The first dissemination meeting of Com’On Cluj-Napoca took place in Brussels on Monday, 19 October.
Hosted by MEP Iuliu Winkler from the EEP Group, the event gathered key partners and stakeholders of this project and the process. The event was attended by Ms. Stine Andresen, Director of the Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA Grants and Conor O’Neill, policy officer of the European Youth Forum. The event was presented under the recently launched #YouthUp initiative and movement of the European Youth Forum.
András Farkas, as the project manager of Com’On Cluj-Napoca but also as the Operations Director of the Network of European Youth Capitals declared: “One thing always leads to another. This is the best way to describe how Com’On Cluj-Napoca took birth. It would not have happened if Cluj-Napoca wouldn’t have earned the European Youth Capital title for 2015. This also would not have happened, if several experts, youth organisations and the municipality would not have challenged each-other to jointly apply for this title back in 2012. We are now again at a turning point in 2015: what do we have to do today in order to start a new chain of events which leads to even more youth participatory processes not just in Romania, but in more and more cities in Europe? How can we imagine youth participation in 2020 or even 2030, as a matter of fact?”
The tournament continued yesterday with a dissemination in Strasbourg during the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and with a special moment in the European Youth Centre on Thursday night gathering youth participants of the same event.
“With its budget of 36 million euro the NGO Fund is the second biggest NGO scheme in the portfolio of EEA Grants Europe-wide, and the biggest programme in our Romanian portfolio consisting of 330 million euro. It is a joy for us to see a local level project brought up to the capital of Europe and too meet you in person here”,added Ms. Stine Andresen, Director of the Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA Grants.
Conor O’Neill, policy officer of the European Youth Forum underlined: “We recently launched our #YouthUP initiative aiming to foster democratic participation and citizenship education. I believe Cluj-Napoca as 2015’s European Youth Capital proved that it is possible to encourage young people to participate, and Com’On Cluj-Napoca did exactly this. Our new research study “young people and democratic life in Europe” provides an overview of the themes and trends around the topic of young people’s relationship with democratic life in Europe, and offers a number of recommendations to improve youth participation in politics. These include participatory budgeting schemes as a best practice that can be implemented at local level.”
The purpose of the meeting was to present results, challenges and possible multiplication of the this participatory budgeting model and to address the issue of local youth policies and their connection with European level decision-making.
The English brochure of the Com’On Cluj-Napoca project was also presented during this dissemination meeting. The brochure presents the origins, the process, the outcome and possible continuation of the project. It aims to become a useful resource for any city, region in Europe which aims to develop similar processes. The brochure will also be made available online soon.