The demographic landscape of the European Union has been changing over the last decades. Migration phenomenon influences the contemporary Europe, brings enrichment together with challenges related to social inclusion and integration. The project RAYSE, “Raising Awareness of Youth Europeans of Second Generation with migration background“, coordinated by TIA Formazione and co-funded by the European Commission, aims to focus attention on the second generation of European citizens with non-EU migration background. The project gives young people the possibility to share their stories, draw attention to the challenges they face in their countries and to bring their voice to the European policy makers.
The international meeting of RAYSE project, organized under the high patronage of the European Parliament, took place from 4 to 6 February 2020 in Brussels. During the three-day-long event young participants from Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece and Sweden had the opportunity to attend interesting workshops and meetings, learn more about the European Union and meet with Members of the European Parliament.
The first day of the event started with a presentation of participants and an ice-breaking activity, coordinated by the Greek partner of the project, IED. Afterwards the young people attended a workshop on active citizenship, held by professor Fabio Masini from the University of Roma Tre.
The guest of the afternoon session was MEP Inma Rodríguez-Piñero from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, who expressed her support for the initiative and answered the participants’ questions. During the workshop coordinated by Ilina Yakova from Eunipartners in Bulgaria, the twelve Youth Ambassadors have been selected. The Youth Ambassadors coming from the six partner countries will be involved in awareness-raising activities and trainings on active European citizenship. They will also represent the youth of the second generation before the EU policy makers.
During the second day of the event the young people had the opportunity to visit the European Parliament and to learn more about the European Union. The tour started with a brief introduction and a quiz on the EU, after which the participants went to the Hemicycle, the plenary chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels. The youth met also with the former MEP Niccolò Rinaldi and afterwards continued their visit in the House of European History.
The twelve Youth Ambassadors met in the afternoon to discuss about the most important issues which they would like to bring to the attention of the EU policy makers. They also elaborated “Manifesto for youth of second generation “, submitted officially to the EU the following day.
The final event of RAYSE project took place at the European Parliament on the third day of the international meeting. In the event, hosted by MEP Brando Benifei from S&D, participated also MEPs Marie Arena, Marc Tarabella, former MEP Niccolò Rinaldi and Ms Petronela Burceag from the European Commission. In the course of the meeting the youth presented their Manifesto and shared their testimonies. They called on the EU to support a stronger intercultural education in order to overcome discrimination and the fear of unknown, highlighted the importance of alphabetization to the European Union in the Member States, as well as of actions aiming on strengthening employability, social inclusion and cooperation with third countries. The guests agreed on the importance of social inclusion and the need to raise awareness on migration issues. MEPs Marie Arena and Marc Tarabella admitted that they also have an immigration history in their families and they shared their experience with the youth.
Final video of RAYSE project presented during the final event at the European Parliament:
More information about RAYSE project:
* Official website: https://rayseproject.eu/
* High patronage of the European Parliament: https://rayseproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/HIGH-PATRONAGE-ENGLISH-PRES-SASSOOLI.pdf
* Manifesto for youth of second generation: https://rayseproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/MANIFESTO-for-SECOND-GENERATION_final.pdf
* Final event press release: https://rayseproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Press-release_final.pdf