“The messages of the Council of Europe which announced the decrease of funds intended for young people are not encouraging. It is clear that this year’s entire budget is decreased, but the problem is that young people are not priority in Europe. That is not the situation in Novi Sad. Young people should be included in the process of decision-making, they should be given a chance and not only declaratively but actually, through activities and programmes we implement. When young people are included in the process from the beginning, and when we give them responsibility and when we talk to them at the same level, we can expect excellent results”, Vukašin Grozdanović, OPENS2019 Coordinator said at the opening of the conference #The Future of Europe at Svilara Culture Station.
For one month, from 7 May to 7 June, through more than 50 programmes, “Novi Sad 2021” Foundation in cooperation of European Youth Capital and more than 40 partners from Serbia and Europe will organise “The Future of Europe” platform whose goal is the development and improvement of quality of youth culture, as well as the possibility to enable young people of Novi Sad to creatively and critically think about the future of Europe.
“Europe is defined by historical facts and current geography, but what future will be will be known only to those who are the future of Novi Sad and Europe and for whom we are launching the platform of this size. “The Future of Europe” platform is the third large platform, after Doček and Kaleidoskop kulture, which was launched even before 2021 and therefore it is more important to us because this is the year when Novi Sad is European Youth Capital”, Nemanja Milenković, the director of “Novi Sad 2021” Foundation says. Since that the idea of “The Future of the Europe” is to include young people in the formation of new European narration, the General Secretary of Europa Nostra, Sneška Kvadlih Mihailović says that the role of young people in the creation of the narration of Europe is the key.
“For me, young people are not future, for me they are present, so it is very important to, within the “Novi Sad 2021” project pay attention and to strive to invest as much as possible in the inclusion of young people. Young people are full of ideas, energy, talent and that is the only way to include them in the most responsible way in the creation of our future, the future of Novi Sad, Serbia and Europe”, Kvadlih Mihailović said. The beginning of the new platform was marked by the discussion “Young People and European Cultural Legacy”, which will deal with questioning the role of young people in the protection and presentation of local and European cultural legacy. The results of the international project “S.P.A.C.E. – Street Participation for Active Citizenship in Europe” whose one of the partners is “Novi Sad 2021” Foundation were presented. The project included street debates in 14 European cities within which young people gave their opinion about the future of Europe. OPENS 2019 presents six ideas of young people for the future of Europe designed within the “50 Ideas for Europe – New Leaders, New Opportunities” project.
In the next 30 days, within the programme platform “The Future of Europe”, the citizens of Novi Sad will have the opportunity to enjoy many events, workshops, festivals which will include young people in different manners so that they themselves can be a part of different cultural contents and create new cultural image of our city.