Cross-border youth community
Lead Beneficiary: Nyírbátori Református Egyházközség (HU)
Project Beneficiary: Asociația Kécenlét Egyesület (RO)
The ROHU-256 CrossYounity project is financed by the European Union, through European Regional Development Fund (85% = € 68 000), and with the contribution of the Governments of Romania and Hungary, within the Second Open Call for Proposals of The Interreg V-A Romania-Hungary Programme – The Investment priority (Ip) opened: 11/b: Promoting legal and administrative cooperation and cooperation between citizens and institutions (ETC-CB).
The Interreg V-A Romania-Hungary Programme supports cross-border cooperation initiatives which address joint needs from the Romanian-Hungarian border area and finances projects that rely on a joint approach and show an innovative character in bringing their contribution to the sustainable development of the target area. The project was launched on the 1st of December 2018 and the implementation timeframe is 13 months, while the total project budget is € 80 000.
Programme website: http://interreg-rohu.eu
The ROHU-256 project is based on a new partnership between 2 organizations from Nyírbátor town and Cheț village in the field of cross-border cooperation in the RO-HU area.
Civil society remains relatively weak, especially in smaller localities. The capacity of civil society to influence region-wide decision making processes needs to be developed further. A strong civil society reinforces socioeconomic development by strengthening regional cooperation and intercultural dialogue while ensuring sustainability and joint action. Thus, community development and cooperation are necessary in the Nyírbátor – Cheț area, who have a shared heritage, as interpersonal contacts and bonds lack between people living close, but separated by man-made borders. Civil society organizations from both sides of the border, which directly involve citizens, should be responsible to work on developing these and on creating spaces for sharing experiences, through different joint activities and events. Cooperation among citizens and organizations helps build confidence and eliminate stereotypes/prejudices. On the long term, cooperation can bring about the harmonization of the cross-border area and add to its development in various fields. Events promoting and preserving cultural diversity and common traditions, involving the local civil society in culture, sports, youth and other leisure activities are essential from social and cultural point of view to build active cooperation among CB communities. As young people are more responsive to intercultural cooperation and exchange initiatives and are more flexible, they represent an important target group from the point of view of social change. This cooperation project represents an innovative approach to cross-border cooperation as it involves young people from both sides of the border who will be trained to work together as a team on the long term. Partners address the challenge of bringing communities closer together by aiming at this age group (14-29 year olds), which, in their long term vision, will be enthusiastic about international collaboration and will be able to carry on other projects. Young people full of ideas and potentials will enrich local communities, as they are the main drivers of innovation and social change. A multiannual programme of youth camps and concerts is proposed. The project brings about a new approach as a RO-HU joint team of young people is envisaged to be formed and consolidated in order to carry out community cooperation projects on the long term between Cheț and Nyírbátor, an initiative that is totally new between the 2 localities and quite different as approach in the programme area.
The implementation of the project activities brings about a positive change in the target area and the proposed solutions are relevant for addressing specific challenges from the Nyírbátor-Cheț cross-border area: through young people and project events, communities will be closer to one another and will learn to cooperate.
Thus, the project main overall objective is Building sustainable and active bilateral cooperation between communities living in the Nyírbátor – Cheț area by the inclusion of the youth as a key social group. Young people are the key social group to make cultural heritage more attractive and connect communities in a dynamic age. With the continuous support of the 2 non-profit organizations, cooperation among the 2 communities they represent will be enabled and built, as no similar actions have taken place. The project thus contributes to the programme’s specific objective.
The project showed its trans-border character from the very beginning of the idea of the project. Transnational cooperation between organisations is urged in order to bring cross-border communities together and facilitate encounter and long term cooperation. Directed, organized and sustainable action brings better results in connecting communities than spontaneous encounters between community members. Acting solely at national, regional or local level is not sufficient, as active involvement of the communities from the other side of the border is vital for cross-border cooperation. Otherwise, encounters between the members of these communities will not be sustainable.
Therefore, the cooperation between the 2 civil organisations is needed to have a long term vision, strategy and to take concrete measures for bringing Romanian-Hungarian cross-border communities together. The project consists in 2 youth camps and 8 concerts. The identified target group is the general public, that is the local population from the Romania-Hungary cross-border area comprising 1150 people, especially focusing on youth from the Nyírbátor-Cheț area. Also, a team of young volunteer organizers and a joint band of musicians will be formed, who will ensure the sustainability of the cooperation. Online communication will be vital throughout the project.
Nonetheless, joint implementation and effective communication is ensured by partners’ delegates in the Steering Committee of the Project. Though this structure, project management will deviate from the traditional sense, to the benefit of project implementation due to increase in communication and collaboration between parts.
The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union.