=

Connect Europe EU4Citizens project event on #Solidarity in Gdańsk, 3.12.2019

On 2nd and 3rd December 2019, our Europe for Citizens project partners travelled to Gdansk, Poland, to visit us and engage in a conversation centring around the theme of Solidarity.

What is the Connect Europe project about? This project aims to connect citizens and civil society representatives with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European values are threatened with increased populism and nationalism around Europe. We want to raise awareness about the EU charter and discuss our fundamental rights as citizens of the EU. It is essential for all the partners in this project to counter these right-wing movements and instead promote a visionary and factual based discussion. In this project, we aim to take a different approach when it comes to communicating EU issues. Our strategic point of departure is starting a conversation about the common, cross-border challenges that will create a fora where common solutions can be discussed in a constructive manner. The topic of a common future is the starting point for citizens-to-citizens dialogue. This will move the discussion from a pro- or against the EU towards a more visionary, value- and fact-based discussion.

In a tour of the city we learned of the hardships, battles and historical events that had taken place in this war-tormemded city – historically a place for outside forces to claim with little disregard for the existing population. But also, a city that should come to play a profound role in the healing of Europe and fall of the communist regime.

The key to this story we found at the old shipyard. Today a peaceful sight and build in its place, the European Solidarity Center, a museum, but in earlier days a centre of deadly worker struggles, a fight for justice and – in the end – the birthplace of free trade unions in Poland. Sparks may have flown here but as it turned out, the same sparks that sprung from the suffering of suppressed workers lighted the fire of democracy and foresaw the end of communism.  

Solidarity

The European charter for fundamental rights has a chapter especially suited to converse about in this historical place, Chapter IV, Solidarity and especially Article 28:

Article 28

Right of collective bargaining and action
Workers and employers, or their respective organisations, have, in accordance with Community law and national laws and practices, the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements at the appropriate levels and, in cases of conflicts of interest, to take collective action to defend their interests, including strike action.

Solidarity was also the name of the first free trade union in Polen, Solidarność, who’s leader, Lech Wałęsa, was later elected for president and awarded the Nobel Peace Price. But in the beginning, it was a social movement that trough civil resistance worked to ensure social change and workers rights.

A place for solidarity

European solidarity centre today houses the story of the struggles of Solidarność and the Polish struggle for democracy. This special day it also housed us, a school class of youngster who was to learn about the story as well as debating amongst themself what the idea of solidarity meant for them.

When asked to reflect upon the meaning of solidarity the students came up with many responses – it’s about teamwork, coming together, acceptance. But also, it is about power and action. The power of the many was not lost on the youth who was inspired by the stories of the past.

As Jacek Koltan, deputy director of European Solidarity Center puts it, one of the most important demands today is the need for physical spaces where we can create a sense of community and debates the struggles of today. The issues we face, such as climate changes and social division, is those of great complexity that we need to come together around if we are to find sustainable solutions.

Perhaps that is also what we need today. New spaces to reflect on our shared interest. Together we stand, divided we fall.​

See more in the video from Gdansk here:

Euroregion Baltic together with European Solidarity Centre in the framework of “Connect Europe”, Europe for Citizens project organizes a full-day workshop with the debate on the solidarity and EU rights. Read more about our project here: www.eurights.org
This project aims to connect citizens and civil society representatives with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European values are threatened with increased populism and nationalism around Europe. We want to raise awareness about the EU charter and discuss our fundamental rights as citizens of the EU.

When: 3rd December 2019, 9.30-15.30
Venue: European Solidarity Centre, pI. Solidarności 1, 80-863 Gdańsk
The event will be held in English

Current agenda is attached below:

You can now register to the event using this link:
https://bit.ly/33zYgmJ 

We have only a limited number of participants, due to the fact that we will visit the European Solidarity Centre exhibition together to learn about the solidarity to discuss its meaning in the European Union and beyond. So register ASAP and come meet youth and NGO representatives from 6 countries.

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum invites young professionals aged between 25 and 35 from the EU, Russia, and other European states to apply for the Annual “Europe Lab” Forum.

Forum for Young Professionals “Europe Lab” is a unique communication and exchange platform for changemakers from all over Europe working in public administration, business, NGOs, universities, think tanks, and other fields of professional engagement.
Main goals of “Europe Lab” are to enable cross-sector cooperation and promote an exchange of ideas, develop partner and professional networks, and encourage common cross-border projects and initiatives all over Europe.

The working language of the Forum is English.

“Europe Lab” will take place on 27–30 July 2017 at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, Poland.

The programme of “Europe Lab” 2017 includes:

Workshops:
• Freedom and Captivity – Solidarity in the Present and in the Past
• Climate Change – Where Are You Going?

Innovative Formats:
• Gdańsk in the Spotlight – City Development Hackathon
• 360° Story – Multimedia Telling
Each format will be curated by a coordinator.

The best common projects, whose ideas were elaborated during the Forum, will be granted. The results will be presented at the 8th General Assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum in 2018.
Finally, “Europe Lab” alumni are invited to join the young professionals’ platform at the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, to lead and play a role in a number of future initiatives.
Costs for workshops, accommodation, and meals are covered by organisers. Travel costs are borne by participants themselves.
Please submit your application until 1 May 2017 here.

For more information about the event, please go to ERCSF official website.

Forum for Young Professionals “Europe Lab” is organised by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum in cooperation with the European Solidarity Centre and DRA / German-Russian Exchange as well as supported by the European Commission and the Oak Foundation.

The Solidarity Academy of the European Solidarity Centre in cooperation with the Council of the Baltic Sea States is looking for 16 active, aspiring and young (20-30 years old) journalists from the member and observer states of CBSS who are willing to improve their editorial and journalism-related skills and engage themselves into the international networking process by taking part in the 2016 Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue.

The week-long seminar (13-20th November 2016) is an international project aimed at inspiring and supporting the development of the young intellectual elites in the Baltic Sea region.
At the workshops and lectures held during the Solidarity Academy-Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue in Gdańsk and Kaliningrad, 16 young journalists will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and improve their skills in such issues as geopolitics or liberation movements on both a local and global/ European scale and the Baltic Sea region in particular.

For more information about the event, please find attached the call for applications.

To register for the competition please fill out the online registration form.

The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.