In the informative meeting held on 25 October 2019, between European Movement in Albania (EMA) and 25 youths selected to be part of the activity, which will take place in Napoli, in the framework of Erasmus+ project, TAKE Part (11-15 November 2019) some relevant information was provided: i) on the sending organization EMA, its experiences with the youth and other engaging opportunities; ii) impressions and suggestions from the participants of the last year in the youth exchange in Naples; iii) information about the agenda of the activity and other thematic and logistic details.
Firstly Sonila Dubare, Policy Researcher at EMA made a short presentation of European Movement Albania (EMA), with focus on youth work and youth projects. EMA was founded in 2007, in response to Albania’s increased efforts to speed up the process of preparing for EU membership. Taking in consideration the role and potential of the youth, it was attributed a particular attention and focus on empowering this generation. EMA right now has made a tradition in implementing projects which promote participatory democracy and youth role in this direction. EMAs’ activities are categorized as activities whith informative nature thanks to its online portal EuroSpeak, public discussions, open forums and periodical publications and also those with focus on capacity building. The young participants in the training were encouraged to get involved with the various projects and initiatives EMA undertakes. They are invited to be involved in activities and projects that EMA is currently organizing or will implement in the future.
Following, participants introduced themselves. Klea Xhaferi, intern at EMA, moderated the introduction process in a game format where each pair of participants would have to present the person in their side, to the others which were present.
From around 200 applications, only 25 of them were elected, among them 14 girls and 11 boys and the average age of the group is estimated in 23 years old. The participants came from different fields of studies or work experiences, mentioning Political and Social Sciences, Law, Informatics, Engineering. This in order to create a group with different backgrounds that will give them the opportunity to exchange their own ideas and experiences. When asked to share their expectations, the participants said they wanted to: gain a new experience and learn about methods that would contribute to the development of online democracy in Albania; create an online international platform focusing on the regional process of decision-making; getting to know the new European practices related to online decision-making; they intend to implement new platforms in Albania and their concrete application; increase cooperation and exchange ides among youth.
Part of the meeting were Loriana Bara and Jetnor Kasmi, as participants of the seminar in Naples held in June, similar to the one that is expected to be held on 11-16 November in Naples with Institute for the Future (Italy). They shared their experiences with the youth by doing stimulation to fully engage with the project. Jetnori and Loriana, held a conversation with the present participants, highlighting the importance and value of the project. They invited the youth to be active in the lectures and to respect the rules of participation, to gain not only an intellectual experience but also to gain as much information as possible from lecturers and personalities of the field in Italy and Europe. They answered every question of the interested participants and wished them a valuable experience.
Ms. Nirvana Deliu, Coordinator of T.A.K.E Part project, brought a lot of detailed information to the participants concerning the Italian hosting organization Institute for the Future and other partner institutes in Italy like: Naples municipality, Europe Direct Centre and Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies in Napoli, which will also be host institutions for the activity. During the 4 days of the activity they are expected to be part of: 1) Lectures from Italian and foreign experts on e-democracy, the successful methods that have been used so far, their advantages, but also the challenges they face during implementation and 2) World Cafes, where the main focus of the discussion will be the young participants. During the afternoons, the participants will have the chance to discover the city of Napoli and enjoy its beauty. On the last day of the activity, the participants will have to prepare for YouthPass awarding ceremony and after that for the intercultural night (which means that they have to introduce and promote their country by bringing traditional drinks or food, dancing traditional dance or even presenting their most touristic places in their country. At the end of her presentation, Nirvana shortly presented the topics of the discussion: E-democracy and different digital methods to enable the engagement in decision-making; experiences from both municipalities or even European institutions when using social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; creating platforms for online consultation or discussion (e-consultations or e-delibaration), online petitions (e-petitions), online voting (e-voting) etc.
The activity was closed with questions and discussions from the youngsters in relation to logistic elements but also to the topics and their preparation.