On the borders of Eastern Partnership

Posted: 2015-06-09
Written by: EU Network
Category: EaPYF2015
Tagged: youth-work ulozas trainings erasmus+ erasmus eap daugirgiske

Editor's note: As any other interesting adventure, this one has it's own beginning and even little history. First impression for me was like labyrinth, but(!) very handy labyrinth with new skills and knowledges in the every coner. The story starts from the EaP youth forum and Erasmus+ when we get acquianted with "braļukai" Mr. Marius Ulozas. On the one hand this story is like public report, but by fact it's much more - it's our history and good review of all EaP politics. Still, more questions appear.




Good news and ideas from Lithuania: project “Next steps of youth policy development in EaP" (NEaP) brought together national youth councils from EaP region countries (Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova), National youth council of Latvia, Baltic media-volunteering project Eunetwork.lv, strongest regional youth NGO in Armenia - Youth initiative center, Ukrainian National youth council and Institute for policy research and analysis from Lithuania. We discussed the youth policy development, co-management and youth work implementations and future youth policy vision in the region. 

Actually “NEaP” is much more important than high-talks of the politicians, because it is the place for new ideas and to rework old ones. This project builds a bridge between huge EaP youth forums in Lithuania (October, 2013) and Latvia (February, 2015) and provides space to reflect on the results of forums and transform them into strategies and policy actions. 

Great work atmosphere became investment into the concentration and practice, but we had very important geopolitical talks as well. Situation is changing, new challenges, new threats and even new demands in the youth field. 
From the practical point of view, now there's real possibility to create fully operated EaP Youth-center for projects and trainings in Georgia (like CoE YC in Strasbourg and Budapest). Also there's interesting initiative, — network of  youth-spaces in Ukraine and common standards for recognition of non-formal education for EaP countries, shared info-space for different language groups and non-visa regime for participants of non-formal education projects.
The idea of bringing different youth policy stakeholders was successful: we summarized the learning outcomes and put them into strategic development plans for each of participating country. Also, we  developed advocacy plans how to advocate for youth work and youth policy (especially strengthening youth participation) development in the region. 
By the way, below is roadmap in geopolitics that we discovered during seminar:
Seminar provided space and support participants development of 8 key competencies and specific competencies on advocacy, democracy, participation, communication which supports us in the promotion of change in the region. Also awareness and understanding of different cultures, countries, democracy practices are raised. I would say more, we even had master-class from street-magician, who brought us new practices and new view on the youth-work from extraordinary angle.
The better way to understand everything we achieved is our thoughts, emotions, results and even.. believs.
Youth-policy makers from different countries share their ideas on the results of the event:
Badri Pataraia, LEPL" Children and youth national center" Ministry of sport and youth affairs: 
For me as active citizen of EAP member country Georgia, this seminar was really important, I got lot's of information about youth policy and youth workers. how works youth policy in Lithuania, and what situation we have at EaP member countries, all this information helps to get more successful in this field and provide it in my country
Gor Makryan, Youth initiative center, Armenia
There are different reasons why I find this event successful. First of all format: I participated in different trainings of such level, but this is interesting because of EaP format. This is also interesting because I am first time in LT and I have heard a lot of Lithuanian youth policy. There is another thing that makes this training important - participating in national group, but in international activity.  
Lilit Magrayan, Youth initiative center, Armenia
I love this training not only because of thematics and practices, but also it was very interesting geopolitical expierence and I get knowledges also about inner policy of different countries. That's important for me, because mass media often aren't objective. Even for me, as a journalist, it's a lot of information. The atmosphere is great here, as well as location and informal format!
Andrey Kolobov, National Youth Council, Ukraine:
It doesn't matter on which position are you, but what do you want to do. The equality between youth NGO, MPP, ministrerial level and recognition of Erasmus+ project. I like informal format very well, there's hope that it will be much more efficient, than on oficial level.
Kolya Sus'ko, Youth Space, Uzhgorod, Ukraine:
I particularly like event, it wasn't only interesting, but also I get useful and practical information. It was here that I got new ideas that I definitely plan to realize. For example, the development of a youth center in the region. We plan to engage youth advocacy when return home. It is very interesting that it was possible to establish cooperation with those people, we have the same views.
Also interesting acquaintances, and it was nice to meet interesting people from Ukraine. We agreed to develop local representatives of national Youth Council of Ukraine.  And yet I was very pleased to visit the wonderful country of Lithuania and meet with the people and with whom we have common views. 
Diana Saghin, Creative Development Association, Moldova:
I got more deep understanding, that youth problems in my country are very very sharp. But there are good achievements, I think this training once again underlined the feeling we are going in the wrong direction. We need to focus on the young people's adaptation to the new world, globalization. Still, young people need practical skills, that are collected through non-formal education, either from school.
Lana Abuladze, Georgia:
I think in this training I was able to develop my youth worker skills and knowledge about youth work and found really good friends. By fact I got a lot of information about successfull expierence of Lithuania and another countries. We had huge discussions and comparetive analysis of our countries. We are planning the future connection and cooperation. Good luck!
Anano Aladashvili, Georgia
It's my first time in LT and it's great to have opportunity to see culture. It's great opportunity to meet all people from EaP countries. It was interesting to to get and share expierence. After NEaP it will be easier for each representative to solve youth problems. Plus really high quality recommendations. It's also important possibility for future partnership, it can be governmental or national level and it was very nice. We can explore what organizations are doing and get ideas for future projects. And I also like the structure and organization of the event because it was very informal, enjoyable way, you do serious things and you enjoy things, also visiting municipalities - for me was the most productive thing of the training and to get acquainted with Institute for policy research and analysis, because I am in process in founding my own organization. And meeting all the people, culture, food - all informal part is very good and important!
Aytan Alyeva, The Great Silk Way, Azerbaijan:
I think training is very useful for every EaP country, I get very useful info about national youth policy and different structure youth affairs. Our system in Axerbaijan is really different from Lithuanian. We have minister of youth and sport and in every 64 region and there are 64 Youth and sports department. And our minister hold all the meeting and event with youth and sport office. I think in Azerbaijan research centers didn't work well. We should do research on different topic, in youth policy and should confuse different youth policy and research. Then in the result we can decide what are the problems and what are the good things of national youth policy.
In this training I developed the idea of EaP Youth Center, sure it will be difficult to create it, because we need support of all countries, but it will be very useful for non-formal education. Also we can take as an example European model, e.g. Strasbourg and/or Budapest.
We (EaP) should create our own youth system and youth policy, because right now we look like additional part of Europe. But I think to developing the idea and for getting results we need to create this center. I am sure our government will support this idea. The best choice for location of EaP youth center is Georgia. After creation of this center we can do all events about youth there.
Samir Mehraliev, Azerbaijan:
We should discuss also financial support for youth policy and agreement about youth councils, NGO's.
Inese Subevica, National Youth Counil, Latvia
Its very important that each member of the State parliament, decision maker and the policy maker at the ministries and local governments, every young person realized that youth policy are the investments to the future not the expenditures today. And the investments we do need today not tomorrow - educational activities, policy making events and the initiatives, youth initiatives, development of the youth policy papers and implementations, youth workers capacity building. The investments are important at all the levels - local, regional, national and international. I really do hope that Slovakian Presidency at European Union council (first half of 2017) by understanding the importance of role of Eastern partnership cooperation development will make the decision to host the 3rd Eastern partnership youth forum shortly.
Justine Fisere, Mazpulki, Latvia
 I had really grate time at this seminar and I know important information about other countries- how they work in youth sector. I had grate expierience and information in Lithuanian Seimas. I was suprised about differences between Latvians and Lithuanians parlaments. First one- Lithueinian deputeits age and the second one was number of ministers. I really like those politic things. I will search more information about youth policy in different countries. I want make a seminar about those things I was learn in this seminar and make discussion how better work with youth and what kind of projects we need to make- now I see many posibilities how we can work.
Roberta Egle, Youth center Kanieris, Latvia
It's very important to cooperate in the youth-policy field in the the Eastern Partnership countries and it's great when people of different nationalities cooperate on local, national and international level. 
Aleksey Vesyoliy, European youth network, Latvia
For me training was useful in terms of youth-policy practice and their implementations. I reworked the idea of Personal Development Cards in non-formal education and faced new challenges in the project implementations, but it was next step forward for implementation.
Anna Selezneva, Y Gallery of contemporary art, Belarus:
The ultimate benefit of taking part in the Seminar, personally as well as professionally, has become the opportunity of getting to know the pathways for intersectuanal multilateral co-operation approaches on implimenting cultural policy with it special focus on youth. On behalf of the Y Gallery of contemporary art, which is in Minsk, Belarus, w've come up with realizing the urgent need of a shift whithin organizational policy, the need of constant steps foward towards finding the way of cooperative approaches in setting the partnership ties with local NGO sector, academic community, govervent institutions as well as local business initiatives. We believe that art could serve it's best as a perfect integrative tool as well as the powerful means to share values, to contribute towards active inclusion of youth to the diverse range of participatory art practices, promoting ideas of volunteering and values of non-formal education. 
We love art fully and unconditionally (c). And we're delighted to invite you to the fascinating journey of inspiring research for hand-on experience, exploring  multidisciplinary pathways of co-operation, as well as for sharing our best practices on art based youth oriented projects!
Liuda Griu, Creative Development Association, Moldova:
First of all I like very much the participant, great people with a great background and life experience. I'm really glad that I am here, because I learned a lot from everybody, I succes to talk with almost everybody and this is a good achievment. The trainers a veeeeeryyy good as profesional and as persons. A lot to learn from them. Also, a very good environment to reflect, to have a walk, to sleep great and to do workout in the morning at the balcony :)))
What else, I liked Vilnius, I liked icecream, I like everything, but I was thinking, if I could have a chance to move to other country/city, I wont move to Vilnius because I still feel this russian/sovietic influence, most of the people speak and know russian, but I am veerryy against russian people and as much as I want change this stereotype that russian people I consider them "pigs" I still can not do it, so sorry.
I think that participating in international training, events, etc. I can do a change in my country, I am brave, I have potential and a lot of people that will follow me.
And at the end, I wish you a lot of luck, motivation and a lot of successful networking. With love from Moldova.
Davit Kakava, Recmag.org, Georgia:
First of all, guys from Politycal and analysys org. are involved in projects(especially youth policies) and i trust they competence in the theme, and this is the reason i am here. I came to the project with the expectation to discuss the current youth policy situation in my country and the countries of the EaP regio: What are the challenges and opportunities of implemenation of youth policy, who are the main actors and plociy makers, how are the Youth organizations and youth are involved in polocy making and its implementation. This project gives opportunity to get invovled in policy drafting on municipal level: how to apraoch municipality, youth organization and push evidence-based policy implmenation on the local level.
Aleksey Vesyoliy for EUNetwork.lv and Institute for policy research and analysis.


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