Ukraine
Ukrainian vibes - Democracy across borders

The Ukrainian Vibes - European Public Sphere project in phase one offers a virtual stage to young people and their visions for the future of Europe and encourages them to become a more active part of society. In the four part online workshop-program, young participants learn, share and strengthen their knowledge about participation in different areas to build the Europe they want to live in. To achieve this goal, the workshop includes open discussions with experts and group tasks. If you want to learn more about the project, click here.

The first phase of the Ukrainian Vibes - European Public Sphere project has already ended. In four online sessions, young people from all over Europe came together and exchanged ideas on topics such as democracy, sustainability, environmental consciousness and European integration.          

The first session started on 8 June 2021 with the topic of democracy. Around twenty motivated participants attended the session and were welcomed by the Ukrainian Vibes team. In addition to the Ukrainian Vibes team, four experts participated in the session to provide the participants with insights into the professional field around democracy. The session started with an open question to all: "What does democracy mean to you?". Many participants found their answers to this question in the terms freedom, participation and freedom of expression. But also free and fair elections and a vibrant civil society were among the answers and directly referred to the first group task. There, participants and experts worked together to define principles of democracy. They discussed democratic principles such as freedom of the press, equality before the law and inclusive suffrage, as well as free and fair elections and separation of powers.

In the second part of the session, participants and experts continued to work with the insights gained on democratic principles and looked at cases where said principles intersect and conflict with each other.

Throughout the session, the participants surprised with their clever and interested nature. Direct democracy was one of many topics that could be explained and discussed with the expertise of the experts present.   

On 15 June, the second stop of Ukrainian Vibes - European Public Sphere e-Tour took place. Together with participants from Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Pakistan and Benin, the topic of sustainable development and environmental consciousness was explored.          
At the beginning of the session, participants were asked to name three words that mean "sustainability" to them and explain what benefits they associate with it. Green thinking, protecting the planet, prosperity and dignity, balance, awareness & future resulted from this survey. 
In two further group tasks, the participants acquired fundamental knowledge about waste management and analysed questions about sustainable use of public spaces together with experts.  

The third stop of the tour took place on 22 June and was dedicated to the topic of European integration and participation. With the help of the invited experts, the topic was worked through in terms of content and consolidated through active group tasks. The participants had the opportunity to start their own projects in small groups to promote Ukrainian EU integration. One group developed the idea of a business centre for young entrepreneurs from all over Europe, which should be financed by participatory budgeting. In this way, the European space should be promoted as a common hub in which many cultures communicate with each other and act across national borders.

In the final session on 29 June, the participants met for the last time to discuss the future of Europe. The focus on the Conference on the Future of Europe was an important aspect, as many participants had submitted their proposals on topics to be discussed there. 

Accompanied by the invited experts, ten proposals from participants were discussed. The topics of education, culture, youth and sport were particularly close to the participants' hearts. But climate change and the environment, as well as health, values and rights were also topics that were discussed.      
At the end of the workshop-program, all participants are able to shape the future of Europe according to their own ideas with newly learned tools of participation and a variety of new perspectives.

In the second phase of the project Ukrainian Vibes - European Public Sphere, open discussion rounds with experts will be organised to shed light on topics related to Europe and Ukraine. Stay tuned for what's to come!