My new fantastic IVY world

Warm Greetings everyone! Friends all over the continent, I am Andreas Karadakis, proud to be Cretan, Greek,European and Global citizen! Currently I experience this amazing world of Interreg Volunteer Youth, volunteering for Euroregion Baltic Organization in Elblag Poland and assisting in CaSYPoT project.

Finally and thanks to IVY Programme and the beautiful people working at the Association of European Border Regions I am given the chance to apply my knowledge and skills for a good purpose! So far so good for me in Elblag, the working environment here is very friendly and collaborative, and I learn A LOT every day. Life in Poland is joyful, ok the weather is bit chilly but polish vodka is the best antidote to warm you up!!

So folks, let me introduce you CaSYPoT, a fresh and innovative project seeking to increase youth participation and engagement in decision making process! Yes, it is possible, and stakeholders in CaSYPoT have been working hard to make it happen. I am fortunate to be involved in every aspect of this project, gaining valuable communication and project management skills. Furthermore through the project I meet bright and inspiring people who widen my horizons.

CaSYPoT (Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation) is an ambitious project that will be applied in different municipalities of Baltic Sea, involving universities, politicians and of course the youth. Everything begun 2 years ago, when the project was approved and granted by Interreg South Baltic Programme. Since then a lot have been moved and as a self-fulfilling prophecy, the project gets closer to become the positive change we want to see in our neighbourhood, our municipality, our community, our society. We really crave to see youth raising their voice, participating in city councils, deciding for their matters and benefiting from youth policies.

As a first step of this journey, a survey based on a Swedish research tool was conducted in the selected municipalities around the Baltic Sea, in order to identify the major challenges youth are facing today. Partner Universities analysed the results of the survey and came up with some conclusions. This diagnosis and analysis is crucial, a pursuit and pathway that we are going to use in order to set up strategies and policies for the youth. Strategies, not for the shake of strategies but policies that will be applicable and effective, that will be the fruit of an open dialogue with the youth, from the youth and for the youth.

Why is this project implemented in the Euroregion Baltic? Due to the fact that this area shares common borders, values and vision. Because the partners, coming from different countries, have a diverse background and all bring some good practises and experience.

What is next? We are now debating and examining the different propositions and tools presented by various stakeholders, a procedure that takes a lot of energy but is fulfilling and constructive. Ideally, in the near future, we will have to create a toolbox of solutions and strategies that will fascinate local politicians and will find a fertile ground in the decision making sphere.

The best is yet to come and I promise to keep you updated!!!

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