Hungary for a new experience

Ciao a tutti,

And that is all I know in Italian.. for now. 

Landed in Faenza – from Hungary through London

Hi, I am the “new” volunteer of SE.M.I. from Hungary. Arriving as the first volunteer of this year at the beginning of September, I had the chance to enjoy the Italian summer; swim in the sea, hike and eat gelato (although people eat it all year round here so..).


Day trip to Cattolica

Repeat.


But how did I get here in the first place? I had lived in the UK for 7 years before I came here to do an ESC, which was something I was planning to do for a while but never felt like it was the right time. Well, the pandemic made it easy, there was nothing to make me stay in London anymore so why not to spend the second wave in Italy then?

Of course, it could have been a different country (not better obvs) but the project was also very attractive to me as it is so focused on creativity. In fact, our motto is that “we are all equal in creativity”, which I resonate so much with. Studying architecture in university, I thought I have some skills to share but I also couldn’t wait to learn new things and fortunately there is always something interesting happening here. For example, Aula21‘s, a local youth group’s photography exhibition, MEI Festival, Festival Comunità Edicante (a workshop about stop-motion!) and small scale local concerts as well as all the other things we organise ourselves – volunteer insta coming soon!


Living THE life in Faenza

Peace and Love

I was lucky enough to be able to visit other cities/towns in Emilia-Romagna in the last month and hopefully will travel more after things get better virus-wise so if you are interested in recommendations and looking at *aesthetic* photos stay tuned. I will definitely make a post about that.

About the community.. well it’s great but my favourite is the neighbour’s cat. Mathilde claims he is her best friend but we’ll see about that.

Ci vediamo dopo,

Györgyi – l’ungherese (who is not hungry anymore)

Looking for a Finnish volunteer to join us in Faenza

Our sister association Informagiovani, the Youth Information Centre of Faenza, is looking for a Finnish volunteer (aged 18-30) to join their team for 12 months between December 2020 – December 2021.

As our volunteers, the successful candidate will live in the town centre of Faenza in a free accommodation and get €280 food and pocket money every month. The cost of the travel at the start and the end of the project is also reimbursed.

To read more about the project and see an interview with of one of the current volunteers please visit Informagiovani’s website as well as check out the official ad of the project on the European Youth Portal where you can also submit your application if interested 🙂

A summer in the age of Covid-19!

Hello my lucky readers,

I have to apologize, I know! I was absent for so long and I really missed writing a blog and sharing my ESC experience in Italy. Unfortunately, due to Corona virus pandemic I’ve spent almost two months inside the house and when I finally could go out I really wanted to travel and visit all the places in Italy that I could before my return back home. This is how I left my beloved blog posts aside…

The end of September is coming and brings with it the end of my project and my return to Greece. Except my departure this evil month- I never liked September, because it brings me so many things to deal with- also signals the end of the summer and the summer is the main topic of this blog, my Italian summer full of aperitivos, pasta and pizza.

So, this Covid-19 summer was particular for everybody. While doing an ESC project we are expecting to meet a new culture, to visit new places and explore as many places as you can in a year. To my year though, I had to remove in total three months that I couldn’t move from Faenza and after from my house.

I was really angry, guys! How this 2020 can punish me in this way? It was my first experience abroad and now you’re telling that due to a monster killing virus I have to stay put? I don’t accept this! But… I accepted it! And the best way to accept something is to take all this anger, transform it to something else and use it. So I did; I transform my anger to kilometres and during this summer I visited some of the places that were in my ”Dream Travels List”. I visited Pisa, Livorno, Modena, Cinque Terre, Levante and Padova. To all these we can add some places near to Faenza like Ravenna, Pesaro, Brisighella and Fognano. That’s not so bad, right?

I tried as much as possible to enjoy the sea -but I’m from Greece so the Greek sea will always be the best for me-. I went to several beaches around Emilia Romagna, but also I loved the Italian agricultural character especially in Tuscany. The highlight of my Italian summer it was my small, but perfect trip to Cinque Terre. There I felt in love -I know it’s mainstream, but seriously guys, there are magnificent-. Due to our monster killing virus friend, all the touristic places in Italy like Cinque Terre that usually are full during the summer, now were almost empty and it was an opportunity to visit them and admire their beauty in peace. I know this is bad for the economy, but it was perfect for me!

After and before Cinque Terre I was lucky and I had the chance to visit some of the most beautiful cities of Northern and Central Italy, like Modena and Pisa- also Pisa was empty in a scary level- and with the help of the ESC activities I traveled near to Faenza several times.

That was it for today, folks! I’m planing to publish another and final blog next week in which I will summarize this experience, a whole year in Italy -secretly starts crying-.

Until the next time…

Me and my travels,

Danai, Greece

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Article 11 – Freedom of expression and information

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

2. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.

Constitution of the Italian Republic

Art. 21. Anyone has the right to freely express their thoughts in speech, writing, or any other form of communication. The press may not be subjected to any authorisation or censorship. Seizure may be permitted only by judicial order stating the reason and only for offences expressly determined by the law on the press or in case of violation of the obligation to identify the persons responsible for such offences. In such cases, when there is absolute urgency and timely intervention of the Judiciary is not possible, a periodical may be confiscated by the criminal police, which shall immediately and in no case later than 24 hours refer the matter to the Judiciary for validation. In default of such validation in the following 24 hours, the measure shall be revoked and considered null and void. The law may introduce general provisions for the disclosure of financial sources of periodical publications. Publications, performances, and other exhibits offensive to public morality shall be prohibited. Measures of preventive and repressive measure against such violations shall be established by law.

Sources:

European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights, https://fra.europa.eu/en/charterpedia/article/11-freedom-expression-and-information (17.01.2020)

European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights, https://fra.europa.eu/en/charterpedia/article/11-freedom-expression-and-information (21.01.2020)

EU strategy on criminal justice

Objectives of a common strategy

To combat crime efficiently, the criminal justice authorities of EU countries need to work together. Ultimately, in a common European area of justice national law enforcers and judiciaries will be able to trust and rely on each other.

This will increase people’s confidence in the fairness of proceedings, knowing that their rights are protected when they have to appear in court in another country, or if they fall victim to a crime.

Added value of EU rules

Action at EU level in this field is crucial for a number of reasons

* Serious organised crime is often committed across borders. To prevent ‘safe havens’ for criminals, EU countries’ laws should be more aligned

* If people can trust that their rights are respected, in all EU countries, if they are suspected or accused of a crime, they are more likely to use their right to live, work or study in another EU country

* Common rules strengthen mutual trust between the judiciaries of different EU countries. This makes cooperation and mutual recognition of decisions easier across the EU

* EU criminal law helps to prevent and punish serious offences, for example environmental crime

Protecting the rights of suspects and accused

Much progress has been made to date, as the EU has adopted 6 directives on procedural rights for suspects and accused persons as set out in the roadmap of 2009. The EU established rules on

* the right to information which applies across the EU since 2 June 2014,

* the right to interpretation and translation which applies across the EU since 27 October 2015,

* Right to have a lawyer, which applies across the EU since 27 November 2016,

* the right to be presumed innocent and to be present at trial,

* special safeguards for children suspected and accused in criminal proceedings

* the right to legal aid

Sources:

European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/criminal-justice/eu-strategy-criminal-justice_en (01.10.2020)

European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/criminal-justice_en (21.01.2020)

EU action on the rights of the child

Children’s Day is a commemorative date celebrated annually in honor of children, whose actual day varies by country.

In 1925, International Children’s Day was first problem proclaimed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare, and since then is celebrated on 1 June in most countries. Children’s day is celebrated by UN on 20th of November.

Linda Hartley, Children’s Rights

Legal basis

The rights of the child are part of human rights: rights that the EU and EU countries must respect, protect and fulfil. As laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a child is any human being below the age of 18. The Commission is guided by the principles set out in the UN Convention on the rights of the child, ratified by all EU countries.

Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union establishes the objective for the EU to promote protection of the rights of the child.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU guarantees the protection of the rights of the child by the EU institutions and by EU countries when they implement EU law. Article 24 on the rights of the child and Article 31 on the prohibition of child labour specifically cover children’s rights.

Author: Bicanski

Funding for child protection

The rights, equality and citizenship programme 2014-2020 aims to promote the rights of the child and prevent violence against children, young people, women and other groups at risk.

Child protection policies

Organisations working for and with children should be guided by child protection policies and have reporting mechanisms in place. The four standards as set out by Keeping Children Safe network provide good guidance on what policies should cover and achieve.

Sources:

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Day (10.01.2020)

European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/rights-child/eu-action-rights-child_en (01.10.2020)

Automotive industry

The automotive industry is crucial for Europe’s prosperity. The automotive sector provides direct and indirect jobs to 13.8 million Europeans, representing 6.1% of total EU employment. 2.6 million people work in direct manufacturing of motor vehicles, representing 8.5 % of EU employment in manufacturing. The EU is among the world’s biggest producers of motor vehicles and the sector represents the largest private investor in research and development (R&D). To strengthen the competitiveness of the EU automotive industry and preserve its global technological leadership, the European Commission supports global technological harmonisation and provides funding for R&D.

Why the automotive industry is important?

* Links to other sectors – the automotive industry has an important multiplier effect in the economy. It is important for upstream industries such as steel, chemicals, and textiles, as well as downstream industries such as ICT, repair, and mobility services

* Employment –around 13.8 million people work in the EU automotive sector. Manufacturing (direct and indirect) accounts for 3.5 million jobs, sales and maintenance for 4.5 million, and transport for 5.1 million

* Economy – the turnover generated by the automotive industry represents over 7 % of EU GDP

80% of the growth in the sector is expected to occur outside the EU. The EU’s efforts should focus on concluding and enforcing preferential trade and investment agreements. These will make it easier for European companies to access third markets and continue benefiting from economies of scale.

What the Commission does?

Global technical harmonisation – the Commission focuses on global technical harmonisation. Common technical requirements (UNECE framework) help reduce development costs and avoid duplication of administrative procedures. Harmonisation is key to strengthening the competitiveness of the EU automotive industry.

Source: European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/automotive_en (10.01.2020)

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Media In EU

Media freedom is a fundamental right that applies to all member states of the European Union and its citizens, as defined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. Within the EU enlargement process, guaranteeing media freedom is named a “key indicator of a country’s readiness to become part of the EU”.

The vast majority of media in the European Union are national-oriented. Some EU-wide media focusing on European affairs have emerged since the early 1990s, such as Euronews, EUobserver, EURACTIV or Politico Europe. ARTE is a public Franco-German TV network that promotes programming in the areas of culture and the arts. 80% of its programming are provided in equal proportion by the two member companies, while the remainder is being provided by the European Economic Interest Grouping ARTE GEIE and the channel’s European partners.

The MEDIA Programme of the European Union intends to support the European popular film and audiovisual industries since 1991. It provides support for the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond.

Press freedom and democracy

Media Freedom is inherent to the decision making process in a well-functioning democracy, enabling citizens to make their political choices based on independent and pluralistic information and thus is an important instrument to form public opinion. The expression of a variety of opinions is needed in public debate to give the citizens the possibility to assess and choose among a wide range of opinions. The more pluralistic and articulated the opinions, the greater is the legitimising effect that media has on the wider democratic political process. Press freedom is often described as a watchdog over public power, underlining its significant role as an observer and informer of the public opinion on government actions.

Freedom of expression refers back to individual journalists’, as well as to press institutions’ rights. In other words, its significance covers both the individual right of each journalist to express his or her opinion and the press’ right as an institution to inform people. To guarantee the protection of free media, state authorities not only underlie the negative obligation to abstain from intrusion, but as well to the positive commitment to promote media freedom and act as a guarantor against intrusion of public as well as private actors.

Sources:

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union#Media (10.01.2020)

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_freedom_in_the_European_Union (17.01.2020)

EU Symbols

The flag used is the Flag of Europe, which consists of a circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background. Originally designed in 1955 for the Council of Europe, the flag was adopted by the European Communities, the predecessors of the present Union, in 1986. The Council of Europe gave the flag a symbolic description in the following terms, though the official symbolic description adopted by the EU omits the reference to the “Western world”:

Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars symbolise the peoples of Europe in a form of a circle, the sign of union. The number of stars is invariably twelve, the figure twelve being the symbol of perfection and entirety.

— Council of Europe. Paris, 7–9 December 1955.

United in Diversity was adopted as the motto of the Union in the year 2000, having been selected from proposals submitted by school pupils. Since 1985, the flag day of the Union has been Europe Day, on 9 May (the date of the 1950 Schuman declaration). The anthem of the Union is an instrumental version of the prelude to the Ode to Joy, the 4th movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s ninth symphony. The anthem was adopted by European Community leaders in 1985 and has since been played on official occasions. Besides naming the continent, the Greek mythological figure of Europa has frequently been employed as a personification of Europe. Known from the myth in which Zeus seduces her in the guise of a white bull, Europa has also been referred to in relation to the present Union. Statues of Europa and the bull decorate several of the Union’s institutions and a portrait of her is seen on the 2013 series of Euro banknotes. The bull is, for its part, depicted on all residence permit cards.

Charlemagne

Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne (Latin: Carolus Magnus) and later recognised as Pater Europae (“Father of Europe”), has a symbolic relevance to Europe. The Commission has named one of its central buildings in Brussels after Charlemagne and the city of Aachen has since 1949 awarded the Charlemagne Prize to champions of European unification. Since 2008, the organisers of this prize, in conjunction with the European Parliament, have awarded the Charlemagne Youth Prize in recognition of similar efforts by young people.

Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union#Symbols (10.01.2020)

Culture and sport

Cultural co-operation between member states has been a concern of the EU since its inclusion as a community competency in the Maastricht Treaty. Actions taken in the cultural area by the EU include the Culture 2000 seven-year programme, the European Cultural Month event, and orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra.

The European Capital of Culture programme selects one or more cities in every year to assist the cultural development of that city.The European Capital of Culture programme was launched in the summer of 1985 with Athens being the first title-holder.

Football is one of the most popular sports in the European Union. Association football is by far the most popular sport in the European Union by the number of registered players. The other sports with the most participants in clubs are tennis, basketball, swimming, athletics, golf, gymnastics, equestrian sports, handball, volleyball and sailing.

Sport is mainly the responsibility of the member states or other international organisations, rather than of the EU. There are some EU policies that have affected sport, such as the free movement of workers, which was at the core of the Bosman ruling that prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with European citizenship.

The Treaty of Lisbon requires any application of economic rules to take into account the specific nature of sport and its structures based on voluntary activity. This followed lobbying by governing organisations such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, due to objections over the application of free market principles to sport, which led to an increasing gap between rich and poor clubs. The EU does fund a programme for Israeli, Jordanian, Irish, and British football coaches, as part of the Football 4 Peace project.

Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union#Culture (10.01.2020)