From October 4th to 6th, 2023, in the city of Taurisano, located in the province of Lecce, Italy, partners of the “NOTE” project from all over Europe gathered to deepen their understanding of the European Parliament’s operations by participating in a simulation, as well as to discuss the project advancements and the upcoming activities in order to promote informed participation in European Parliament elections.

The meeting was opened by Evangelista Leuzzi, the project manager in Italy, who welcomed everyone and introduced the agenda for the day. The Mayor of Taurisano, Luigi Guidano, also greeted the participants and gave a brief address.

After that the organization “European People” organized a European Parliament Simulation for both project partners and local high school students in the 11th and 12th grades. Within this simulation, participants engaged in the procedural enactment of EU regulations and decisions within the European Parliament. Participants took on the roles of European Parliament members and were divided into groups to discuss “2030 Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade.” They deliberated on the wording of specific articles both within their groups and between groups. As a result of the discussions, the participants had to reach a consensus on the formulation of the for the digitalization strategy for 2030, proposing amendments and additions while actively discussing them in both open and moderated formats. A new proposal for the article regarding the goals of the digitalization strategy for 2030 was formulated and approved through a simulated vote by the European Parliament members. In each group, a participant was also selected to act as a journalist, who, after the collective vote of the European Parliament members, had to reflect both on the decision-making process and on the significance of the adopted decision in the lives of all European Union citizens.Overall, the participants highly praised the European Parliament Simulation as it provided an opportunity to gain insight into the daily work of the European Parliament and to get to know their group members better. It also helped in developing their debating and persuasion skills. They also greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet local young people and to understand their perspectives on the European Parliament and the European Union. These insights will undoubtedly be valuable for future work and activity planning for young people related to the European Union and its various initiatives.

Following the European Parliament Simulation, participants convened to deliberate on the current progress and pending tasks within the “NOTE” project – in order to promote informed participation in the European Parliament elections. Aija Neilande, the project manager for the Kurzeme Planning Region, informed about the “Street Debates” organized on September 23rd.  During the Baltic Unity Day in Saldus, visitors had the opportunity to visit a special European Union tent where they could learn more about the opportunities provided by the EU, as well as meet and ask questions to Member of the European Parliament Inese Vaidere. Additional activities were also organized at Tukums 3rd Primary School, where young people discussed the opportunities offered by the European Union and why it is important to engage in decision-making and be an active EU citizen. Similar format “Street Debates” and other educational events were also organized in other participating countries of the project – Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Lithuania, Belgium, and Germany.

At the end of the day, the project partners had the opportunity to learn about the region of Puglia, where the town of Taurisano is located, and its traditions by visiting the Rural Civilization Museum (Museo della Civiltà Contadina) in Ruffano.This treasured institution is dedicated to preserving the narratives, artifacts, and relics that breathe life into the history of the region and its inhabitants. Within its walls, ancient tales of milk and cheese production customs unfold, accompanied by a faithful reconstruction of a time-honored rural homestead. The museum also pays homage to the diverse tools of past and present professions that have shaped the rural landscape. The project partners were warmly welcomed by both the owner of the museum and the residents of the town, who introduced them to the region’s music and dance traditions.

The project partners conveyed their profound appreciation for the invaluable experience gained in Italy. This gathering not only broadened their understanding of European Parliament operations but also facilitated invaluable exchanges of insights and achievements in the ongoing project initiatives. Moreover, it provided a firsthand encounter with the rich tapestry of the European Union – a mosaic of diverse peoples, cultures, and traditions. This shared experience reaffirmed their collective commitment as European Union citizens, dedicated to a united and strong Europe. The forthcoming meeting of project partners is scheduled to take place in Romania.

Event Description Sheet:

Event Description Sheet

The event was financed by Europe Union. “NOTE” stands for the “Network of Organizations and Towns for the European Elections”. It is an initiative  from 11 EU Member States in the framework of the programme CERV. We represent citizens, local governments and civil society organisations from: Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Latvia, Spain, Lithuania, Belgium and Germany.

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Information prepared by:
Laura Homka
Public Relations specialist

Views and opinions expressed however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Uion or EACEA can be held responsible for them.