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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl

Activity and Development Report 2009 EYCE THEME OF THE YEAR 2009 “YOU WERE CALLED TO JUSTICE” (Galatians 5:13)

ECUMENICAL YOUTH COUNCIL IN EUROPE Conseil Œcuménique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44, B - 1070 Bruxelles, BELGIUM Tel. +32 2 510 6171 Fax +32 2 510 6172 E-mail: general.secretary@eyce.org WWW: www.eyce.org

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.............................................................................................................................. 3 2. EYCE's activities..................................................................................................................... 5 EYCE Study session “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue human rights education in the field of economic justice” .............................................................. 5 EYCE summer training “Democracy and Migration enhancing the participation of young people from minority background" .................................... 6 Campaign Leadership Team meeting ........................................................................................... 8 EYCE Training course "Human Rights vs. Fundamentalism inter-religious co-operation to overcome discrimination and prejudice in Europe" ..................... 10 EYCE Interreligious "Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism" .............................................. 11 3. External Relations................................................................................................................. 14 4. EYCE structural development............................................................................................. 17

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

1. Introduction The year 2009 can be summarised as a year of restart and innovation for EYCE. During the year 2009 there were many developments and changes within EYCE, which have lead to stabilisation and achieving new horizons and setting new, broader goals. After having a year of less stability in 2008, a new Executive Committee had been elected in extraordinary General Meeting, which took place in May 2009. The newly elected Executive committee has lead EYCE into development in many aspects – starting from the structural changes and statutory meetings to the implementation and innovative solutions within the EYCE events. Those innovative approaches have given a valuable experience and new aspects in the work of EYCE, at the same time bringing in the expertise of young people of many various fields. On the other hand, it has given the organisation more capacity and flexibility in order to be able to reach out to the young people in its networks and provide them with the knowledge, experience and expertise they need. Stabilisation has come into the organisation by its new Executive Committee and office staff. In the first part of the year 2009, both the Executive Committee and the Office staff changed. This brought the possibility for EYCE to develop the ways of transmitting the organisational memory, ensuring the smooth follow-up of the projects and work with partners and donors, as well as provided EYCE with an opportunity to review its identity and re-shape its policies. During the 37 th General Meeting, which exceptionally took place in May instead of October, the questions of EYCE’s identity were raised and discussed, which resulted in the decision to call for a Steering Committee on EYCE’s future development. Questions such as: What is the role of EYCE in the work of young people in Europe? What is that special feature EYCE is offering to young people? Is EYCE working on the issues, which are interesting and relevant to the young people in EYCE’s network today? Questions like these and many others were raised and will be explored by the Steering Committee. The work of EYCE continued to be as successful as in previous years and developed into remarkable and interesting outcomes of EYCE’s events and realistic follow-up projects of good quality. In 2009, EYCE continued to work on the themes, which are at the core of its work – interreligious dialogue, Human Rights, justice, reconciliation and inclusion of socially marginalised groups of young people, e.g., migrants. All the planned activities were carried out successfully and with remarkable results. For all activities the participants gave very positive feedback. While there are always items that can be improved, the overall satisfaction with EYCE’s activities has increased – thanks to the impressive work young volunteers have put into developing and implementing EYCE’s seminars, training courses, and page 3

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe study sessions. The Executive Committee also started a successful planning for the themes outlined by the General Meeting for the coming two years. The year 2009 provided EYCE with an opportunity to re-settle its office, maintaining the good and stable cooperation with the Eglise Protestant du Belgique. As a part of the newly opened Maison du Protestantisme, EYCE had the opportunity to present itself to the prominent figures of Belgian, Dutch, and German Churches and state representatives and to explain about the work, the organisation is doing, during the official opening of the Maison du Protestantisme, which took place on the 31st of October 2009. Also, some of the networks, where EYCE had been involved in the past, but which had stopped their activity in the last couple of years, e.g., Faith Based Expert Group of the Youth Forum Jeunesse, have been renewed during 2009 through the initiative of EYCE, thus extending its work, especially in the field of interreligious dialogue. Thus, it can be resumed that EYCE has regained much of its previous strength and stability in 2009 through its activities, meetings and structural changes. Regardless, or even thanks to all the structural changes, which were brought by the year 2008 and 2009, the work of EYCE has been successful and development oriented - the organisation always sought new ways and areas of work, developed new ideas and points of view. We are hoping to maintain this development oriented work also in the years to come!

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

2. EYCE’s activities

EYCE Study session “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue human rights education in the field of economic justice” European Youth Centre, Strasbourg 1st - 8th of March 2009 In many European countries, especially in Eastern and SouthEastern Europe, issues connected to economic justice are rarely being related to Human Rights advocacy and reflection – thus not identifying economic justice as a basic Human Right. With this study session, organised in conjunction with the Federation of European Muslim Youth Organisations (FEMYSO), EYCE wanted to help young people to reflect on this fundamental link, and provide them with a background of Human Rights for their work on economic justice issues. The main themes during the study session were the analysis of economic justice and social cohesion. This involved identifying problems and causes and exploring the different levels of the issues at a local level as well as in a European and global context. It brought the employment situation, social inclusion, and youth involvement to the attention of the participants. The study session also focused on the situation of Human Rights education undertaken by faithbased youth organisations, especially the previous work done by EYCE in co-operation with the European Youth Foundation, (the All different, All equal campaign) and shared examples of best practise from EYCE member organisations. The study session sought to explore the links between human rights and economic justice. This meant not only learning about those human rights which have an explicit reference to social or employment protection, but also looking at the whole field of human rights and how they can support human flourishing and full enjoyment of life for all people. EYCE and FEMYSO are faithbased organisations, therefore a consideration of the theological or spiritual aspects of justice, globalisation and human rights were also part of the study session. The structure of the study session was varied, employing a wide range of educational methods and different activities to stimulate, engage, and enthuse participants with a passion for the theme. The success of the study session was based on two main factors: the active contribution of all participants and the respect for each other that was encouraged and helped everybody to learn. page 5

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe There were altogether 37 young people representing 16 different nationalities participating in the study session. The participants were a diverse group, coming not only from different countries and cultures, but also from different religious traditions. Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians as well as Muslims took part in the study session. The group also included a Filipino, who greatly enriched the week with personal stories of human rights issues and globalisation from his particular context. Outside the structured sessions, the social and friendship-building opportunities turned out to be a highlight of the week for many participants. The friendly and positive attitude of the group in turn assisted the work of the session in exchanging views, working through ideas and helping all to a better understanding of other people. Members of the International Planning Committee, all of whom had been involved in similar events in the past, thought that this study session was remarkable for the easy-going and respectful nature of the participants. If all study sessions were like this one then people would be wanting to do them again and again! Participants were also grateful for the unique opportunity to visit the European Court of Human Rights and to speak with one of the lawyers working there. This helped to root the work of the Council of Europe at the centre of our theme, as well as providing an unforgettable insight into the institution. As far as conclusions go, the study session did not set out to answer the question ‘how are human rights and economic justice linked', but rather intended to facilitate learning and equip the participants to take some of the ideas and practical activities back to their own communities and to undertake small-scale projects to work further on the theme.

EYCE summer training “Democracy and Migration enhancing the participation of young people from minority background. An ecumenical training course for youth leaders ” Prague, Czech Republic 21st - 28th of June 2009 Today, every nation in Europe is facing the phenomenon of migration in one or the other way. With this training course EYCE aimed at raising the questions, which many countries in Europe are facing today - such as, how to address and understand the issues of migration? Which measures page 6

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe need to be taken to fully include youth from migrant and minority backgrounds into participatory structures? Which tools and structures are needed to enable active participation in democratic decision making processes? Which innovative tools can young people create that would support and sustain democratic participation of youth and in particular migrant youth? In June 2009, around 30 young people gathered in Prague, Czech Republic for the training course "Democracy and Migration - Enhancing the participation of young people from minority background" to work on the main themes of the training course: • A theoretical overview on policies facilitating integration and democratic citizenship with respect for diversity; • The personal sharing of migrant youth on participation in democracy and understanding of democratic citizenship; • The participation of migrants in civic and political life; • Democratic citizenship: concepts for inclusion and active participation; • Democratic citizenship: practical training in promoting inclusion of minority youth in democratic decision making processes.

The training course used a wide variety of methods: lectures, case studies, creative presentations, individual reflections, and concrete training on project planning and further work in small regional groups aimed at developing concrete and sustainable programmes to be implemented at home. Methods and reflections encouraged by the "Compass" and other Council of Europe publications were used widely. The approach, which was chosen to address the topics of democracy and migration, was focusing theoretical and analytical activities for the beginning and eventually merging both topics into practical approach - development of skills and knowledge which is needed to address these issues, raise awareness of the challenges of migrant's participation and practically work on integrating migrants into the society. These various methods of addressing the topics, ensured that different aspects of them are explored. The various backgrounds of the participants, both social and religious, contributed largely to deepening the understanding of different forms, reasons and results of migration, provided by the lecturers, and brought different perspectives into the practical work. There were two main aspects of migration tackled during the training course - the migration from the perspective of the hosting countries and perspectives of migration in countries, such as Latvia, Bulgaria, Albania etc., where emigration is one of the main trends. The fact that participants of the training course were coming not only from Europe, but also beyond - such as India, Africa, and Australia, currently residing in Europe, brought a wider scope to the issues discussed and brought in the personal experiences of migration. Most of the participants were coming from youth organisations and gained a valuable experience in project planning and implementation. There page 7

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix ��� BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe were new learning experiences gained, friendships and partnerships established and creative and good-quality projects developed during the training course. In the framework of the work of EYCE this training course brought in new aspects. EYCE has always been working towards equality, inclusion, and unity of young people, regardless of their background or origin. Furthermore, recently the issue of youth participation has been at stake and widely discussed, therefore the matters addressed during the project have great relevance within the work of EYCE. The experiences and knowledge gained within this project will be reflected in further projects. One of the next projects foreseen by EYCE will be on the participation of young people, which will be directly following up the practical results of this project. Results will be as well addressed in EYCE’s Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism as real life examples and experiences.

Campaign Leadership Team meeting Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 14th - 18th of October 2009 The Leadership Team (LT) of the Campaign has been appointed by the EYCE Executive Committee to run the various parts of the Campaign. With support from the EYCE office, they carry out activities around Europe. The LT is in close contact with the participants of the meetings arranged, with participants in the EYCE seminars which take place in the framework of the Campaign, and with the pool of interested people in this topic. They communicate via email and Skype when editing the Magazine 'Fundamental Issues', and they have a yearly live meeting in connection with the yearly dissemination visit. The work of the Campaign is communicated to the Executive Committee. One of the elements of the Campaign focuses on involving local projects. This is done through dissemination visits and local workshops. Also in the year 2009, members of the LT shared plans of local projects they would like to initiate or that are already being initiated within their networks. They distributed these projects among themselves, in order to provide all necessary assistance to people on a local and regional level. Furthermore, the dissemination visit in 2009 involved a very successful range of meetings in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and a follow-up of the cooperation with organisations in FYROMacedonia. Valuable partnerships have been established there - both with Christian and Muslim organisations. Among those, the Islamic Youth Forum (Macedonia) and the Interreligious page 8

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be mentioned. The work of the LT in the Balkan region brings in very crucial experiences and testimonies for the Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism and EYCE's inter-religious work in general. In line with the Campaign's thematic focus on Human Rights in 2009, a striking example of fundamentalism used for escalation of an armed conflict and human rights violations can be found in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Religion and ethnicity were used as a basis for differentiation between people enjoying human rights and people who were supposed to be deprived of them. Although the armed conflict finished in 1995, the wounds have not been fully cured yet and fundamentalist approaches overcome. This raises difficult questions, such as: How can we help the young generation not to carry on injuries and fundamentalist approaches of their predecessors? How can we learn from the past conflict nourished by propaganda based on religious and ethnic fundamentalisms? What leads to the link between religion and ethnicity? How can we prevent such conflicts from happening? Is it possible to identify and overcome fundamentalist approaches in other European societies in order to guarantee full enjoyment of human rights to all? Are there good practices of overcoming fundamentalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina that could be shared with the rest of the European continent? The social environment, in which the LT meeting and the dissemination visit was held, had a great potential for discussion and ideas for the further elements of the campaign, since the Balkan region has experience in the field of reconciliation and interreligious dialogue. The dissemination visit in Sarajevo consisted of several meetings, which were attended by young men and women from various faith communities in Sarajevo. They were invited to join in a discussion about fundamentalism, and to give their different opinions on how fundamentalism plays a role in their country and context. The LT presented the Campaign and its current and future activities and distributed the campaign materials. The foundations were laid for an event in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the second half of 2010. Gathering young people for meetings was not difficult. The interest in the inter-religious meeting and in the EYCE Campaign was high from local faith communities.

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

EYCE Training course "Human Rights vs. Fundamentalism inter-religious co-operation to overcome discrimination and prejudice in Europe" Skopje, FYROMacedonia 15th - 22nd of November 2009 Fundamentalism in its various forms is becoming an increasing threat to universal human rights (HR) in the Europe of today. When national governments claim that they need to protect the fundamental values of their country by tightening the rules for immigration, or denying rights for certain minorities, they often ignore or violate basic human rights. When political parties promote a certain religion, claiming that belonging to this religion identifies you as belonging to this country, minorities are discriminated and human rights are violated. Fundamental values are crucial to any society. They support the development of identity in the individual and in groups. When different groups encounter each other, these values will be questioned and whereas the values are founded individually in the whole being, it is not given that the individual person is capable of explaining the set of values. This can create a deep fear and lead to a fundamentalism where doctrines are followed blindly because they are beyond what can be discussed and explained. Some will state that fundamentalism in any way, shape or form is bad as it violates the rights of people who do not follow the doctrines. Others understand fundamentalism as opposition to relativism. The training course “Human Rights versus Fundamentalism” was multi-religious and brought together more than 30 youth leaders and young people actively engaged in youth work in their communities from Christian, Muslim and Jewish backgrounds, as well as participants representing agnostic views. The training course aimed at looking at fundamentalism from the perspective of Human Rights. Are both interconnected? How do both affect one another? There are numerous occasions in Europe today, when fundamentalist attitudes and practices are becoming a threat to or even violation of universal human rights. Societies or social groups with narrow perspectives and specific sets of values are affecting the practices of equality and justice. However, traditional values are crucial to any society, since they provide the framework of identity for social groups. Therefore, it is crucial to engage into the dialogue and develop an understanding that values can be the basis of ones identity, but not the basis for mis-judgment and violation of other's rights. A variety of methods was used during the training course: lectures, case studies, creative presentations, individual reflections and concrete training on project planning and further work in small interest groups aimed at developing concrete and sustainable programmes to be page 10

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe implemented at home. Methods and reflections encouraged by the Human Rights Education manual "Compass" and other Council of Europe publications were used widely. Being a part of EYCE's "Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism", this training course was highlighting the thematic focus of the 2009 within the framework of the campaign - Human Rights and the role of religious communities in shaping today's Europe. Human Rights are a crucial part of the set of values European society is built on. Therefore, it is important to pursue the protection of those rights in every aspect of a multicultural/ multi-religious society. Experiences and knowledge gained within this training course will be reflected in further projects, e.g., for dissemination events in the Balkan region, Georgia and EU countries within the Campaign in 2010 and in its final event in Sarajevo. The participants left the training course with improved and deepened knowledge on the topics of Human Rights and Fundamentalism, and possibilities for young people to participate and raise awareness on these questions. Furthermore, the participants acquired specific skills on project planning and implementation, as well as learned the methodology, which can be used in implementation of those projects. By working in a multicultural setting, the participants could also develop their social skills, such as cooperation, openness, inclusiveness etc. Towards the end of the training course participants worked practically by developing their own projects on human rights education and protection. EYCE provided project planning training during the event and is currently keeping the contacts with the participants in order to encourage the implementation and offer support. One of the projects on Inter-religious education is officially included in EYCE’s Campaign agenda for 2010, and will be carried out by creators of the idea in cooperation with the Leadership Team of the Campaign.

EYCE Interreligious "Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism" Inter-religious dialogue is a key element in creating a peaceful and respectful world. Yet, we realise that actors in this dialogue often face fundamentalist attitudes. Ignoring the reality of religious fundamentalism could lead to a situation, where a few organisations engage in dialogue, but where this work represents only a small part of the society. During the work on interreligious dialogue done by EYCE and its members and partners, it became clear that many societies and organisations throughout Europe are challenged by the phenomenon of fundamentalism. As an appropriate contribution to being equipped to face it, EYCE decided to page 11

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe launch a three-year interreligious campaign to promote awareness, practical tools, and good practice on overcoming fundamentalism. The Campaign is coordinated by a Leadership Team, composed of young volunteers coming from various religious and cultural backgrounds. In 2009, the focus of the Campaign was on Fundamentalism and Human Rights. It was clear, that by addressing the subject of fundamentalism, it is necessary to have an aspect of human rights education. Not having a common understanding of Human Rights can often lead to a fundamentalist behaviour, whereas, if religious communities in Europe would cooperate more in social and other fields, many problems could be overcome. There are many good examples of overcoming fundamentalist attitudes and enhancing collaboration between religious communities, e.g., the work of the Interreligious Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which need to be promoted among young people in order to initiate the collaboration elsewhere. The outcomes of the campaign were very good and there were many ideas for following up the thematic work of this year of the campaign. The following activities were undertaken during the second year of the campaign: 1. A networking and dissemination visit, where the leadership team met with the youth branch of the Inter-religious Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other NGOs and shared the outcomes and best practices collected in the Campaign so far, and gained new insights on the phenomena for the proceeding of the Campaign. 2. The publication of the “Fundamental Issues” magazine continued, giving account of the achievements during the interreligious events of EYCE and its partners, of the implementation of projects led by participants and sharing of best practices. The printed version of the magazine was distributed to participants of residential seminars, member and partner organizations and other interested bodies, whereas the electronic version is available on EYCE's website. 3. A training course, focusing specifically on Human Rights and fundamentalism was held in Skopje, F.Y.R.O.Macedonia and brought together over 30 young people from various religious and cultural backgrounds. 4. Various promotional materials, such as posters, postcards, badges and T-shirts were produced. Throughout the campaign events, meetings and publications, it has become clear that many societies and organisations all over Europe are challenged by the phenomenon of fundamentalism, and there is a consequent strong need, especially for young people, to explore in more depth the different aspects of this phenomenon and to be equipped with tools to face its challenges in their own contexts. The participation in the Campaign of as many as possible religious communities in Europe was a basic requirement for its success and outreach. Therefore, EYCE is working in strong cooperation with its long-term inter-religious partners, especially FEMYSO – Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations, and EUJS – European Union of Jewish Students and the European page 12

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe Inter-faith Youth Network, bringing together not only Muslims and Jews, but many other religious communities, such as Buddhists, Hindus, Druids, Baha’i, Sikh, Zoroastrians, if not in meetings, then in contributions. There were several important achievements during the campaign in the year 2009. First of all, the engagement and interest of young people has significantly increased. The leadership team was pleased to point out, that the young people interested in the activities of the campaign are very motivated to start interreligious projects also at home in their local organisations. On this level, the interreligious dialogue is delivering very good results by bearing visible fruits, such as overcoming stereotypes and prejudices by getting to know "the others" better or maybe not seeing them as “the others” any more, but rather as a human being like oneself in general. Another achievement in the course of 2009 is to see that the dissemination of the Campaign is really taking place in the countries in Europe where EYCE has visited or where young people have attended the activities of the Campaign. More and more young people from various faith backgrounds are interested to get involved in the campaign. To understand, how that is a success, it is interesting to look at what has actually moved people. Participants in the activities are experiencing a great change in their way of thinking about other religions and other cultures. From being informed about other religions, they now meet and experience them. They ask, discuss, and explore to get to know the backgrounds and appearance of the other. Prejudices and stereotypes are transformed into real life experiences. Some presumptions might be found true, others false. This meeting with the other is needed, and to have it in a European context as well as the local and national gives a perspective to the participants which can wrestle them out of their local political, cultural, or religious locks and provide them with inspiration to start new initiatives. A measurable outcome of the work in the Campaign is the Magazine "Fundamental Issues", which was published in 2 volumes in 2009. The Magazine is composed by the members of the leadership team and other young volunteers contributing to the publication. The magazine in printed version is being distributed throughout EYCE's network and is available on the EYCE website. Towards the end of the year 2009 new promotional materials of the campaign have been developed - postcards, posters, badges, and T-shirts.

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

3. External Relations Ecumenical networking meetings January-February, Brussels, Belgium During the period January-February 2009 several Ecumenical networking meetings took place in Brussels. Mainly the meetings with Conference of European Churches (CEC) and it's Church and Society Commission (CSC), as well as a meeting with General Secretaries of Brussels-based Ecumenical organisation.

Stewards training for CEC Assembly July 11th – July 25th 2009 Lyon, France Being an associated youth organisation of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), EYCE cooperated once again with CEC to support and assist with the preparations for the 13th General Assembly, which took place in Lyon, France. Having great experience and expertise in the non-formal education with young people, EYCE coorganised a training for the young people, who would serve as stewards during the Assembly. Together with other youth organisations EYCE prepared and implemented the training programme for the stewards, which contained detailed information about CEC, the Assembly, the Ecumenical movement and EYCE. In addition, it focussed on Team building and included time for intercultural exchange and learning, as well as provided the participants with the skills, such as initiative, responsibility, creativity, and leadership skills, which would be helpful for the work during the Assembly. Organising this programme gave EYCE the opportunity to be in contact with young people, who otherwise might not have heard of EYCE.

CEC Assembly 15th - 21st of July, Lyon, France The Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, is one of the most important events in the ecumenical world in Europe. Bringing together members of many different churches in Europe, the Assembly is developing the work plan for the next term, as well as makes the crucial decisions for the ecumenical movement. Being an associated youth organisation, one delegated representative was sent by EYCE. Furthermore, many young people from EYCE’s network took part in the Assembly as delegates on behalf of their local churches or as stewards. This was another valuable opportunity for EYCE to network and confirm the importance of its work in the ecumenical movement. Over the years of page 14

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe cooperation, together with other European and International youth organisations, EYCE has proved to be a respected partner and a voice of young Christians in Europe to be listened to. This particular Assembly was meaningful for young people, since relatively many young people, also coming from EYCE's network, were elected in various structures of CEC.

Meeting with General Secretaries of Brussels-based Ecumenical organisations 1st September, Brussels, Belgium The General Secretaries of Brussels-based ecumenical organisations are meeting on a regular basis in order to update one another about the most recent developments, as well as to work together for the issues concerning Church structures or the social issues at stake. This meeting took place in the premises of the Church and Society Commission of CEC and was the first meeting after the summer break, where the organisations present during the meeting gave updates about their summer activities and planned the common work for the rest of the year. Also, the outcomes of the CEC Assembly, which took place in July in Lyon, France and the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting were analysed and discussed. This meeting also offered an opportunity to meet with the Rev. Peter Pavlovic, who works for the Church and Society commission of CEC and discuss the possible cooperation for the programme called "Poverty, Wealth and Ecology", which is organised by the World Council of Churches and will have its focus on the continent of Europe in 2010. These meetings are good networking opportunities for EYCE and allow to fully participate in the Ecumenical processes in Brussels.

"999: A Call for a Strong Youth Agenda" European Youth Forum Jeunesse Open Door Day 9th of September, Brussels, Belgium The Open Door Day is an annual practice of the European Youth Forum Jeunesse (YFJ) which brings together the Member Organisations of YFJ and aims at promoting the work of the YFJ to the general society. Alongside with other Member Organisations EYCE was given the opportunity to present itself with a stand, where the publications and other presentation materials were displayed. This was a good opportunity for EYCE staff to present the work the Council is doing and promote the Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism, as well as to network with other youth organisations and develop possible partnerships for cooperation. EU commissioner Jan Figel attended the event to give a speech, however the aim to address a wider public from outside the YFJ contexts could not be reached. page 15

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

Work on Green Paper on Youth Mobility September - December, Brussels, Belgium During the period from September to December, EYCE together with other Brussels based church organisations was involved in producing a common response for the Green Paper on Youth Mobility. This was a good opportunity to give an input toward the European youth politics, as well as work in close contact with other organisations. With the work on this common response, EYCE used its expertise in youthwork, and provided a fact-based response and analytical approach.

Finance meeting at Youth Forum Jeunesse October, Brussels, Belgium In October, the newly elected Treasurer participated in the Finance meeting organised by the Youth Forum Jeunesse. This was a good opportunity to network with other treasurers and general secretaries in the youth NGO field, as well as to gain practical skills and knowledge to be used for the further work of EYCE. The first part of the meeting provided the information and training about Operating of Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission grant (EACEA) and of the Youth in Action Programme of the Council of Europe. The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), specifically about the ways youth NGOs can cooperate with the private sector.

Council of Members of Youth Forum Jeunesse 13th-14th November, Turin, Italy From November 13th – 14th 2009 the Council of Members of the Youth Forum Jeunesse took place in Torino, Italy. This meeting was a good opportunity for EYCE to network with other youth organisations in Europe. As the Executive Committee of EYCE changed in 2009, it was the first Council of Members, at which a delegate from the newly elected Executive Committee participated as a delegate. It proved to be particularly successful in renewing the contacts to other faith based youth organisations. The different faith based youth organisations reaffirmed their wish to work together and to cooperate on a European level. As an expression of this cooperation, some of the faith based youth organisations are organising a workshop for the next Council of Members in April 2010. The Council of Members itself was dedicated to discuss different thematic themes, such as globalisation, peace, new media, or environmental issues. In addition, statutory changes of the Youth Forum Jeunesse were discussed. EYCE aims at engaging more in the work of the Youth Forum Jeunesse again in the following years. page 16

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

4. EYCE structural development Executive Committee meeting 29th January – 01st February 2009, Brussels, Belgium The first EYCE Executive Committee meeting in 2009 served to plan the foreseen running of the year in order to steer EYCE. The ExCo prepared the annual programme of 2009 and evaluated the activities implemented in 2008. The ExCo decided democratically on the daily running of the youth council. The ExCo furthermore discussed important issues and developments within the ecumenical movement, social & political trends and planned a systematic response and discussed future cooperations, events with partner organisations, funding strategies etc. During this meeting, the ExCo also took the opportunity to meet with the young people from EYCE's Belgian Member Organisation.

Job Training 15th - 30th of April, Brussels, Belgium Starting at 15th of April 2009, Kristine Jansone joined EYCE as the acting General Secretary. The General Secretary is responsible for the administration of the organisation as well as for coordinating EYCE’s work related to participation in democratic processes in church and society, development of respect for cultural diversity, the full inclusion of all young people regardless of their social, religious or cultural origin, inter-religious dialogue, promoting economic justice and Human Rights. Ms. Jansone was introduced to all of these working fields and to our key partners, active in youth politics and the churches, as well as provided with the necessary information on the work of the council by the ExCo members responsible for certain fields. The training was mainly done via e-mail and telephone, since the work in the office was intense, due to preparations for the EYCE General Meeting. Thus equipped, she worked for EYCE and its partners’ goal of active citizenship of young people.

Executive Committee meeting 1st - 4th of May 2009, Kekava, Latvia The EYCE Executive Committee and the office staff met directly prior to the General meeting in Ķekava, Latvia. The main task of this meeting was to evaluate the work of the ExCo during the page 17

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe term of its serving, to prepare the General Meeting and to prepare the handover for the upcoming Executive Committee. This being an extraordinary General meeting and happening well before the regular schedule required careful preparations, both practical and statutory.

EYCE 37th General Meeting 4th - 10th of May 2009,Ķekava, Latvia EYCE’s 37th General Meeting took place in Ķekava, Latvia. It gathered EYCE member Organisations' delegates and guests from EYCE's partner organisations – World Council of Churches (WCC) and World Student Christian Federation Europe (WSCF -E). Due to recent changes in the Council's life, the GM was held significantly earlier than it is according to usual practice. Nevertheless, the GM was successful and brought new ideas and commitments. The delegates of the Member Organisations reviewed the work of the Council in the past two years and worked to shape the future thematic work of the organisation. New policies and priorities of EYCE were identified: to work towards shaping the Council's identity, to uphold and intensify the work done within the framework of EYCE's campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism as well as to take up a new theme for the Councils work – a thematic link to the UN conference on Global Climate Change from the perspectives of young Christians. The guests from partner organisations Natalie Maxson (WCC) and Jooa Vuorinen (WSCF-Europe) attended EYCE's General Meeting and brought valuable input. During the General Meeting the new Executive Committee was elected to work for EYCE for a term of four years.

EYCE – WSCF-Europe joint strategy meeting 15th - 17th of May 2009, London, UK The annual strategic meeting brought together the executive bodies of two major international youth NGO’s, EYCE and WSCF-Europe. This meeting was also a possibility for EYCE’s newly elected treasurer to meet her counterpart in WSCF-E, and provided the space for exchanging experience and review the previous cooperation. These included common aims as well as joint funding proposals and a strategy to promote active democratic involvement of the Christian youth in Europe. Since EYCE and WSCF-E work in the same field, it was agreed on building an even closer network to better communicate the needs of young people towards European Institutions like the European Youth Forum Jeunesse and the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe.

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe Executive Committee meeting 11th - 14th of June 2009, Brussels, Belgium After the EYCE General Meeting, which took place in May in Latvia, the newly elected Executive Committee met for their first meeting at the EYCE office in Brussels, Belgium. In order to establish mutual understanding and develop a common working style, in its first meeting EYCE's ExCo undertook a team building training. The basic split of responsibilities and areas of work were discussed. Furthermore, much time was allocated to develop general working structures for the next years, as well as to decide on the agenda for 2010. The first meeting of the new ExCo thus provided the space to set up working priorities, to develop the future split of responsibilities within the ExCo and to carefully steer EYCE into the next year. The working areas were split among the ExCo members, however they agreed to strongly support each other in their tasks as well as share responsibilities for External relations, programme and thematic work of the Council. In this meeting, the ExCo also dedicated some time of its meeting to follow-up the decisions and recommendations of the 37th General Meeting. The first steps have been taken in order to pursue the mandate of the GM and to establish the Steering Committee on EYCE's Future Development. The active involvement of EYCE's Member Organisations in the work of the Council and the improvement of the communication between actors within the Council was discussed and first measures taken. A focal point in EYCE's work on the integrity of creation within the framework of Global Climate Change has been determined and an initial action plan has been developed.

Member Visit 28th - 29th of August, Copenhagen, Denmark ExCo member Inka Lindroos visited EYCE’s member organisation "European Fellowship" (EF) at their extraordinary annual meeting, which had been called after discussions in the regular EF General Meeting in May. The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the future perspectives of EF. The membership within EYCE was part of this discussion as well, and in a very unfortunate way for EYCE the European Fellowship decided to resign from EYCE, due to the fact that the target group differs for the one EYCE is working with. Nevertheless, it was agreed to form an equal partnership instead of membership with the European Fellowship, therefore this network of young people still remains in the field of EYCE.

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe Executive Committee meeting 15th - 19th of October 2009, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina The Executive Committee of EYCE met for the last meeting in 2009 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this meeting EYCE's ExCo also took the opportunity to meet with the Leadership Team for EYCE's Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism and to join in the meetings with local individuals and initiatives. The ExCo reviewed and evaluated the work that has been done since their last meeting in June, as well as further developed action plans for carrying out the mandates given by the General Meeting, and defining the priorities of each working area of the Council. Alongside other activities in 2010, the meeting of National Correspondents in fall 2010 was discussed and possible venues and dates proposed, as well as the involvement of EYCE in the activities organised by other organisations and church bodies. The planned contribution to 2 nd Ecumenical Kirchentag (ÖKT) in May 2010 in Munich/Germany and the involvement in the WCC programme Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology. European perspectives were discussed and action plans developed. The meeting also provided time for meeting the Leadership Team for the Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism. EYCE's ExCo had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the Leadership team and welcome the new members of the LT. The results and future activities within the framework of EYCE’s Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism were evaluated and discussed, alongside one of the most important fields of work for EYCE inter-religious dialogue. The activities and materials for the year 2010, being the final year of the Campaign, were planned more concretely. During their meeting the Executive Committee appointed a new General Secretary - Ms. Kristine Jansone, starting her service on 1st of January 2010.

Meeting with donors 2nd - 4th of November, Geneva, Switzerland Alongside the scheduled strategic meeting between WSCF-E regional secretary Jooa Vuorinen, Treasurer Matt Gardner and EYCE Treasurer Pavlina Buzkova, a meeting with one of EYCE's important partners - World Council of Churches (WCC) Youth Desk took place in Geneva, Switzerland. Both of the organisations met with recently appointed Youth Desk officer Ms. Faautu Talapusi. The cooperation between the organisations had been discussed and it had been pointed out that the work done by the youth organisations is important and necessary. The future plans and cooperation were discussed and agreed upon. Furthermore there was another meeting arranged in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva. The page 20

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe General Secretary of Conference of European Churches (CEC) Colin Williams received the members of both organisations in his office. The collaboration during the CEC assembly in Lyon was discusses, as well as the general cooperation between the organisations.

Member Visit 20th - 22nd of November, Berlin, Germany Participating the annual meetings of EYCE member organisations is a important part of staying informed of what is happening and how could EYCE and the member organisation benefit from each other the best. ExCo member Inka Lindroos visited EYCE member organisation "AEJ" in Germany at their annual meeting. She met with aej board members and participated in a committee on international youth work and ecumenics. A youth policy project was discussed and many new ideas shared. Ms. Lindroos also shared the visions and plans of EYCE for the coming year.

Training of the Treasurer 11th - 13th of December, Brussels, Belgium There was an opportunity provided for the new treasurer of EYCE to have a meeting arranged with the treasurer with many year’s experience in EYCE – Mr. Paul Welch. This meeting was arranged in order to provide a proper hand-over of the finances, fundraising and budgeting of EYCE.

Volunteer Programme January - March; September – December 2009, Brussels, Belgium EYCE’s Volunteer Programme aims at providing training for young people as youth leaders/workers involved in European/ national organisations. It also provides an opportunity for young people to work in an international organisation and get involved in intercultural learning. In 2009 EYCE was privileged to host three volunteers altogether - one short term volunteer and two long term volunteers. In the beginning of the year EYCE hosted Ms. Marcelina Wrobel from Poland. Ms. Wrobel worked mainly on the preparation of the EYCE study session “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue human rights education in the field of economic justice” by gathering the relevant information, preparing the practicalities together with the General Secretary and working directly with the participants. The work of Ms. Wrobel in the EYCE office has been very successful and brought page 21

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe many good aspects in the work of EYCE, as well as the valuable personal experience for Ms. Wrobel. In the second part of the year 2009 EYCE had the privilege to host two long-term volunteers - Ms. Alina Marinescu from Romania and Mr. Felix Beck from Germany. Ms. Marinescu was an EVS volunteer focusing on the project of migration and inclusion of minorities, as well as on Human Rights education in the field of Inter-religious dialogue. Ms. Marinescu worked on preparation, implementation and follow-up of two EYCE projects - the interreligious training course "Human Rights vs. Fundamentalism", which took place in Skopje, FYROMacedonia and preparation of the first event of 2010 - " Democracy fro all!", which would take place in April in Tallinn, Estonia. Apart of working directly with the EYCE events, Ms. Marinescu represented EYCE in various events and trainings for youth leaders. Having studied Political science, Ms. Marinescu had the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute successfully to the content of EYCE's programme. During her work with EYCE Ms. Marinescu added the practical experience of planning, implementing and evaluation work with young people, thus giving a practical aspect to her placement.

Mr. Beck was a part of EYCE's internship programme, and was supported by EYCE German member organisation "aej". The main focus of work of Mr. Beck in EYCE was the field of youth politics. Mr. Beck actively participated in EYCE's work with the European Youth Forum (YFJ) and helped shaping EYCE youth politics. Mr. Beck also contributed to structuring EYCE's work by working directly with the member organisations and increasing the involvement of the young people from EYCE's networks. Coming from the German member organisation, Mr. Beck dedicated his work for the preparation of the workshop in Ecumenical Church day in Germany, which would take place in May 2010, and will be organised in the framework of EYCE's Campaign to Overcome Fundamentalism.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe aisbl | Conseil Œcumènique de la Jeunesse en Europe aisbl Rue Brogniez 44 – 1070 Bruxelles – Belgium Phone: +32 2 5106171 – Fax: +32 2 5106172 – E-Mail: general.secretary@eyce.org – Web: www.eyce.org Bank details: KBC Bank, Argence Marnix – BIC/Swift: KREDBEBB – IBAN: BE30 7340 0440 4011


EYCE Annual Report 2009