Eastern Europe Open Boundaries

Project summary: According to the Council Conclusions (2015/C 170/02) the further development of youth work across Europe should be accompanied by a strengthened cooperation among the EU countries. The Expert Group on Quality of Youth work has produced a common framework for further developments in this field of action. Based on the recommendation of the Expert Group the Eastern Europe Open Boundaries (EEOB) project’s main objective is to contribute to the enhancement of quality of youth work in the specific field of racism and violence behaviours, antidemocratic, nationalistic and populistic tendencies among youth, in particular in the eastern European countries.

This approach sees tight entanglement with a second priority of the European Strategy for Youth which promote social inclusion. This project operates therefore on the basis of the Paris Declaration of the EU Commission of the 17th March 2015. While the more intolerant and group-oriented violence behaviour in recent years has been directed toward vulnerable group such refugees and immigrants, the roots of such behaviour can be also observed to be directed to members of the same culture or society who show unconventional customs and (sexual) preferences. By all differentiations to be made, obstacles for social inclusion can be found in a particular mind-set, a traditional fear of the “others” and a perceived menace to the belonging culture. The rational of this project lies therefore in the arisen antidemocratic, racist and nationalistic movements of the last years within Europe, thus, by tackling intolerance and promoting European democratic values among youth, this project contributes not only to enhancement of quality in youth work but also to a more cohesive and inclusive society. Main objectives are: a) Establish interdisciplinary / internationally usable qualification concepts for the pedagogical tackling of democracy-defying attitude such as racism and neo-Nazism, homosexual discrimination and violence behaviour toward minorities and subcultures. b) youth work’s European organizations are in a position to implement their own concepts and to qualify specialists (youth workers) for the thematic areas, thereby contributing to the reduction of racism, anti-Islamism, homophobia and other refusal structures.

The methodology applied to reach these objectives consists in activities and products for develop and strength a human rights-oriented, professional attitude of specialists as well as their knowledge of democracy, racist and gender related discrimination, social power relations and origin, culture and gender as structural categories of society. A further step in the methodology consists in linking different forms of discrimination and rejection, so to the make visible the interrelations between sexist and homophobic attitudes, as well as the racist images of gender and the connections between racism and sexism. Here the elements of awareness, interconnection, spill-over and general attitude ground the methodological approach.

A further central element of the methodology applied in EEOB is the possibility for the creation of individual design of activities. Implementation of this methodology results in following results: 1) a qualification concept for youth workers in dealing with democratically promoting measures in the field of prevention of racism, homophobia and other refusals as well as the inclusive measures for refugees and migrants; 2) conceptual materials for actions and processes for the individual design of activities to promote democratic understanding, inclusive attitudes and dismantling of racism, violent radicalism and general discrimination. 3) non-formal educational materials and dissemination’s products (Posters, flyers, video clips) for third parties and practitioners for the implementation of processes in non-formal educational institutions and projects for social and cultural promotion. The project EEOB will provide a bespoke and innovative qualification concept that addresses a wide range of skills that are both relevant to youth workers and youngsters. Here EEOB foresees direct benefits for at least 20,000 people (YW and marginalized youngsters), although its general impact goes far beyond this number. Most relevant impact is expected in regard to organisations of Youth work, quality of their work, implementation of innovative methods and design for training course and activities. An impact is also expected on youngster’s attitude toward different culture and subcultures. In this regard a big impact is expected on local and regional level.

Finally a further impact is expected on general dynamics in the European society and among stakeholders toward political awareness, social inclusion and tolerance. Based on the targeted impact and due to the dissemination activities, the EEOB project is intended to be the start for a wider strategical spill over effect in to other European countries as well as for each specific area of youth work considered in this project.

Transnational project meetings:

  • 1st transnational meeting in Dresden, Germany – June 2017
  • 2nd transnational meeting in Budapest, Hungary – December 2017
  • 3td transnational meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania – June 2018
  • 4th transnational meeting in Bankya, Bulgaria – December 2018

International conferences:

  • Dresden, Germany – January 2018
  • Budapest, Hungary – June 2018

  • Programme and action:

    Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership

  • Dates:

    01.06.2017 - 31.12.2018

  • Venue:

    Dresden (DE), Budapest (HU), Kaunas (LT), Bankya (BG)

  • Number of participants:

  • Participating countries:
    • Bulgaria
    • Germany
    • Hungary
    • Lithuania
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovakia