Europe and its Institutions: past, present and future
Visit to the Council of Europe and to the European Parliament
Strasbourg 8th - 11th of March 2009
South Tyrol and Trentino NGOs have a long term relation with several municipalities in the Balkans: Srebrenica, Bratunac and Prijedor in Bosnia Herzegovina, Kraljevo in Serbia and Peja-Pec in Kosovo. In May 2008 delegations from all these areas have been hosted in Bolzano and Trento, for a study visit focused on the history and multi-ethnic composition of the two towns (especially Bolzano/Bozen). The broad institutional autonomy of the local governements and the dailylife confrontation with different languages and cultures have been analyzed and discussed. At the same time the visit has given the opportunity to the different delegations to know each other and exchange views regarding the situation of the Balkans themselves, and to discuss possible joint activities to be organized in the future.
In August 2008 a second meeting has occurred during the International Week of Memory in Srebrenica, hosted by the local group of the project Adopt Srebrenica with the participation of people from Bratunac and Peja-Pec. Through seminars and visits on the field, participants have met the situation of one of the most important and symbolic places in the Balkans, facing the difficulty of mantaining the memory of what happened in that area and in the meantime working for the future of its citizens.
The study trip to Strasbourg is therefore the third appointment among the informal network created by youth and young adhults partners of South Tyrol and Trentino NGOs working in South East Europe. A possible fourth event should then come in June/July 2009, with an invitation to Peja-Pec by the local partners of the “Tavolo Trentino con il Kossovo”.
The main objectives of the study trip to Strasbourg are:
· knowing the history and the specificities of two important European Institutions: the European Parliament and the Council of Europe;
· knowing and discussing political positions of some of the official members of the EP and the CoE regarding South Eastern Europe, the enlargement process and other important issues;
· exchanging experiences and operational instruments with other SEE youth groups active in mobilizing their society and implementing social activities, especially those focused on memory and dealing with the past processes.