rainbow". Participants had three coloured papers and they were asked to rise the appropriate paper when an aspect of Seminar that should be evaluated were named.
In the next step interactions of participants during the Seminar were checked. Participants were asked to get in touch with people with whom they were in contact during formal and informal time. At the end a nice knot of people was formed.
And as the last stage participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire where the different aspects of the Seminar were taken into consideration. (See Annex 4).


The closure of the entire Seminar was made by Giorgio Guazzugli-Marini for the European Commission and Jean Chiris for the French National Agency.
We had also a visual conclusion with a PowerPoint summing up the results of the Seminar and a video portraying the main moments of the event.

Farewell Evening

In the evening a barbecue was organised in the park of INJEP and a local folk band "C'est cool, ah?" was invited to run a concert and open the dances. Participants also got information packs with the materials used during the Seminar, participants' contact list as well as photos made by the official photographer.

Results of the day
: This day aimed to facilitate the contact and the partner matching process, focusing on the building of long lasting quality partnerships. It has been the time in which people, that during the previous days met and discussed, tried to concentrate on the project ideas and to set up the first steps of a concrete cooperation. The big map and the visualisation of the results on it helped to interiorize the results of the Seminar and to feel to be part of a new huge process. Reflection on what's next?, evaluation, closure and farewell party, reinforced the idea of the starting cooperation, gave value to the work done in these three days and opened the path to the future.


Sunday, 3 of June - Departure


6. Program of the Event

Click on the programme to read it !


7. The Team

The facilitation team was composed by:

  • Areg Tadevosyan, International Centre for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue, Armenia
  • Hiba Tibi, free lance trainer, Palestine
  • Lidija Burič, free lance trainer, Croatia

The team was coordinated by Davide Tonon, free lance trainer, Italy-Spain

The facilitation team with trainers of the different regional areas


The logistic team was composed by:

  • Stephanie Henry, SALTO EuroMed Resource Centre.
  • Alice Dartout, French National Agency of the Youth in Action Programme.

The team was coordinated by Jaques Huon, free lance.

  • Files to download

    You will find below some files, presentations seen during the seminar and you could find useful for the future...

back to top