SALTO-YOUTH Title

“EUtopia”

“EUtopia”–Diversity in changing Europe

The training concept “EUtopia”–Diversity in changing Europe is developed jointly by the Latvian National Agency for the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme and SALTO South East Europe and Cultural Diversity Resource Centres addressing diversity in contemporary Europe and in the lives of young people. The third international training course was held in 2016 in Serbia with the specific focus on various implications of the European migrant crisis on youth.

 

(NOTE: The call for participants for the new edition of "EUtopia?" -Diversity in changing Europe is open! More information here.)

The years 2015-16 were marked by a growing number of migrants and refugees from conflict areas entering Europe, evoking both, political and moral dilemmas within the European Union and beyond. Although immigration has always been an integral part of European affluence and cultural heritage, following the economic crisis in the recent years it has increasingly been opposed. Further on, Europe is witnessing a rise of nationalism and cultural stereotyping, sometimes escalating into political extremism and radicalism.

The training course “EUtopia’” –Diversity in changing Europe was held in Palić, Serbia 26th of June – 1st of July. It aimed at providing youth work practitioners with competences and tools to understand and better respond to the current realities of young people in changing Europe. The implications of the European migrant crisis were approached from the perspective of how it mirrors the contemporary problematic of dealing with diversity in Europe and in young people’s immediate environments. The participants had a chance to gain information and critically reflect on the topic from different angles together with colleagues from other countries, as well as to acquire transferable skills to facilitate young people’s proactive adaptation and empowerment in their local contexts.

The activity took place in the Western Balkan region, which has been the main transit area and a disputed border zone for today’s migration towards the European Union. The region itself witnessed a large scale emigration and internal displacement of people as a consequence to the conflicts in the 90s, of which impact is still tangible today. The local environment was integrated into the programme of activities through a presentation of the intercultural and intercommunity context of the hosting region Vojvodina and local field visits to organisations of cultural minorities in the region.

25 youth workers / youth leaders from Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland and Serbia took part in the activity. The main learning outcome indicated by the participants was the increased understanding on the complexity of diversity and its implications in interpersonal and intercultural relations. The participants expressed that the learning outcomes were to a large extent achieved through challenging their own views and beliefs during the educational programme and informal discussions during the activity.

Programme of the activity

Aim of the training course:

The aim of the activity was to provide youth workers with competences and tools to understand and better respond to contemporary realities of youth in changing Europe.

Objectives:

• to share multiple perspectives on the European migrant crisis and its implications on youth as well as to explore the socio-political interconnectedness of different aspects influencing the phenomenon;
• to understand reasoning and motivation behind people’s views and attitudes, discover how public opinion is formed and encourage critical thinking;
• to explore the concept of diversity, its limits and potentials;
• to identify the role of youth work practitioners in promoting diversity;
• to develop tools for promoting diversity and to support international cooperation among participants.

The programme of activities was carried out by two trainers: 
Liga Rudzite (Latvia)
Dragan Atanasov (The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)

  • Realities of young Europeans and the interconnectedness of their economic and socio-political contexts

    Realities of young Europeans and the interconnectedness of their economic and socio-political contexts

  • Palić in Vojvodina, Serbia is known of its multi-ethnic and multicultural identities

    Palić in Vojvodina, Serbia is known of its multi-ethnic and multicultural identities

  • Learning about diversity from colleagues representing thirteen European countries

    Learning about diversity from colleagues representing thirteen European countries

  • New day, new energy and opportunities to learn

    New day, new energy and opportunities to learn

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