Understanding Europe

During the period 01.10.2016 – 31.03.2018, the Nevo Parudimos implemented the strategic project called “Understanding Europe”, with the reference number 2016-1-AT01-KA204-016702, as partner, the coordinator of this project being DIE WIENER VOLKSHOCHSCHULEN GMBH, from Austria, together with the other partners: HAMBURGER VOLKSHOCHSCHULE (Germany), EU WAREHOUSE (Belgium), SPRACHENDIENST KOSTANZ (Germany), UNIVERSITAET KLAGENFURT (Austria), POLESKI OSRODEK SZTUKI (Poland), BULGARIAN DEVELOPMENT AGENCY SDRUZHENIE (Bulgaria).
As this situation is new for Europe, more institutions are looking for intelligent answers; the desire is that of consolidating pro-European forces from member states and to work in searching for one of many common answers to the refugees’ situations. The knowledge of Europe is seen as a contribution to a successful integration of refugees in European societies and a manner to learn about Europe, as part of the learning process of the host country language.

Objectives:
• A manner to learn about Europe as a contribution to a successful integration of refugees in European societies;
• A manner to learn about Europe as a learning process of the host country language;
• The successful integration and inclusion of immigrants and refugees in European societies.
The latter can be realized in two different manners:
Asylum is a human right to which we engage without any reserves;
The next step is the refugees’ decision to integrate in the European societies.
Keeping in mind that ideas, hopes, opinions and knowledge about Europe among refugees differ, the desire is that of eliminating information deficits, to move the educational process and produce, in addition to the learning of a local language, a new manner to learn which contains two parts:
“Understanding Europe – A guide for European citizenship” and “About Germany / Austria / Poland / Romania / Bulgaria / Belgium – A guide for German / Austrian etc. citizenship”
The guide “Understanding Europe” has four chapters proposed:
• Free Europe, security and justice, including the four freedoms;
• Democracy, participation and citizenship in the EU;
• EU institutions;
• European Union History;
• Understanding Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Belgium.
The national guides had proposed 4 chapters:
• History of Germany / Austria / Poland / Romania / Bulgaria / Belgium;
• Institutions of Germany / Austria / Poland / Romania / Bulgaria / Belgium;
• Democracy, participation, citizenship in Germany / Austria / Poland / Romania / Bulgaria / Belgium;
• Living in Germany / Austria / Poland / Romania / Bulgaria / Belgium (educational system, labour force market and economy, lodging, arts and culture, social work).
We are convinced that well informed people may take a serious decision on how they want to establish in Europe and what their perspectives for the future are. We are also convinced that migrants must be supported in this integration process as well as possible.
The project logistics includes more meetings during the project implementation, in order to facilitate a better coordination from each partner in the realisation of the guide and in understanding the future steps of the project.
The first coordination meeting took place in Wien, Austria, during the 26th and the 29th of October 2016, where the first logistical aspects of each partner were discussed. Moreover, after each meeting, each partner knew the task that needed to be realized before the next reunion, which meant preparing a description of 7 pages on the history of each country, which will later be used in the creation of the guide “Understanding Europe”.

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The second meeting – Sofia, 9-12 March 2017, during which each partner presented a chapter about national history. Later, each partner received a feedback on and agreed on the final content of the “History” chapter. In addition, the following meeting was established and the tasks to be realized by then, which referred to the finalisation of the final version of the “History” chapter and preparing for the “Institutions” chapter.

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The third trans-national meeting for the strategic project Understanding Europe was hosted by our partner in Germany, Sprachendienst Konstanz, during the period 22-25 June 2017, in the city of Konstanz. During this meeting the second chapter of the guide was discussed and the content of the third chapter was established. Kerstin Weertz from EU Warehouse presented the project website and the logo created, and its content and dissemination methods were discussed. In addition, the project coordinator explained to all partners the procedure for the establishment of the intermediary rapport and each partner’s tasks, for the sending of the final rapport in time. During the same meeting, the schedule for the future meeting was established, the one held in Resita during the period 2 – 5 November 2017.

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The fourth meeting took place during the period 2 – 5 November 2017, in Resita. The Nevo Parudimos Association organized the working meeting from the strategic project Understanding Europe, a meeting during which the partners’ representatives participated, together with external experts involved in the elaboration of these guides. The meeting took place at the Didactic Body House, a local partner in the implementing of this project, where the third and fourth chapter were discussed for the guides “Understanding Europe” and „Understanding Germany / Austria / Poland / Romania / Bulgaria / Belgium”; the dissemination event was also discussed, which took place in Bruxelles, on the 1st of March 2018.
Another subject discussed was connected to the analysis of implementing activities with the help of AIDRom from Timisoara, where Flavius Ilioni-Loga and Simona Ilioni-Loga participated as integration experts for asylum searchers and for refugees, who also applied a method presented in the guide „Understanding Romania” (world cafe). The presentation of the method used had a great impact, and partners were satisfied with the results obtained for the application of a new method to reach national language.
The meeting agenda also included a visit to the “Eftimie Murgu” University of Resita, where the delegation from Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium and Romania had the chance to discover the old education institution, where representatives of each faculty received the delegation and presented scholarships for Bessarabia students and for Serbian ones, and the Erasmus+ department. As a result of this visit, the only regret of this delegation was that the short time didn’t allow the discovery of more information about the Resita University. The following step of this project included the finalisation of the four chapters and the translation of the guide “Understanding Europe”, the dissemination conference organized on the 1st of March 2018, in Bruxelles and the last work visit organized during 2-3 March 2018, in Bruxelles.
Thus project was financed by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Commission, Key action 2, and strategic partnerships.

Partners

DIE WIENER VOLKSHOCHSCHULEN GMBH (Austria) – coordonator,
ASOCIATIA NEVO PARUDIMOS (Romania), 
HAMBURGER VOLKSHOCHSCHULE (Germania), 
EU WAREHOUSE (Belgia),
 SPRACHENDIENST KOSTANZ (Germania), 
UNIVERSITAET KLAGENFURT (Austria),    
POLESKI OSRODEK SZTUKI (Polonia), 
BULGARIAN DEVELOPMENT AGENCY SDRUZHENIE (Bulgaria)

 

Disclaimer
This communication reflects the author’s opinions and the European Commission can’t be made responsible for the use of the information contained.