The European Institute in partnership with Darik Radio implemented the project "Let's Think Together - To Include Young People in Decision Making Process", financed by the Civil Society Trust for Central and Eastern Europe. Some of the main goals of the project are:
- Young people's (ageing between 16-25 years) inclusion in the debate on the future of Bulgaria;
- Stimulating the dialogue between young people and the political structures on questions, related to the solidarity in Europe in the light of concrete problems solving;
- Stimulating the exposure of problems, visions and the own proposals for decisions made by young people;
- Adopting mechanisms for young people's participation in the decision making process on common EU questions;
With Darik Radio's help, the European Institute set itself as a goal to attract and involve the young people in active dialogue with authority representatives at local, regional and national level. For this purpose, the following tools were used:
- Reinforced promotion of the project by means of Darik Radio's local centers;
- Organization of public discussions in six towns from the planning regions;
- Preparation and elaboration of subsidiary materials;
- Radio emissions and interviews, dedicated to the problems, tackled within the discussions, and their possible solutions;
- Online forum for the problems, tackled within the discussions.
A main activity on the project was the conduction of regional discussion meetings in the following cities and towns: Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Haskovo, Pleven and Kiustendil. The young people from the different regions formulated themselves the discussion topics which represented an area of interest for them. During the discussions they were encouraged to identify problems and suggest decisions. To take part in the discussions were invited people that take political and governmental decisions. In the dialogue with the active young people, some interesting ideas on the debated subject were born. After the discussions, the decision makers are expected to take into consideration the useful suggestions made by young people.
Within the project frameworks, an online forum was created, where the topics for the regional meetings were preliminarily discussed. The most interesting suggestions, opinions and comments from the forum were discussed during the meetings.
The forum could be found on this link: http://forums.europe.bg/index.php and is entitled "Young People and Decision Making".
A summary of the discussion meetings, conducted in the six planning regions, as well as the suggestions, given during the debates, are included in the edited publication "Let's Think Together - To Include Young People in Decision Making Process".
The project will last twelve months - from 15 March 2008 to 15 March 2009.