Annual Report 2003
|EUROLINK - House of Europe|
EUROLINK - House of Europe
ANNUAL REPORT 2003
EUROLINK - House of Europe operates as an independent educational/information agency in close co-operation with the pan-European network FIME, associated to the Council of Europe since 1962. Within FIME, we are member of the Information Network.
Our organization was established in March 1997, thanks to an initiative of some leading Romanian specialists, intellectuals, businessmen, journalists and students. The main goal of our foundation is to deepen and to promote the European Idea, the aspirations of an United Europe, a new type-security system through a specific Romanian and Central-European contribution to this unique process. The House of Europe provides to Bucharest an independent public arena for debates concerning the major issues of the European unification, and of the Euro-Atlantic enlargement.
In October 1999, EUROLINK - House of Europe was acknowledged as the first Romanian information and educational institution affiliated to the FIME network, present in over 30 countries, including Russia and Turkey.
In the year 2003, EUROLINK House of Europe Foundation in Bucharest, Romania continued to develop information and educational projects designed to prepare and accelerate the preparation of Romanian elites and other target-groups of citizens in view of the accession of the country to the European Union and NATO.
In the same time, we conferred a special focus on the familiarisation of our members and participants to our public events, informal meetings and current activities, with a multicultural perspective and a team-work spirit for a closer regional co-operation.
Name of the project: National Histories in South-Eastern Europe and History of a United Europe
a. Second Training Session Intercultural diversity and European values within the SEE national curricula in history
The project was aimed to establish a functional South-Eastern European student and alumni network on long-term in the field of History Studies, dedicated to change the perspective on the contribution and history of minorities in the region, the introduction of the European principles, values and practices within the academic life and the dissemination process of national history
ERASMUS Society - The Romanian Student Association of History Studies, Romania
People's Parliament Association in Leskovac, Serbia
Youth Council of Prilep, Macedonia
The partner-organisations are to influence the consolidation of a new educational mentality and tools, concerning the studies and understanding of national History within the socio-humanistic faculties, especially stressing the role of national minorities, in accordance to the new European needs, standards, development trends and updated scientific/intercultural perspectives to be implemented within the academic environment, in view of the general process of the EU and Euro-Atlantic accession.
Sponsors: Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute
Location and period of the event: Timisoara, Romania March 2003
This event completed the training section of the project, which consisted in two intensive training sessions, focused on: 1) the scientific teaching contents, and 2) the innovation of educational methods and tools on teaching national histories. We hosted lecturers and participants from SEEC countries (Bulgaria, Moldova, Serbia and Romania) and EU Member-States (Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain).
Special guest lecturers and trainers:
Prof. Florian Bieber, Senior Non-Resident Research Associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues (Flensburg, Germany), currently working in Belgrade - Serbia, and also Recurrent Visiting Professor at the Nationalism Studies Program of the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He moderates also an e-mail group-list, called "Balkan List", which is well-known and appreciated in SEEC.
Mr. Joaquim Pinto-Da-Silva, Expert of the European Commission in Brussels, Director in the General Directorate Information and Education, a well-known specialist in civil society organisations and exchanges in Candidate and Associated Countries.
Prof. Vito A. D'Armento from the Department of Educational Sciences of the University of Lecce, Italy and Vice-President of European Society of the Ethnography of Education (SEEE).
Drd. Corneliu Berari, currently completing his PhD at University of Munich, Germany, and also Civic Education Project Fellow Research in Romania.
Mrs. Ildiko Pataki, Associate Consultant to the Center Education 2000+, within the Soros Organisations Network in Romania.
The participants and guest lecturers also joined the celebration of the Spring Day in Europe, an event organised in the Technical College of Timisoara. A first part was dedicated to a debate, organised by pupils, regarding the stage of preparation of Romanian society in view of EU accession. The guest-lecturers commented the deployment of the debate and presented their own experience as European citizens. The final part of the event was an entertainment moment, consisting in a fashion parade representing various European traditions in this field.
A final trip followed by a social event was organised at Cheversh Student Camp, 35 km from Timisoara. All participants received Certificates of Graduation, confirming their participation to the Second Training Session within our project.
Press echoes: Our training session enjoyed of a special attention from the local and regional media, both before and after the deployment of the event:
b. Final Evaluation Workshop Meeting of the Joint Task Force Group
Location and period of the event: Bucharest, Romania May 2003
In order to evaluate the results of the project and to plan the best strategy for continuing the purposes of the project, we organised the Final Evaluation Workshop, an internal meeting, organised with the support of the Faculty of History of the University of Bucharest. On this occasion, the Joint Task Force Group decided that for the reform of teaching/learning national histories it will be important to focus on elements aimed at:
However, the main point is to create a trend that might influence all the components:
The Joint Task Force Group examined and generally approved the Draft Version of the White Paper (for the final version, please see: www.houseofeurope.ro/paper.htm ). The White Paper was disseminated to the participants and networks invited to the events organised within the project; to the e-mail groups (Romania EU List, Education Educatia 2000 +, Balkan Academic News, Kultur Kontakt, International Institute for Democracy of the Council of Europe, RIAJ News etc); SEEC national curricula committees, educational institutions and ministries of education; European associations of history teachers.Information and education in view of the Enlarged Europe
Name of the project: EU PROCESS ACADEMY (The Central and South-Eastern European Academy in public relations and Lobby in favour of the United Europe
First Training Session: Challenges, reform and new opportunities resulting from the European Convention works. How to design effective public affairs schemes and lobbying techniques in the future European Union.
The project is a complex information/educational macro-project involving the Western region of Romania and its cross-border neighbors/regions. This first international training seminar was a three-day intensive session, aimed to inform and explain about the institutional changes and new working-style of the European Union after the European Convention. During the operation, we will organise a General Public Debate, designed to disseminate and multiply the results of the works, followed by a Press Conference, publicised through the media partners of the project.
a) influent decision-makers from the private, public and NGO sector from Romania, also South-Eastern Europe and CEE;
b) representatives of the regional, central and European/international organizations involved in the monitoring, evaluation and couselling process in view of the regional integration of the CEE/SEE countries;
c) general public, especially confronted with the social and economic aspects of the ongoing reforms.
Special guest lecturers and trainers:
Campaign Act4Europe, Brussels
City Council of Manduria, Italy
City Hall of Timisoara
Global Contract Foundation, Hamburg
Institute for Free Enterprise, Berlin
Institute for Political Sciences, Berlin
Sponsors: City Council of Manduria (Italy), City Council of Timisoara, Local Council of Recas (Timis county), Banc Post, EUROSTEP (Brussels).
Location and period of the event: Timisoara, Romania July 2003
Short description: First training session of the EU PROCESS ACADEMY. The focus of the first edition was designed to offer a highly innovative and unique combination of debate sessions and clearly focused training workshops, an intensive practical insight of who is who in the European Union, to which EU bodies one should address for partnership projects, how interest-groups are built in the EU, what one should expect from the European Convention and how European institutions will work after enlargement.
Our training session enjoyed of a special attention from the local and regional media, both before and after the deployment of the event:
Public Channel TVR, Daily Newspaper Ziua de Vest, Weekly Magazine Focus
Vest, Weekly Magazine Agenda, Radio Vest, Analog TV, Radio 21,
Public Radio Timisoara
Monthly Review Comunicatii Mobile
Scientific research and co-operation
1. Event:The Institutional Analysis and the Educational Culture - the third international Symposium of the European Society of Educational Etnography (SEEE)
Organiser: European Society of Educational Etnography (SEEE), under the patronage of MIUR CSA Taranto.
Location and period: Taranto, Massafra, Martina Franca (Province of Puglia, Italy) February 2003
Description:Our delegates participated to the general debates, lecturers given to students, exchanges with the academic consortium of Taranto and workshops dedicated to the improvement and implementation of the institutional analysis in the educational reform in European schools and educational institutions for persons in needs /marginal groups.
2. Event: International Public Debate:Reasons for War, Reasons for Peace
Organiser: Local Council of Manduria and Lions Club
Location and period: Manduria, Italy February 2003
Description: Public debate with the participation of academic professors from Finland, Germany, Italy and Romania, under the patronage of the Mayor of Municipality of Manduria. The Executive President of the House of Europe, Mr. Sever Avram, held a lecture on the topic: "The ways to avoid the war in Irak".
3. Event:The Transatlantic Relations on the Test Bench
Organiser: European Academy in Otzenhausen, in co-operation with FIME partners.
Location and period: Otzenhausen, Germany February 2003
Description:Our delegates participated to the International Conference in History, within a series of scientific debates dedicated to the evaluation of the Cold War and totalitarian regimes in Central-Eastern Europe.
4. Event: Security Challenges for EU and NATO
Organiser: European Academy in Otzenhausen, in co-operation with FIME partners.
Location and period:Otzenhausen, Germany June 2003
Description:Our delegate participated to the International Conference in International Relations, within a series of scientific debates.
Work and participation within pan-European networks and virtual forums
REGENT: Regional Centre for the Public Authorities-NGO Partnership in South-Eastern Europe
1. Event: The Key-Role of Timisoara and of the Western Region in the accession process to the EU
Organisers: EUROLINK House of Europe in co-operation with the City Council of Timisoara
Location and period: Timisoara March 2003
Description:On the occasion of the sixth anniversary of EUROLINK - House of Europe, we organised a special Public Debate, under the High Patronage of the Mayor of Timisoara, aimed to analyse the study-case of intercultural diversity and inter-ethnic harmony of Timisoara, as an example to be promoted for the association/stabilisation process and regional integration in South-Eastern Europe.
2. Event:Europe in the World the role of development in foreign policy
Organisers: a UK Development and Humanitarian NGO consortium, in co-operation with British Council, with the support of TRIALOG and the European Commission.
Location and period: Brussels, Belgium May 2003
Description: Our delegates participated to the debates related to the institutional reforms and practical consequences on the relations between EU and developing countries, after introducing the European Constitution. The event enjoyed of the contribution of the ministers of development from Sweden and Netherlands, high representatives of the European Commission, ambassadors and diplomats in Brussels and leading European journalists.
ACT4EUROPE CAMPAIGN of the Contact Group of the European Civil Society
During the works of the Convention for the Future of Europe, we were deeply involved in the Advocacy and Lobby Campaign in favour of an improved final draft of the future European Constitution. In this respect, we sent an Open Letter to the Romanian official representatives to the convention in favour of a more participative democracy. We also circulated a Call to action in favour of the future European Constitution. At the end of the Convention and before the opening of the Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC), we took part to the consultations regarding the further strategy to be adopted during the work of the IGC. For more details about the campaign, please see: www.act4europe.org
Event: Working Meeting in Brussels, Belgium
Location and period: Brussels, Belgium December 2003
Description: Our delegates paid a visit and had meetings with the representatives of the partners networks located in Brussels ACT4EUROPE, EUROSTEP, ECAS and with officials of the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The main objective of this visit was to set-up the design and the technical details of a common project proposal with EUROSTEP entitled: Enlarged Europe's Role in the World to be advanced to the European Commission.
The EUROLINK delegation met the co-ordinator of the Act4Europe Campaign in order to establish the further Romanian strategy of the current advocacy and lobby campaign after the closing of Convention on the Future of Europe.
A pan-European network initiated by the European Movement and FIME institutional members in order to favor an exchange of opinions, ideas and persons from the national/regional capital cities of Europe, and to support the European debate on major common issues related to the sustainable development and democratic policies in the EU Member States and Accession Countries.
Event: The fifth edition of the EUROCAPITALS Network Meetings
Organisers: European Movement in Finland, in co-operation with the members of the EUROCAPITALS branches and FIME, held under the honorary patronage of Mr. Ilkka Suominen, Vice-president of People's Party Group within the European Parliament.
Special guest speakers: MP Mrs. Susanna Rahkonen, the Vice Chair Person of the Helsinki City Council / President of the Committee for Sustainable Development of CLARE, Mrs. Suvi Rihtniemi, and the Vice-Mayor of Helsinki, Mr. Pekka Sauri.
Location and period:Helsinki, Finland October 2003
Description: The maintopic of the conference was focused on environmental and social issues in the regional and national capital cities of EU and Candidate Member States.
The European Club (EC) is an informal platform created with the goal of bringing together businessmen on a national level, who are interested in establishing personal contacts with businessmen, institutions and authorities of other European countries and in discussing European topics.
Our delegates participated to the launching presentation of the Danubian Conference held in October 2003 in Bucharest, under the patronage of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We were involved within the exchange of opinions and actions aimed to support the campaign for a more participative democracy, deployed via the internet platform of the campaign: http://www.european-civil-society.info We also took part to the preparation of the European Conference of Civil Society to be held in March 2004, in Rome.
MATE: Mobility in the Age - especially for Women and for Citizens in Regions with dramatic social Changes - through Exchange
We were invited to join the MATE Internet Platform, aimed to analyse mobility barriers for older persons (who are in an insecure working situation or seeking to take up work again or who can be a multiplier in terms of exchange of information) in regions with formerly different social orders, e.g. the New Federal States in Germany and want to include other Middle East European regions. The project was initiated by the German Association ReFIT e.V., supported by the Thuringian ministry of Economy, Employment and infrastructure. The project partners are public authorities and organisations from Austria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, as well as from Candidate States: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.
The EUROLINK role is to contribute to the analysis of specific barriers for elderly European citizens and to prepare workshops in co-operation with all partners of the newly establish internet platform.
SINGLE SOURCE EUROPE (London, UK)
Single Source Europe is a new project of the Federal Trust, initiated in order to assist think tanks and research institutes from Central and Eastern Europe in their efforts to disseminate their English language material to audiences throughout the European Union. Single Source Europe is funded by the European Commission and involves the setting up and maintaining of an online portal for Central and Eastern European think tanks and research institutes. It offers a variety of services including integrated information index/database, standardised acquisition procedures and advice on how Central & Eastern European think tanks can more effectively influence European policy debates. For more details, please see www.singlesourceeurope.com
We were invited to affiliate to this virtual platform, and we already proceeded to an exchange of links in order to facilitate information and access to research databases for further regional projects.
TRIALOG Information Service and the online NGO database (Vienna, Austria)
TRIALOG is a platform, established as an initiative of the Austrian Federal Government within the Pact of Stability in South-Eastern Europe.
We took part in the exchange of information and we promoted our own project and events. Our delegates benefited of the TRIALOG support for the participation to the Europe in the World the role of development in foreign policy.
Educational advice and support for international internships/exchanges
ROMANIAN - BRITISH EXCHANGE PARTNERSHIP
Within our Romanian British Exchange Partnership Programme, deployed in co-operation with TRIDENT Transnational Trust (London, UK), our Centre of Excellence offered educational advice and facilitated the participation to the International Internship Programme in Great Britain for about 230 young students, graduates and specialists. The selected participants attended or are prepared to attend special professional internships in major UK and multi-national companies and organisations.
We also offered qualified assistance and specific information to the members of our Center of Excellence, aimed to support their participation to various exchanges, seminars, trainings and other educational programs in Romania and abroad.
INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY within EUROLINK
A program designed to encourage students and young graduates to became active in the NGO sector and to contribute to the shaping of the future United Europe. The six-months period of the internship within the Youth & Student Department is aimed to offer the opportunity to gain also practical experience within an European organisation.
Institutional building and other international events
Within a Public Ceremony, organised at the Continental Hotel in Timisoara, the Executive Board of the EUROLINK House of Europe awarded the special distinctions: "The Personality of the Year for a European Romania". These distinctions represent the expression of the recognition of the efforts made by leading personalities from the European Union and from Romania in favor of the attachment of the Romanian society to the European principles, values and standards, as well as fulfilling of more intense exchange of experience and persons between our country and EU.
The awarded personalities in this year were:
Within the REGENT Centre, we supported the twinning process between the small town Recas, in the TIMIS County (Romania) and Manduria (South of Italy). In this context, an official ceremony, a study visit and a Gala Dinner was offered with the support of Local Council of Recas in the honour of the Italian guests. The event was reflected by the local and regional media.
Under the aegis of REGENT Centre, we hosted the visit of Italian educational operators. This visit was designed to establish joint adult educational projects involving young Romanian students and experts in the areas of management, economics, IT&C etc. This is a part of a twinning process with various cities in the Region of Puglia (Italy) aimed to support Euro-regional co-operation within the framework of INTERREG and LEADER programs of the European Union.
As a follow-up of a meeting of a delegation with the international affairs director for Central-Eastern Europe area, Mr. Antonio Venece, our Executive Board decided to become a promotion and selection partner of the European Institute of Design (Milan/Roma). In this respect, our Centre of Excellence will promote an support the selection of participants and students of IED for the short-term and one-year programs of this leading private higher education institution.
On the occasion of a study-visit to Central European University and Open Society Institute, we meet the responsible of CEU Alumni Club in order to deepen and extend our common exchange of information, promotion and dissemination of activities within the network of CEU Alumni in Central and Eastern-Europe. Our Center of Excellence offered its counselling support in order to orient more and more candidates to the one-year and summer courses of CEU.
Following a meeting in Brussels with the responsible of ORFEU Portuguese library and art gallery, we decided to organise an exhibition of young Romanian artists in the field of painting and sculpture, accompanied by a public event in the month of June 2004.
Also, we met the Director of the Ecole superieure des arts de limage le 75 in Brussels and we established a common project of student exchanges in Romania and Belgium for the summer of 2004.
A EUROLINK delegation paid a visit to the Europe office of the International Institute of Education (IIE) in Budapest, and met the IIE Deputy Director, Ms. Therese Buchmeier in order to discuss the ways of a further co-operation. On this occasion, the EUROLINK Executive President submitted the application forms for the IIE Network membership.