Realization of the 2nd Meeting of the European Program “AGORA – Democratic Values & Culture in Europe”, in the framework of the EUROPE FOR CITIZENS Invitation, of the “Cities Networks” axis.
The 2nd meeting of the European Project “AGORA – Democratic Values & Culture in Europe”, in the framework of the EUROPE FOR CITIZENS Invitation, which took place on 21 and 22 October, 2021, at the Municipality of Smolyan, Bulgaria, was completed with great success. The meeting was attended by 10 representatives of the Municipality of Athienou, led by the Municipal Councilor of the Municipality, Mr. Pavlos Spyrou, representatives of the Municipalities of Smolyan, Bulgaria, Cinicello Balsamo in Lombardy – Italy and Santa Maria Da Feira in Portugal, as well as the Organization “Institute for Research and Training in European Affairs” of Athens.
The AGORA project concerns the open dialogue in public space, through the experimental method of dialogue and participation, as in Ancient Athens. At the same time, it promotes the concept of the European Union and the democratic participation of citizens. It helps participants to facilitate the emotional part of knowledge, while strengthening interpersonal relationships. In addition, it creates communication and discussion skills within the group and promotes the creation of a broader communication framework from a sociological point of view.
The Budget of the Program is €143.640 and is covered 100% by European funding.
The main objectives of the 2nd meeting were to give participants a better knowledge of the policy-making process and democratic processes, to work with participants on structured dialogue and how to involve all young people, how to encourage young people to be more active and make their voice heard, but also learn to work together for their personal good.
The two-day meeting of the partners in Bulgaria had a rich and varied Agenda. It started with a press conference by the Deputy Mayor of Smolyan Municipality and it continued with a visit to the RHM Museum in Smolyan, where everyone had the opportunity to get to know the local history and culture. Then an interactive workshop was held, in order to get to know the city and its peculiarities through a game, so as to discover its strengths and weaknesses. Then a lecture entitled #theFutureIsYours, with the main goal of learning to use tools that will help young people to make their voices heard and a lecture to learn the policy making process and how it can be used to solve the problems faced by the youth took place. A dialogue and presentation by various groups participating in the project was held, giving solutions to problems that plague today’s youth, such as work, climate change, political events, housing, etc. Then a visit to the spectacular cave Uhlovitsa and the village of Gudevitsa, where the participants had the opportunity to meet with locals and understand how people live there, the difficulties they face and how the European Union is helping them.
At the end, the 3rd meeting of the Project was scheduled to take place in the city of Cinicello Balsamo in Lombardy – Italy, in February 2022.