Fiatalok tudósítanak önkéntesen a magyar EU-elnökség óta – Youngsters report voluntary since the Hungarian EU Presidency

2018. július. 23., hétfő

Why so difficult? – video interview with young people from EU neighboring countries

Consultations with young people in EU Member States and also in neighboring countries are running in order to find out, what makes it difficult to cooperate between young people from EU and non-EU countries. The EU Youth Conference in Warsaw, Poland in September 2011 will summarize all the inputs.

Watch my video, a Hungarian contribution from the Canarian Islands in Spain to the Structured Dialogue with young people on the topic of Youth and the World in particular on the barriers and obstacles, young people from outside of EU have to face. A written summary of the answers you find also to the general questions below. Special thanks to AEGEE-Europe and its European network as Tenerife, Las Palmas, who organize summer universities for exchange of young people.

What is the value of exchange between young people, in and outside of EU?
Values and experiences through youth exchange and cooperation allow to young people, according to the interviewed persons, a cultural exchange, an efficient way to get to know each other’s country and different habits, ways of thinking. Spread understanding and tolerance to each other and knowledge about each other through personal experience and moments in different youth programmes, meetings and events mean the most to the young people in cooperation. Not depending on the size of an event, exchange experience this consequences were the most important to the young people asked on exchange (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey) from EU neighboring countries.

What are the obstacles and barriers?
Every interviewed person from EU neighboring countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey) on an exchange programme in the EU, mentioned the visa requirements as the first and main difficulty, barrier of cooperation with young people from the EU. Upon invitation (invitation letter needed) many different statements (bank, university or job) have to be collected. In many times opening hours, the location of the particular embassies of the EU Member State in the country makes further steps such as traveling, extra expenses (applying through commercial visa centers) necessary. Once application is completed it is not a guarantee to get a visa for the EU. In Belarus, as reported from the interview partners students sometimes are accepted by EU universities, however due to visa requirements they are not allow to study at the particular university in an EU Member State.

To reduce barriers for young people from neighboring countries of the EU, it should be considered, how (as in some cases already common and) also according to the European External Service in neighboring countries application for visas would be managable for the whole EU at one particular embassy or representation and not at the theoretically 27 different embassies at the same time. At one place or network and in a youth friendly way (easy application models without many different required documents, statements) would help young people to participate and travel to the EU.

The idea of having no visa (such as in case of Serbia and Montenegro) would be the best solution, without any doubt also in case of cooperation between young people.

What existing structures of youth cooperation are there and what specific tools, action are necessary to foster exchange and cooperation?
International youth organisations have a wide network of young people also those outside of the EU, also in EU neighboring countries. Its structure and for its members a complentary security could be taken into account in the process of applying for visas in particular for nework meetings, events of the youth organisation or its partners. Additionally for those, who already participated in such events, cooperation with other young people within the EU, a renewed application for another exchanges should be made easier for them.

It is interesting how in different countries different EU embassies have a major role or somehow serve as a gateway to the EU. In Russia the Finish embassy, in the Ukraine the Polish embassy has this important role. These representations may give easier visas, within the legal framework for the citizens of the neighboring country. However in many cases therefore the first enter in the EU has to be in the given country, even if it is not the final destination. This costum in visa application process shows that as under the point of barriers and obstacles already mentioned in every neighboring country only one entity should deal with visas. This should happen in order to make it easier to young people to apply for and get a visa for the EU.

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