On 11th December 2018 we met again in the premises of the Polish Economic Society, branch in Gdansk (PES) – project leader, to continue with the “Strengthening civil society rights by information access for European youth” project, kick-off meeting. For the 2nd day, we prepared European Debate with the representatives of the project partners and from the Pomorskie region NGOs dealing with the civic engagement, youth issues and democracy.
Over 35 people participated in the 2nd day of the meeting. We started at 9 am with the short round-the-table introduction followed by the brief presentation of SIA4Y project aims and planned activities. This was followed with the keynote speech presented by the dr Tomasz Bojar-Fijałkowski from the Kazimierz Wielki University from Bydgoszcz. He introduced the concept of the Freedom of Information/access to Information and its legal basis in Poland and the European Union. He also gave us many examples that were very useful for the debate later on.
Please see the presentation here: Presentation TBF
Later we decided to group the participants into smaller teams, and they all discussed the same issues:
– challenges we face in our country or everyday work in our organisation when dealing with the Freedom of Access to information for youth;
– tools that we may know and believe they are useful or we believe they could be working when youth is reaching for the info;
– best practices we know from our countries, organisations etc.
Project Leader also introduced shortly one of the best practices we wish to share with the project beneficiaries – tool available on the https://www.asktheeu.org/ website. AskTheEU.org is an online platform for citizens to send access to documents requests directly to EU institutions. We recommend highly to check how it works and spread the info among your friends and coworkers!
Click here to see the project presentation: SI4Y presentation EfC 11.12.2018 KICK OFF MEETING
The most significant advantage of our discussion was the fact that we had participants from 7 countries! It was a genuinely European Debate with voices from Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Belgium, Italy and Turkey.
After the discussion, each group presented the outcomes of their debate and shared their thought and comments with the whole group which led us to another joint debate on the best practices for FoI concerning young people. All these info were also fuel for our planned “Code of Good Practice” report that we will prepare in the upcoming months within the project. Two academics from the University of Gdansk, who will help us with the Code were impressed with the number of ideas and examples given by the participants during the debate.
Our greatest satisfaction is the fact that we had youth participating in the event and addressing the FoI issues with the NGO representatives giving us so many precise guidelines and observations on our work. We want to express our appreciation to youth from the 3rd High School in Gdansk, as well as the representatives from the Tallin Youth Council, Pomorskie Region Youth Council and Regional Center for International Debate in Gdańsk.