On January 13, 2018, was held the first transnational meeting to launch the project Creating Critical Minds and Voices in Europe. This project is funded by the Europe for Citizens Program and will be implemented by a consortium of seventeen partners from sixteen European countries : Finland, Slovenia, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland. The project is coordinated by the Dutch partner IDEA NL (International Debate Education Association).
The project enables high school students to deepen their understanding of the threats to democracy, their solidarity and to improve their critical thinking skills. The aim is to create a space for pupils to debate on a national and transnational level on topics related to European citizenship, active participation, the fight against discrimination and xenophobia, the rise of radicalizations, and other subjects that concern the European Union. It aims to deepen young people’s understanding of the values, origins, achievements and institutions of the European Union. In particular, this project gives young people the opportunity to debate with citizens, policy makers and experts from other EU countries, allowing them to gain mutual understanding. In a region as diverse as Europe, creating mutual understanding is an essential step towards a sustainable future in which every citizen will feel welcome. This project also aims to combat stigma, and involves young migrants and refugees as participants in the transnational event in Athens. Participants learn to understand different opinions, which lays the groundwork for fruitful, inclusive and respectful discussions about the ways in which they want Europe to develop.
During the project each partner will organize at least two national events that will mobilize 2×100 young people; each followed by an international event that will bring together 8 students and 2 trainers per partner, or 170 people per event. In total, the envisaged impact would account for at least 3400 young Europeans. Our partnership spanning 16 countries connects national perspectives to transnational issues. These international events will take place in Athens (Greece) and Kranjska Gora (Slovenia). Throughout the project the web page https://www.idebatepeaceanddemocracy.com/ will be active and will disseminate all information related to national and international meetings. On the site, you will also find publications of training manuals and information related to the topics of debate during the various meetings. Feel free to follow us on https://www.idebatepeaceanddemocracy.com/.