Completion of the online conference “EU and the Future. Insights on issues of equality, youth and refugees”

The Online European Conference organised in the framework of the CERV project, Efivos in Europe, on Thursday 13 June 2024, which was attended by more than 300 people, was concluded with interesting presentations and discussions. Experts and young people shared their experiences, their concerns and optimism about equality, youth and refugees in the European Union. These are three issues that are of interest and concern to young people in the seven countries where the project is implemented.

We thank all the speakers for their contributions as well as the event and panel moderators, Fotini Simic (Greece), Andreas Patsalides & Chrysostomos Pepos (Cyprus) and Fabiana Mitova & Yoan Danchov (Bulgaria).

The first speakers set the basis for the topics that followed, with the first one being Ms. Maria Stratigaki, Deputy Mayor of Social Solidarity and Equality of the Municipality of Athens, followed by Ms. Maria del Mar Bances del Rey, Assistant Representative for Protection at UNHCR in Greece and Evangelia Georgitsis from the European Commission Office in Greece.

This was followed by the equality panel in which youth rights and the legislative framework were discussed and in particular what gender stereotypes and gender equality including LGBTQI+ people, the rights of people with disabilities and finally what United in Diversity means in the European Union. Iolanda Vasile (Romania), Ajanoglou Elli (Cyprus) and Yavor Konov (Bulgaria) contributed to the above.

The second panel provided important information on the active participation of young people and the shaping of their European identity. Elena Madrigal (Spain) and Ivan Fadini (Italy) presented the European programmes for young people while Yuliyana Vasileva (Bulgaria) presented the European Youth Parliament and her personal experience.

The last panel was about the future of refugees in the European Union in a very moving discussion as Linda Awanis (Bulgaria) and Souzane Fatayer (Italy) shared their personal experience and work as well as the problems and anguish of refugees, policy proposals for the integration of refugees (including through legal work) and the possible new waves of refugees due to wars, conflicts and climate crisis.

The conference was organised by the 7 project partners coordinated by the Children’s Rights Network and partners HESED (Bulgaria), Crossing Borders (Denmark), Pacto Verde (Spain), Dedalus Cooperativa (Italy), Citizens in Power (Cyprus), Asociata GEYC (Romania).