The Role of Youth in Re-imagining Integration in Europe; Channels to Social Inclusion and Equality for all
31st to 7th of February, 2016
European integration is a debate that has taken different colorations and interpretations over the years, from generation to generation but the current debates are full of apprehensions and paranoia which has taken a shorter sighted and negative rhetoric’s in which extreme nationalists in European countries have latched on this debate and have dubbed European integration has the ravaging disease that is destroying Europe. The project was not out to make a counter argument but rather it sought to stir the debates around integration away from the normative and narrowed representation of European integration as trade and economic integration but this project will engage in a holistic perspective of integration. What it has meant, what it has achieved and how integration is positively impacting Europe and present day youth and how it will impact generations yet unborn.
The project sought to get young people off the fence and encourage them to consciously engage with the nuances of integration in Europe because it is one of the main issues that will affect their future. The training helped youth workers and young people to engage with the multifaceted dimensions of integration with a view to creating a society that is devoid of discrimination, stereotype and xenophobia but to create a much more equal and inclusive Europe. This kind of broad understanding of European integration by young people will nip in the bud and bit back the rise of extreme nationalism and xenophobia tendencies within the borders of Europe. A broad understanding of integration among the youth will deny recruits and converts to the political rhetoric of new physical borders and slam brakes on the unintended consequences of a two tier Europe demarcated based on GDP and economic indexes as currently seen as northern Europeans and Southern Europeans.
- Promoted a society of equal opportunities
- Promoted a society that is devoid of discrimination and Xenophobia.
- Promoted alternative narrative beyond the market and trade defined integration.
- Trained young people on how to engage with diversity and how to function effectively and compete in a multicultural Europe.
- Trained youth workers from partner’s countries on multiculturalism and leveraging diversity
- Built capacity and understanding around successes that integration has brought Europe
The project broadened discussions beyond the flawed perspective of reducing European citizens to just a number on the GDP scale which has largely been used to illustrate and measure the success of integration in Europe. The project redirected the argument that ties economic crisis to failure of integration and breaks the inertia and lack of enthusiasm seen among young people as it relates to European project and integration. The project infused youth workers and young people with skills that will enable them to leverage diversity in Europe