The bilateral initiative “Youth for the City, City for the Youth – projects and initiatives involving and including local communities” is supported by a grant of € 850,000 from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, through the EEA and Norway Grants. The aim of the Initiative is to increase the civic involvement of young people (10-30 years old) from Poland and Ukraine in local communities concerning activities with the support and use of Norwegian experience.
The EEA and Norway Grants are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway’s contribution to a green, competitive and integrative Europe. Their main aim is to reduce economic and social differences in Europe and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltic states. The basis of the EEA and Norway Grants is the EEA Agreement. Under this agreement, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway operate in the EU’s internal market. The common goal of the agreement is to work together to reduce social and economic inequalities in Europe. For this purpose, donors created EEA and Norway Grants. With the help of EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway want to contribute, among others, to improve growth and employment, tackle climate change and energy dependency, and reduce poverty and social exclusion. The beneficiaries are local, regional and national authorities, educational and research institutions, students, teachers and researchers, non-governmental organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises and social partners. The amount of subsidies for EU countries from the EEA and Norwegian Funds in the years 1994–2014 amounted to EUR 3.3 billion, while in the years 2014-2021 – EUR 2.8 billion.
As part of the Initiative, to create a place in Lublin – a space for young people using the participatory model is planned, i.e. the place, its arrangement and the manner of organization are decided by young people. The city’s goal is to create a space that will meet the needs of young people in Lublin. It will become an open, friendly and creative place for everyone. We work as part of a special working group for youth spaces. People who applied for open recruitment will participate in meetings, workshops and study trips. We will learn together and exchange experiences with partners from Krakow, Warsaw and Oslo. We create our common place at 11 Peowiaków Street in Lublin. We cordially invite all interested persons to join the working group and work together.
As part of the Initiative, two editions of the “School Participatory Budget” (SPB) will be carried out in Lublin, which is an opportunity to co-finance projects created by Lublin youth. The School Participatory Budget consists of many stages, including appointment of special school working teams, participation of working groups in training, submission of projects and their implementation. Participation in the project involves not only students, but the entire school community, including: pedagogical, administrative and service staff, students and parents.
Thanks to the pilot edition of the SPB carried out in 2021, it was possible to assess how it affects the school community and school, as well as what information about the institution it can provide. SPB is a piece of knowledge about school finances, an amazing lesson in Knowledge about Society, learning entrepreneurship and, most importantly, everything takes place in practice, not from the perspective of the school bench. Students who make decision concerning the school to a greater extent identify themselves with its space and have a sense of shared co-responsibility for it. They are proud of the results of completed projects.
For cooperation in the edition of the School Participatory Budget entitled “Development of student self-government in Lublin – School Participatory Budgets – second edition”, 20 institutions were selected in 2022. Thanks to participation in the SPB, the institutions will receive PLN 4,000 each for the implementation of ideas selected by the school community in the school year 2022/2023. It is worth noting that the first edition of the SPB showed that it is also possible to implement projects that will not be selected during the voting. Most often, such projects are financed by the Parents’ Council. SPB, in addition to being one of the components of the Initiative, is also one of the activities carried out in preparation for the celebration of the European Youth Capital Lublin 2023.
As part of the Initiative, it is planned to expand the activities of the Youth Information and Development Centre as a unique place where theory meets practice and information meets opportunities. The Center supports the development of youth information and encourages active citizenship of young people, promoting social responsibility, initiative and entrepreneurship. YIDC’s activities are targeted at young people and all people who work with them. As part of the Initiative, YIDC offers:
As part of the initiative, international online and offline youth exchanges will be organized with the participation of beneficiaries from Norway, Poland and Ukraine. Each year of the Initiative implementation, there will be one offline and one online exchange in Norway. Each trip to Norway will last 3 days, 35 people will participate in it. Experienced trainers will lead the activities during the exchanges.
The exchange program includes, among others workshops on building civil society, democracy and tolerance, as well as integration activities. The program will be developed together with young people. The exchanges are aimed at stimulating the activity of youth to social activities. By participating in exchanges, young people will increase their social skills, such as: cooperation in international teams, openness, respect, verbal and non-verbal communication, dealing with criticism, assertiveness, conflict resolution. A total number of people participating in offline exchanges is 70 (35 people a year) and 600 people (300 people a year) in online exchanges.
The Initiative includes study visits to Poland and Norway, as well as workshops, thematic panels, Partners’ Forum and the Grant’s Fair as part of two editions of the Cross-Border Cooperation Congress in 2022 and 2023.
The action will be attended by young people and people cooperating with young people from Norway, Poland and Ukraine – a total of 300 people. The action aims to intensify cooperation and exchange of experiences between participants in the field of youth policy, the functioning of youth organizations, building partnerships and implementing international projects. During the study visits, meetings will be held with entities responsible for shaping youth policy in the city where the visit will take place, and meetings with selected youth organizations will take place. Study visits will allow participants to learn about specific solutions and good practices of experienced entities.
Cross-Border Cooperation Congress, being organized for 10 years in Lublin, is a meeting place and a platform for dialogue between science, culture, education, local and state authorities from the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries. The two upcoming editions of the Congress will be dedicated to youth thematic. As part of the Initiative, during each edition of the Congress, 2 thematic panels, 2 workshops, the Grants’ Fair and the Partners’ Forum will be organized. During the Panels and workshops, experts from Norway, Poland, Ukraine and Belarus will share their knowledge and experience with the participants of the Congress and will present the most interesting examples from their practice. During the Grants’ Fair, young people and representatives of youth organizations will have the opportunity to meet representatives of entities that provide financial support for international projects. During the Partner Forum, organizations looking for international partners for their projects will be able to meet and establish cooperation.
The initiative is joint event of Municipality of Lublin, The European Wergeland Center (Oslo) and the Sempre a Frente Foundation (Lublin), which will strengthen cooperation with entities from Norway, Poland and Ukraine.
The bilateral aspect of the Initiative will be implemented thanks to the involvement in the planning and implementation of activities of each of the partners who have specific roles assigned to it. Each of the activities will be attended by a Partner from Norway who will share his knowledge, experience and good practices.
Municipality of Lublin became the leader of the project. Thanks to the financial support in the amount of 850 thousand euro, coming from the EEA and Norway Grants, in the years 2022-2024, various ideas will be implemented in the city of Lublin – both those proposed by young people and those aimed at young people.
The European Wergeland Center was established by the Council of Europe and Norway in 2008 to support the implementation of the Council of Europe policy in EU Member States. The Center is located in Oslo, Norway, but also has regional offices in Ukraine, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina. EWC is a resource center for democracy, citizenship, human rights and intercultural understanding. The Center offers training and educational programs aimed at young people, as well as people and entities involved in education in the above-mentioned areas.
Sempre a Frente Foundation is a Lublin organization that has been working for children and youth from Lublin and the Lublin region since 2010. Actively supports young people in acquiring key social competences through the implementation of preventive, educational and information programs. It provides psychological help, therapy, workshops developing interests, career counseling, engages in volunteering, accompanies in discovering the world, running 2 children and youth day care centers and Youth Information and Development Centre in Lublin. It enables the implementation of own ideas and projects in peer groups. It works to strengthen the position of young people in social life. The Foundation initiated the efforts of the city of Lublin for the title of European Youth Capital 2023.