The last Facelook discussion in 2019 was held in Kruševac. Mostly youth was gathered at the event at Saračeva Story cafe, as the guest was popular young actor Petar Strugar. Strugar spoke about his profession and his humanitarian work, and referred to European integrations from the perspective of his work. He stressed that he did not know much about the European Union, but that there were nevertheless things where one could recognize the positive impact of membership and gave the example of Bulgaria.
We want to bring denominators of the EU Enlargement experiences beyond national perspectives. By linking success stories of recent Enlargements with future ones, we want to initiate the EU debate among citizens. We want to remember positive influence of the EU in Central and Eastern Europe and Western Balkans countries and to encourage citizens to engage in making positive changes in their own societies.
In 2018 and 2019 we plan to organize more than 20 events in 6 European Countries and gather as much participants as possible, mostly youth online and offline. The debate topics are focused on the next EU Enlargement in 2025, CEE Enlargement – lessons from citizens’ perspective and the 15th anniversary of the Bing Bang Enlargement.
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Decision makers have to find a better way to communicate the EU to the citizens – participants concluded at the discussion at the Not Another Enlargement Conference, that has marked the end of the project EnlargEUrope. European Union has been sending mixed messages to the countries of the Western Balkans which has significantly impacted the trust of the citizens in the process of European integration.
The first panel moderator, Tijana Rečević, teaching assistant at the Faculty of Political Science, pointed out the contradictory messages from the EU side to the countries of the Western Balkans.
EnlargEurope organized a plenary panel at this year’s Belgrade Security Forum titled ’The Big Bang Enlargement’: 15 Years Since the EU’s Greatest Accomplishment that focused on the 2004 enlargement of the European Union and its consequences 15 years on. The panel, moderated by Jelica Minić, Vice-President of the European Movement Serbia, gathered two members from founding countries of the EU (Italy and Germany), and two members from the “Big Bang” countries (Czechia and Slovenia), who explored the current EU enlargement policies and a wider specter of questions and issues pertaining, but not limited, to the status of the Western Balkans, most notably Serbia, in the eyes of the EU.
In order to bring the EU enlargement process closer to citizens and discuss the benefits it brings to them, the European Movement in Serbia organized a debate in Prijepolje to present the process of European integration from the perspective of citizens of Montenegro, which is like Serbia on its path to the EU membership.
“People in the Western Balkans countries are not sufficiently informed about the EU accession process, and on the other hand, people in the EU Member States take this membership for granted and do not have too much empathy for the countries that are yet to enter, that many things are not harmonized, that it is necessary to add balance to the system”, says Radoje Mijušković of the partner organization “Alfa Centar” from Nikšić
Last week, we organized an event Ask me Anything about EU Citizenship with guests from Croatia in Niš. The participants had the opportunity to hear more about the experiences of Croatian citizens in the European Union in a direct conversation with Martina Horvat and Lucija Dumančić from the renowned Croatian activist organization Gong.
“Croatia’s citizens have gained new opportunities at the EU level with membership. Some problems simply need to be addressed at higher levels, which is why the European Union project is important,” Martina said. She spoke about civic participation locally, nationally and internationally.
The Debate “Ask me anything about Lithuania in the EU”, held at the EU Info Center in Novi Sad organized by the European Movement in Serbia, was an opportunity for young people from Novi Sad to talk about Lithuania’s experience of joining and membership in the European Union with Indrė Kulėšienė. Indre works as a Project Manager in the organization of YEPA and has many years of experience in projects which promote young entrepreneurs, youth employment, informal education and volunteering.
The debate “Ask me anything about Poland in the EU” was held in Belgrade last week. The discussion was organized by the European Movement in Serbia, as the first in the series “Ask me anything about the EU” that the EPuS will organize in different cities throughout Serbia. Interested citizens had the opportunity to discuss with Poland’s European Affairs Expert, Piotr Kaczyński, about the experience of his country in regards to accession and membership in the European Union. Piotr Kaczyński is an independent expert in European affairs, specialized in the decision-making process in Europe. Since 2014 he has been coaching EU officials at the European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht.
International conference titled Great enlargement – Lessons for the Western Balkans was held in organization of the Forum for International Relations of the European Movement in Serbia. National consensus on the issue of accession to the European Union as a crucial element of European integration in Serbia and other Western Balkan countries is the conclusion of the conference. Participants from Europe and the region emphasized the importance of communication of European integration process, rights and obligations, in order to build support and prepare for the EU membership.
he topic of the future of Europe was discussed last Friday in the south of Serbia, with highschool students. Activists of the Youth Forum of European Movement in Serbia held another iteration of European classes at the High School of Economics in Krušumlija, Serbia. They discussed recent challenges that European Union is facing, such as populism, consequences of migrant crisis and Brexit, but also possible ways of EU reform with the students who showed special interest in sharing their opinions and experiences, as well as gaining new knowledge.
First European class within project EnlargEUrope was held on March 21 in Zaječar, Serbia led by EminS’ Youth Forum activists Anja Anđušić and Nevena Nedeljković. The topic was “What is EU enlargement process and how it benefits youth?”, and high school students had the chance to discuss with peer educators on what exactly is the process of European integration, how far Serbia got in the process, what European Union means to them, as well as their prejudices towards it.
One of the most popular young actors, good known TV host, was a guest of the Youth Forum of the European Movement in Serbia, realized in cooperation with the European Movement in Serbia – Kraljevo. An open and informal talk with youth of Kraljevo region was moderated by Isidora Martinenko, EMinS Youth Forum Vice President.
At the first Belgrade Security Forum plenary panel titled “Balkans 2025” moderated by Zoran Nechev from Center for EU integration.
Our lovely capital city of Belgrade was the place of the first partners’ gathering at our EnlargEUrope project that was launched in August.
This year’s 11th Regional Euro-Atlantic Camp REACT was marked by a debate on the topic “Perspective of Montenegrin Membership to the EU – Agenda 2025“.