Between 20 and 27 September Foundation Netherlands-Romania hosted an International Youth Conference in The Hague, under the title: “Last arrived, first discriminated? . The project aimed at avoiding discrimination and supporting a better social inclusion of young intra-European migrants into the big European cities. More than 30 young people from various European countries came together and exchanged opinions with each other, debated about various European topics with different personalities and experts. They met, among others, with Mr Wim van Eekelen (former Secretary General of Western European Union, former Dutch minister and Senator), Mr Henk Kool (vice-mayor of The Hague), Mr Eduard Slootweg (Head of the European Parliament Information Office in The Hague), Mrs Ireny Comaroschi (the Ambassador of Romania in The Netherlands).
The participating students, youth-workers, policy-makers, experts and politicians had the opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas and good practicies, to raise awareness on discrimination and exclusion of young migrants, to explore basic concepts related to European integration, discrimination, marginalisation, inclusion or European Citizenship, to share prejudices about each other or to better understand the cultural differences and traditions in Europe.
They presented their ideas and questions to the vice-mayor of The Hague, Mr. Henk Kool, during a meeting at the Municipality.
As the direct result of the debates and experience exchanges taking place during the conference, we will print a booklet including the conclusions and lessons of the meeting.
The programme was developed in line with the priorities of the Structural Dialogue – European co-operation in the field of youth supported by Youth in Action, Netherlands Youth Institute (Nederlands Jeugd Instituut) and promoting the discussions around the theme of social inclusion, which represents the main priority of European cooperation in the field of youth between January 2013 and June 2014. The meeting also stimultated active youth participation in democratic life in Europe, promoting equal opportunities and rights coming with the European Citizenship, in an intercultural environment.
At the same time, the project raised awareness on cultural diversity in Europe, developing skills and knowledge to better tackle national prejudices and thinking patterns in the process of European integration.