The Facelook discussion, as part of the “EnlargEUrope” project, was held in the Turist hotel in Kraljevo on December 11th, featuring famous Serbian actor Bojan Perić. 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.
The participants talked with Bojan and Isidora about what the European Union meant to them and exchanged opinions on civic engagement, activism and youth opportunities within the EU integration process.
The Facelook discussion was arranged as informal talk with participants, drawing common conclusions, and providing answers to questions of how the EU affects citizens’ lives, especially young people.
At the very beginning, Bojan shared his drive to contribute to creating a motivating environment for young people through his personal examples and activism. From artist’s perspective, he talked about challenges he faced throughout his career and work on international and domestic projects. He tried to motivate young people to think and be more informed about available opportunities and better conditions in the European Union.
He said that “everything is based on choices and decisions which each individual makes for himself/herself. A productive environment is made by respecting the opinions of others and following norms of behaviour ensuring no one in the community is threatened. In a well-run society individuals do not lose their own identities as well as the states in the EU. The EU is a well-managed system of norms to me”.
Lazar Simić and Tamara Simonović, pupils of the Kraljevo grammar school, motivated other participants to get involved and shaped the discussion in more engaging matter with their inspiring questions and attitudes.
Lazar said that “every other person feels that we will become less Serbian if we get into EU. That’s a wide spread myth nowadays. Everyone who has a solid sense of identity cannot lose sense of it. The European Union is not here to destroy what is unique, but is here to adjust to some form of communal life. This myth creates an unfounded and negative image for us”.
Tamara added that she feels like information can come from trustworthy and untrustworthy sources. “Information is available but work needs to be done on how and where we can access it”, she said.
Bojan Perić and participants came to a common message: ”Sense of identity won’t be lost if it is constructed in accordance with certain universal norms of correct behaviour; being mindful of diversity does not endanger others. Furthermore, stories and impression are meant to be shared and that is how social consciousness is changed. We can start from today’s Facelook discussion “, they concluded.
The Facelook discussion gathered more than 60 young people and was one of our first youth events within EnlargEurope, project co-funded by Europe for Citizens, Programme of the European Union. Next year 13 youth events will be organised across Serbia and 5 more abroad.