Lithuanian origins, French passport, Spanish residency, European mobility. The description of my 3 m
Arrived in the end of January in Cantabria, Santander is my new city. (Yes it’s not only a bank!) Here we can find the general SUDOE (South west Europe: including France, Andorra, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar) regional secretariat but also the leading office of the STOP CO2 project.
While many have been working on project with visible results, this one is about something even more essential but even less palpable: air. Aiming the transport stations in our city centres, the project aims to decrease CO2 emissions by reducing the electric consumptions of these structures.
My job in all this? Keep you informed about the achievements! Mainly acting through my computer, I am in charge of writing down the social media posts, articles and reports. Around that, I am also taking part in several meetings, trainings and have the reporting missions in charge. Taking pictures and media content during the events or from the stations we work with.
Strasbourg: Spread the Vote
I cannot consider myself as the most assiduous student, neither worker probably. And so, I decided to engage in further IVY communication activities. As it is allowed and even encouraged, I had the chance to participate in several EU organised events.
The first one was spread the vote. In Strasbourg, 90 young people gathered from 3 countries (France Germany and Poland) for 3 days of activities and workshops. The objective, identify reasons why young people do not vote and try to find innovative ways to involve them. With chances to meet the members of the European parliament, officials from the French and German governments and principally, amazing facilitators! Here I wasn’t an official from the Interreg program, but had already the chance to network and also inform a lot of people about the different opportunities I had and they can reach.
Brussels: European Youth Week
After that, the IVY team was waiting for me for the Brussels European Youth Week. The Youth Organisations festival has been a success, and gathered a lot of locals and visitors to inform about the different programs Europe holds for its youth. We had our corner inside the parliament building, in the main hall. A lot of people came, enjoyed visiting the parliament and learning about cohesion between regions, projects and volunteer life.
After 2 days, I had the chance to enjoy 2 other days of rest and visits before participating in another event in Brussels but this time centralized in the Barleymount building, the European commission’s one. Once again, we had a corner in the public open building where we were presenting IVY’s activities and opportunities. We shared the information in our own natural ways and it seemed to work out. People were satisfied with our presentations and others thrilled for their future! This was for me mainly a good way to know also more about the complexity of the IVY programme as all volunteers were not doing the same work or had the same implication level. And now it is clear to me that everybody can and even should try the IVY experience.
Romania: Sibiu Young Citizens Dialogue
But so far, my experience is not complete. After Brussels, very quickly came a short trip to Romania in order to assists to the European young citizens dialogue, right before the EU summit of Sibiu with all the government representatives and European policy makers. During this event we had the chance to meet Mr Jean-Claude Junker but also other commissioners in order to discuss, exchange on our respective visions of Europe. The workshops were meant to prepare future youth policies that were then presented to the commissioners. The dialogue was really interesting and even there I had the chance to inform people about Interreg implications, activities and volunteering.
For me, more than a professional, the interreg life is an experience. With such open opportunities the program offers not only the CV but mainly a personal level growth. I am now dedicating myself into writing a new interreg project, with the objective to empower the youth from my Provence region in France. Having opportunities like this lead me to think more global, comfort my personal societal beliefs and brought me new ways of reaching my objectives. I wish to all of you to have the chance to engage in such an adventure!
Project: STOP CO2
City: Santander, Cantabria, España