Magyarország/Hungary "The Students Without Boundaries"
The Students Without Boundaries program is for 135 students from Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia annually, who take part in leadership workshops. The program fosters exchange of experience among students on issues such as European educational opportunities, enlargement of the EU and common funds. During the two weeks of the camp, they also share their cultural heritage. Upon completing the program, they return home and continue this exchange of experience and community building online.
The summer camp features a human rights workshop and history workshops, developing a shared sense of European identity and integration. The selection of the participants is considered on the basis of their submitted essays on different topics each year, such as "The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008". Participants have the opportunity to present their essays at the workshops, starting a discussion of current issues. The selection procedure is done by a cooperation of representatives from 5 countries.
The aims of the EU for developing a community without borders agrees with the aims of the SWB program: members of the young generation from the EU and from candidate and potential candidate countries, put into practice living as a European community in the multi-cultural Europe. The camp thus is a forum for educating European values, such as cultural, ethnic and religious understanding among young leaders.
The SWB program serves as a role model for European cooperation, as it fosters European integration: upon completing the summer program, students return home and integrate their local communities into the program.
The former participants, that is, 1500 students from 5 countries, form a community today, called the Rákóczi Family, which is a comunity offering practical examples of European living together as one community, serving also as an online community, as a forum for job creation, collective application for funds, educational projects and legal issues.
United Kingdom ´´London Festival of Europe´´
The London Festival of Europe is an annual two-week series of free public lectures, debates and art events in some of London's most prestigious venues. It promotes engagement in European affairs amongst young people and others, and celebrates the cultures in Europe. It works with a wide range of partners, including London School of Economics, TATE modern, Chelsea College of Art and Design, the Federal Trust, opendemocracy.net, cafebabel.com, Institut Francais and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
The first festival was held in March 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the treaty of Rome. It saw over 1500 people attend its 10 events, including 250 for the key-note debate on Europe's values on the anniversary, 25th March.
The Festival was founded by Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolo Milanese, and the Festival Team is made up of 11 young people representing 9 different European countries, who are all volunteers and work with the spirit of civic duty and adventure. Segolene Pruvot has become a team manager. The Festival Team works throughout the year in different locations and through different means of communication, because all the team move around Europe frequently. The Festival actively fosters relations with student societies in the UK and abroad and actively promotes initiatives by other young people.
The Festival promotes the celebration of both cultural differences and similarities and works towards the development of a rich sense of common European Identity. The Festival has become an annual event in London's cultural calendar, and the London Festival of Europe 2008 is even richer in its program, and will take place in March.
Ελλάδα/Greece The 1st High School of Byron (Athens)
Already for 30 years (since 1979), the 1st High School of Byron is trying to inform its students of the European Union and develop European identity in them. Our eforts on EU-related activities were strenghtened after 1981 when Greece became the member of the European Union, and after 1996 in order to promote even more the mutual understanding between people from different European countries; develop a common European identity, as well as offer some practical examples of Europeans living together as one community.
All these activities lead to introducing a completely new subject in our curriculum - an European Study course. This is something thatthe Greek Ministry of Education has yet to achieve in the national level.
For 2008 our activities include:
i) We have established contacts with Gymnasium Nr10 in Rzeszow (Poland);
ii) We are preparing an event "The Spring of Europe" focussing on the issues of multiculturalism in March;
iii) We have invited 22 students from the school Emmaus College of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) for the 4th time in a row to celebrate with us the Europe Day on 6th of May.
With our combined activites during all the years we have namaged to raise awareness in the European Union among a few thousands of our students. We are continuing our effeorts because we believe that the most effective way of connecting people with the European ideas is through education. We always have in mind the words of Jacques Delors: "We should learn to know, we should learn to act, we should learn to coexist... we should learn to exist".