At the Strategic Planning Meeting of CDN in March 2020 the topical areas of interest of the MOs and POs of CDN were identified as follows: climate, gender, cities, digitisation, migration, food, health and labour rights, but the work on these and other topics is pretty limited in the Eastern Europe due to the ever-shrinking space for the civil sector.
We saw that even before the COVID-19 pandemics, the civil and political rights of majority of the Eastern Europeans were not guaranteed. Protests against number of governments or against particular decisions are being confronted with unbalanced police force in Georgia, Serbia and Greece. In Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey the space for the civil society is non-existent and the oligarchic governments of other countries from the region are following the bad example of the governments of the above mentioned countries and misusing the pandemic related measures to restrict the rights to protest and at the same time ignoring the outcries for help from the civil sector, as well as the general public. Meanwhile, the levels of trust towards the states and understanding the procedures behind the speeches of the decision-makers is decreasing, as the Eastern Europeans have to think about the economic and health related issues. According to National Democracy Institute (NDI.org), less than one third of young people express satisfaction and trust some political option to represent their needs. We believe, that the pandemic brought out on a daylight the symptoms of deep political crisis that the Eastern Europe (EE) is suffering from for decades and one of the solutions to improve the situation is a massive education of the young people on the importance of their participation in the life of their country. Only by practicing true, informed democracy we will be able to build resilient and just Eastern Europe, where the human rights are respected and youth life flourishing.
To achieve this, our project aims to raise the level of participation among the wider youth in political processes in the Eastern Europe.
This will be done by reaching the following objectives:
- We would like to raise general knowledge among the young people of Eastern Europe on the importance of political participation through voting, civic participation, following the governmental and taxation processes and changes in legislation;
- Motivate young people from the EE to actively participate in the different levels of Political processes;
- Equip young people with the skills necessary for the non-violent political participation in the Shrinking political spaces of the Eastern Europe.
This project consists of three activities, where we will explore why the youth should participate in the civic life of their countries, how to communicate this to the wider youth and the practical Local Actions. The project target group are the young people from the Central and Eastern Europe (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine).
1st phase – Why to participate
The first event of the Work plan is a six day long international activity with the aim to equip youth workers from Eastern Europe with knowledge of the importance of youth participation. This will be achieved by reaching the following objectives:
- Discover the history and function of nation-states in order to understand the current state of affairs in the Eastern Europe;
- Provide a space for participants to understand how their countries function;
- Understanding the big diversity of roles of, and connections between each citizen in a democracy;
- Discussing diverse ways of affecting the policy-making in the Eastern Europe, by exploring worldwide practices.
Date: 11-16 April 2022
Location [updated]: Skopje, North Macedonia
2nd phase – Skills for massive youth activisation
The second activity of the WP is a 5 day international training course focusing on preparing the participants for the 3rd stage – young people from organisations, whose Local Actions got funding – in depth through enhancing their skills. With this phase, we aim to equip youth workers from Eastern Europe with skills of engaging young people in lives of their communities. The objectives are structured around the 4 main parallel session topics:
- To enhance the non formal education skills among the participants;
- To enhance the creative campaigning skills among the participants;
- To enhance the debating and public speaking skills among the participants;
- To enhance the movement organising skills among the participants.
Date [updated]: 08-12 of June 2022
Duration: 5 full working days
Location: Riga, Latvia
Call for Participants
3rd phase – Local actions – mobilising youth for participation
The third phase, Local Actions, is the direct outcome of the first two phases. We will take learning points and skills to the local level and provide participants of the first two phases and young people from EE network with an opportunity to mobilise in their local communities. This activity will aim to give space to youth to reclaim fight for democracy by raising awareness about importance of civic education and youth participation. Local actions will contribute to the following objectives:
- Engaging young people in shaping democratic decision making processes in their local communities with direct participation of youth and promotion of youth inclusion;
- Creating a network of activists and organisations for future collaboration and transfer of knowledge;
- Raising visibility of young people and mobilising them for a common cause of ensuring a better future for all youth by giving voice and agency to them.
We will provide funding for 10 local actions throughout a 4 month period of preparation, implementation and reporting.
Date: September-November 2022
Location: Participating countries
The program of the International Activities will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We strive for active, inclusive and direct communication and transfer and sharing of knowledge. Sessions of the International Activities will be balanced between theoretical inputs, training, workshops, discussions, reflection, planning, brainstorming and other interactive methods of learning.
*All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.