International event “#EU4YOU: Where Changes really Happen” took place on Friday, June 9th 2017, in Space for Creative Activities “Deli”, in Niš. This event belongs to the Days of the Four Freedoms of the European Union (EU) of the project EU3doms which have been, besides Niš, already held in Belgrade and in Mircurea Ciuc, in Romania. At the event more than sixty representatives of local self-government units, civil society organizations, media and foundations from Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania and Austria were gathered. Main issue the event was dealing with was role and perception of local self-government units when it comes to the four freedoms policy of the EU. Day of the Four Freedoms of the EU was organized jointly by Belgrade Open School and National Coalition for Decentralization and EU Info Point in Niš.
Opening remarks were given by Ms. Milena Velojić from National Coalition for Decentralization, Mr. Vanja Dolapčev from Belgrade Open School, Ms. Marija Marinković from EU Info Point in Niš and Mr. Jozsef Kepli from Municipality of Heviz, in Hungary. “Actually, the four freedoms policy is very important and not for the EU only, but also for Serbia, as an EU candidate country. Today we are discussing about the experience that can be exchanged in this regard and also about the benefits brought by four freedoms policy in the local self-government units, the places where the changes really happen”, Vanja Dolapčev emphasized. However, Milena Velojić expressed her fears on more intensive centralization than ever before. “What we want to say clearly today is that decentralization has to be a priority of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, if we want to have successful European integration process”, Velojić underlined.
Within the event, three workshop tables were organized on the following issues: youth, policy making and anti-corruption. Also, as a part of the event, the exhibition featuring the most successful works of secondary school students submitted through the contest “Four Freedoms of the EU” was opened.
Brief summaries on the roundtable discussions are available here:
- Local Self-Government and Youth
- Local Self-Government and Anti-Corruption
- Local Self-Government and Policy_Making
The event is a part of the “Debate on the Future of the Four Freedoms of the EU: EU3doms”, project carried out by Belgrade Open School with the support of the EU through “Europe for Citizens” program. In addition to Belgrade Open School, the project consortium members are the Municipality of Heviz (Hungary), the Harghita County Council (Romania), the Municipality of Lendava (Slovenia) and the organization “Foster Europe” (Austria). Within this project, one similar event will be organized in Serbia: in Novi Sad.