Ljubljana, 31 March 2021 – The Slovenian project consortium, consisting of the Mreža MaMa, the umbrella network of Slovenian youth centers, the IPM Institute, the IPM Communications Agency and 10 youth centers from all over Slovenia, has completed activities on the EU and Youth (EUYOU) project. It is a pilot project addressing current and future mobile EU citizens, online and in the field.

EUYOU is a pilot project of involving mobile EU citizens in democratic processes in the countries where they are hosted, funded by the European Commission through the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) program. A consortium of 13 Slovenian partners has developed and implemented an innovative methodology for democratic inclusion, which relied on a digital and field campaign.

As part of the digital campaign, a website was set up with a catalog of the rights of mobile EU citizens, enabled by national law, the European acquis and international conventions and treaties. As part of the website, there is also a free counseling center, where foreigners – EU citizens residing in Slovenia, as well as Slovenes who decide to go abroad for a shorter or longer period – can turn for advice. The operation of the online counseling center was further supported by an awareness campaign on social networks.

The field campaign included 40 events in 10 youth centers from all over Slovenia. These are 4 types of events that took place in every implementation of the youth centers, from intercultural exchanges to dialogue with decision-makers. Their purpose was to get to know each other, intercultural dialogue, strengthening political literacy and contacts with decision-makers, and the events were intended primarily for Slovenian youth and foreign EU citizens residing in Slovenia.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which started at the time of the start of the project activities, we faced a shortage of mobile EU citizens to address them, and at the same time we were forced to transfer the activities online. As a result, we prepared a methodology for digital events, and youth centers included more than 500 young and mobile EU citizens from all over Slovenia.

The project partners wanted the project to help facilitate the mobility of EU citizens and strengthen the inclusion of local democratic communities, which is why we prepared all project documentation in English and invited 10 youth organizations from different EU countries to participate in strategic partnerships and other options to further develop EUYOU resources and try to implement the project in their countries.