After a short introduction by the project leader Herbert Depner with reference to the goals of the project, the presentation of partner institutions was the next topic: history, structure, goals, target groups; ways to deal with integration of refugees and migrants were mentioned.
Nina Andresen (Fonds Soziales Wien on behalf of the administration, Vienna) chaired the Round table discussion “Welcome to Vienna”, presenting “the Viennese refugee program” ; basic care for refugees, infrastructure; and a comparison between the situation in September 2015 to the situation in autumn 2016.
Anna Smuck and Günther Stockinger (teachers of German language courses at VHS Hietzing, Vienna): They presented examples of how to “present European values” to refugees in class by means of comparing them to “values” of the refugees’ home countries.
The next working day was dedicated to the topics Project work distribution / Time table/ Partner agreements/Installment of working groups/Financial management of the project/ fixing of dates for the project meetings and – after a lively discussion – we came up with a first rough structure of our Output.
1st draft of the European Handbook written by Kerstin Weertz, Heike Kölln-Prisner und Angelika Brechelmacher (until February 2017):
Every partner did his/her work!
So we were able to discuss the first chapter of our handbook – History, and it was a vivid and interesting discussion, for not all of us knew every detail of the history of the partner countries.
Another working module lead to the decision to adapt the history chapter according to the following guidelines:
presented her document focusing on facts. Angelika will write an alternative
version of the text focusing on narrative elements. After we know this version
we will start the discussion which text is best suited to reach our goals and
„Fruitful“was the most mentioned word in evaluating the meeting, then „we learned a lot of things”, and “it was a pleasure of meeting you”. Things are starting to get into a shape. We worked in an open and constructive atmosphere where the others opinion had its value. First step from theory into practice was made.
We fixed a timetable preparing the next meeting in Konstanz that will mark half of the projects lifetime, and the project coordinator gave a short outlook to the upcoming interim report scheduled for the end of July 2017.
Handbook – remaining chapters
After a serious discussion during the Konstanz meeting with many “requests to speak” we came up with a list of keywords in order to make the next step in our projects work for Chapter 3 and 4 to be finished in March 2018.
Chapter 1 – History – was definitively closed and accepted by every partner.
For Chapter 2 – Institutions – Poland and Belgium did excellent work, the rest of the partners will have to work on small adaptions for this chapter.
Depner as project coordinator held one-to-one talks with every partner
concerning the requirements for the interim report.
We fixed a timeline in order to meet the 31st of July when the interim report is due to be sent in.
We agreed on the format of the handbook.
Kerstin Weertz from Belgium presented the highly acclaimed website.
Konstanz in a good mood, and the anonymous evaluation after the meeting showed
that almost every participant at the meeting is convinced that our handbook
will be valuable product worth spending 1 ½ years working on it.
As the first step of our dissemination strategy we will collect addresses that would be interested in our final product:
Please look for the name of a contact person in the different associations, administrations, not just the main address.
If helpful one could present the first part of our handbook, as a draft or a teaser.
Kerstin presented the website and the logo - https://www.understandingeurope.eu/ and earned many compliments for it.
TRANSNATIONAL MEETING IN ROMANIA - 2-5 November 2017
Though having different opinions on Europe and its future developments, each participant is still convinced about the relevance of our project and the final product(s).
We were impressed by the two external presentations from Flavius and Simona Ilona-Loga representing AidRom and Cristian Chionecel, Vice-rector of the University of Resita. It was heart-warming to find pro-European personalities in every corner of the EU-member countries, who are willing to strengthen every form of European cooperation.
serious discussions on high level the partners agreed on further adaptations ofthe handbook, “Democracy, participation…” (to be send in the final
versionto the coordinator in two weeks’ time).
On the second day, the coordinator presented a timetable, starting with the final step and breaking down the different tasks to be fulfilled.
added two more to the final chapter “Living in…”: Migration policy and gender
issues as a cross-sectoral theme concerning all the other keywords (media, housing, education, labour
market and economic system, sports, religion, migration
and culture, gender
issues as cross-sectoral theme).