cover story: European Identity
Interview with Maria Manolescu Guide to Dreil端tzow
Dear Reader, You are at this precise moment holding in your hands the valuable and precious very first issue of the official magazine of this year’s National Selection Conference of EYP Germany. The pressteam of the session is proud to present you a newspaper created especially for you, immortalizing your one weekend experience that you´ll undergo within the EYP framework, under the motto ‘Getting closer or closing up?’. Just like countries in the EU, you yourself can decide on closing up or getting closer to other people you´ll get the chance to meet during this weekend... Keeping this in mind, our cover story deals with the personal identity of the participants of the session, the identity of the groups your part of and... the ‘European Identity’. Our aim is to offer you some food for thought and memories. Whether there is a common European identity or not, we´ll let you decide, but we´ll do our best to give you arguments on the various points of view and maybe get you thinking about what your own identity is...What makes you, you? Beside our articles on our identity, participants of the session, the pressroom also took a look at the current phenomenon of virtual identity and the possibilities and risks that come with it. Of course, no magazine would be whole without revealing some secrets of persons present here at the session, so take a look on what we found out on your chairs and organisers, or read what our session president, Maria Manolescu, told our magazine in the exclusive interview she offered us.
Four days left. Make it worthwhile. Anar Kučera, Editor
content Cover story: European Identity - page 4-5 Interview with session president Maria Manolescu - page 6-7 The Chairsteam - page 8-9 Human identity - page 10 Virtual identity - page 11 Organisers - page 12-13 Dreil端tzow - page 14 Germany - page 15
Partners of the 21st National Selection Conference of EYP Germany
f端r p o l i t i s c h e B i l d u n g
who are we? the european identity by Hana Láníková
It is very difficult to define Europe geographically and even more historically or culturally. Therefore it is challenging to find the right definition for the term European Identity, which might be unfortunately viewed as a hollow phrase nowadays. In fact, there probably is no simple explanation. Despite several different attitudes towards the concept of ‘European Identity’, the main idea should be to bring nations together not only politically, but economically and culturally as well. Of course the citizens shouldn’t lose their sense of national culture, belonging and identity and the European Identity definitely should complement the national identity bring an added value. It is more than obvious that rather distinct national identities exist, that are given by the existing diversities, including historical developments in Europe. However, these national identities still share many common elements that allow us to build upon and create a common European Identity. Most probably a new common European Identity has to and can only be created in a coexistence with other national identities in Europe. There doesn’t necessary need to be a contradiction between European, national, regional and local identities, when one is not repressing the others. We all possess several identities, but we also shift our identities occasionally and develop new ones. The identity of the society is dynamic and forms its self all the time, not only because of new inhabitants from all over the world coming to Europe
and Europeans moving all over the continent. This process is based mainly on integration and shared cultural heritage. In today’s world, we can find many people that have the feeling of belonging to more than one nation at the same time. The reason for this might be that they enjoy unique and different aspects of each culture. We are able to find many similarities between the European citizens that bring us together. And even nations that are not even part of the EU may have large portions of their population who identify themselves as Europeans as well as belonging to their own nationality. This symbolic scheme should provide the Europeans with a feeling of continuity and ensure their coexistence. It is very important that others also perceive and recognize individuals as members of a specific entity. The European Identity should have more than a symbolic meaning for the people. Positive attitude towards the issue is very important and welcomed because it is deeply important to support the idea of European integration. Once the famous philosopher Balibar said: “It is not a question of setting a collective identity against individual identities”, and as long as we keep this in mind, there shall not be anything or very less that stands against the creation of a common European identity. In accordance with the principle “unity in diversity”, the Union shall support the variety of cultures within it, while bringing us together with our common cultural heritage.
‘European Identity’ – nice name for a hollow shell?
by Stella Benfatto
We here it everywhere, politicians talk about it all the time, we should feel it in ourselves, but if we actually ask ourselves what does European Identity mean, are we going to be able to give an answer to this question? It’s very hard to formulate what words ‘European Identity’ actually stand for, because for most of the European citizens they are only an idealistic concept without further concrete content. In the current discussions we can mostly approach this idea in two different ways. One is rather supportive and sympathetic to this concept and of course we have in opposition a rather more critical opinion. While the first opinion is favoured by politicians and part of the intellectuals, generally we can find more euroscepticism among the ordinary citizens around the continent. The idea of European integration has been built on values that should somehow unify different countries with different cultures, histories and political systems, task that actually appear to be a utopia to many people. Indeed many inhabitants don’t feel a concrete belonging to the EU because identification is not something that everybody can agree on or even have forced upon from above. Thus the sense of the national heritage is deeply planted in everybody’s individuality. Some people see it as something more material like a passport, other define it as a feeling of belonging to somewhere and something. We have to admit that nowadays the national origin and traditions still have a much stronger impact on the youngest generation who is supposed to build European Identity in the upcoming years. Also European Identity will never be as importing for the ordinary people as the culture and identity that is already established in their own different countries. Therefore we have to
admit that EU is trying to relay on a concept that isn’t actually being understood and acquired by the population in the different nations, who are composing what is suppose to be a union with a common identity. Furthermore, historical issues play a main role in the diverse identities. If we take the example of the USA, which has lived and known the same history all along the centuries, the same difficulties and achievements, we know that Europe doesn’t have this advantage. To succeed, we would have to ignore all the past events that have occurred in all the different countries in the previous years and that is simply not possible. Same events are understood differently in each country and trying to find a common historical view would bring us even more apart and bring all the prejudices back. The creation of a European Identity would necessary have to be based on unification of our values and history, forcing people to acquire common traditions, beliefs and values. But this desire of politicians of creating a unique identity actually makes the inhabitants afraid and even more sceptical about the whole concept of European integration, thus conveying a feeling of “Europhobia” among citizens. The biggest paradox is that those who actually feel the strongest about the matter and believe deeply in European Identity actually do the most to bring the whole project of integration to crash, by pushing people to go where they are not ready to. We talk about this at school, at work or with our families and friends because again we don’t agree on the same explanation that we can give to the idea of the European identity. However the debate should continue, because the discussion in a democratic society is the only way to bring us further.
eyp - the basics by Benjamin Eisert
Board Three experienced EYP Alumni, the Session President and two VicePresidents, who will lead the chairs‘ team and moderate the debates during GA. At this year’s National Selection Conference in Schwerin, it consists of Maria Manolescu (Romania), supported by Frenchman Alexandre Narayanin and Germany’s Christian Drews.
Brainstorming What you should definitely get to know best during an EYP session is your own brain. You will have to storm it over and over again. Your ideas are the most precious capital you have, making brainstorming a decisive thing. Editor(s) Well... editor is more or less a nerd, usually spending most of the session in front of a computer. Designing the session magazine and chairing us, the Press-Team, Editors are truly working hard and having even less sleep than you do. So be nice to them, they deserve it. GA abbr. for General Assembly. Taking place in a very formal way, the GA is the highlight of every session. It is the final chance to deliver passionate speeches presenting, defending or scrutinizing the work of the foregone days. IS abbr. for ‘International Session‘. With three of them taking place annually (spring, summer & autumn, they are the flagship event of EYP. Each of them brings together 270 people from all corners of Europe. During the 10 days of an IS, the delegates, having been selected at the National Sessions all over Europe share their visions and express their voices on important issues from europe and the world.
“I’ll trust you with deciding on the title.“
by Karin-Liis Lahtmäe
Although, she had her life manager and public relations representative Feyriele (chair, ENVI) to stop her from answering personal questions, Maria still trusted me to choose a fitting title. What can I say but to never trust a journalist. So, despite getting no scoop on whether the stunningly young-looking president is single or not do continue on reading. You know Tweety from Looney Tunes, right? Well, meet your president: she may not be yellow (and her favourite colour is red), but she is as hard to capture as a fictional canary bird. Given the choice, she would like to be a bird, as well, but ’not a killing one, though’. So when I finally sit down with the presi-
dent of 21st National Selection Conference of EYP Germany, I am taken aback by her overwhelming positivity. Being as ever busy and needed as she is, her smile never falters, as she apologises for every interruption made by everybody else wanting to know something from her, talk to her, or just sit by her during the interview. Still teenager or a bit older (a woman never reveals her true age) she started EYP in her sister’s footsteps. Although, the former stopped after 3 years, she continued on and is now president of her 6th session already, this time here in the lovely Schwerin. Maria thinks she stayed in EYP because it gave her a feeling of being competent. Back then Romanian National Committee was still in its infancy and she had ’the selfish need’ to be part of the nurturing process. “My sister got the fun part, not the learning part“, Maria says about what keeps her coming back to the realm of EYP. “Every session and every person bring a new challenge, a new lesson that you wouldn’t encounter in day-today life“, she says. Moreover, Maria feels that she has something to share and that there is lot yet to learn for her, too. Talking about learning, always having something to im-
“I wouldn’t want to be a biscuit, they have no soul nor a tree, for that matter, because they cannot move and live way too long. They are quiet. I would die, if I couldn’t talk!“ prove upon is what her mom and dad taught her. “They [Maria’s parents] taught me everything. Wait, that sounded too deep, right? I do not want to sound that deep“. Feyriele agrees with that. Maria is a bit wary about having interviews done with her. Although, she “appreciates the attention, time spared and effort put into making an interview” during the interviews, when she finally has the time, she is almost always too tired to think of any good answers. Maria says she knows that she “may come across as judging or arrogant, but that it comes from her willingness to understand the person and help him or her”. “I know I can be a bit too motherly. I acknowledge the fact that sometimes people do not want any [help], that I have to keep boundaries, but I care too much not to help“. She may think she is perceived differently to her true self, but I say that with Maria what you see is what you get. She is “energetic, runs and jumps around like Tinkerbell, always shares her good mood with others and cares about everyone and everything”. Her humour is anything “from quality to cr*p” and her eyes light up when she talks about her previous obsession – rainbow-coloured socks with cute faces. She does not like getting “mushy-wushy”, but she loves people close to her (“and all that blah“). Maria may have a small posture, but she has a big heart and there always seems enough of Maria to go around: I get my interview, the vice presidents and chairs get their meeting, and the organisers get her approval.
Big Fat Pony The number one mascot of every session, the president of Teambuilding – the animal godfather of EYP. The BFP is a common teambuilding game played in a huge circle with as many people as possible. Overcome your timidity, be the fattest pony you can be. You will enjoy it! The Question Box Anything about EYP or the session you don’t know but need to find out? Put your question into the Question Box. The box will always be somewhere around you. Answers to the best questions will be published in the next issue. But the Question Box can do even more. Want to leave a comment? Or do you even want the Press Team to poke one of your new friends. Leave the name and committee of your friend and we’ll do the rest. A Dieter Dieter, castle ghost and haunting this “castle”. “Dieter”, locally even used as an adjective or noun describing things you rather shouldn’t do because they are nasty and bad. E.g.: “Don’t do that! This is so dieter!” Or: “Damn, he dietered again!” Behind EYP Having been established in 1987 in Fontainebleau, France, EYP is present today in 35 European countries. Being a programme of the Schwarzkopf Foundation, various charities, foundations as well as private companies and official institutions support EYP, e.g. Germany’s foreign ministry. Each National Committee works independently but they all share a common vision. Press Team Together with the chairs and organisers, they constitute the official’s team. They work on the session magazines. The journalists accompany you through your EYP experience and take loads of pictures. (See them after the session on Facebook)
by Zuzana Holakovská and Hana Láníková
afco 2 - franzi and dimitris Dimitris wanted to be a captain of a ship but then he realised that gets dizzy on a boat, Franzis pictures keep falling down everywhere. AFCO 2 has the best chair pair and an awesome room with sofas!
afco 1 - maria and pia Maria is actually older than she looks like and Pia loves doing wake-up calls. AFCO 1 is gonna be amazing even though they have a challenging topic, they are a presidential comittee!
libe 2 - bogi and franzi Bogi had two turtles that suddenly died a mysterious death and Franzi just can’t wear two different socks. LIBE 2 got an extremely important topic and are going to go pet bunnies on breaks.
envi - fey and yann Fey was not able to speak any English three years ago and Yann is very fragile (better not touch him) ENVI is the best because chairs want them to be and it’s alraedy in the name: ENVICTUS!
inta - christian and giada Each of Giadaâ€™s eyes has a different colour and Christian canâ€™t stop thinking about food. INTA is gonna be amazing, they have the largest room to shine and are allowed to make fun of politicians all the time.
libe 1 - alex and fred Fred can touch her nose with her tongue and Alex has had a bad relationship with flipcharts. LIBE 1? They will rock! They have the best chair-jurno combination.
deve - wiebke and ugis Ugis just loves to eat cucumber with sugar and Wiebkes favourite animal is pig. DEVE will always take a larger step ahead than anybody could expect and thus leave all the others behind.
femm - lorenz Lorenz always gets injured at sessions but two pianos in their committee room makes FEMM the coolest committee around.
Christian came all the way from Scotland from the session and IMCO clearly got the most interesting topic.
imco - christian
who am i? by Quynh-Anh Nguyen-Xuan
We are not going to pretend that you haven’t reflected on this question before. Nonetheless, we’d like to present some concepts of identity that notable philosophers have introduced. Yes, they are incredibly dry, but hopefully, one of these ideas will remain at the back of your mind once you discuss the European identity. Should the following adumbration however inspire you to write a dissertation on this topic, you would leave me stunned forever.
Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) considered every individual a subject that could freely and actively decide how to react to extrinsic factors. Example: I get slapped and can choose to fight back, to start yelling, to call for support or not to do anything in return. Each option will inevitably shape my identity. Then there is Crawford B. Macpherson’s (1911-1987) and Alistair Macintyre’s (*1929) model: According to them, every person’s iden The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictiontity exists separately from the outside world. ary just says that an identity is the entity of Although a personality can indeed solely accrue “characteristics, feelings or beliefs that distinthrough expectations or forces of one’s social guish people from others”, which poses a some- environment (along with education, culture, what general definition. To what extent is the religion, etc.), an independent core remains. human physique an aspect of one’s identity? Again, this core is the actual identity according Does an embryo, technically a bunch of cells, to Macpherson and Macintyre. Example: I get have an identity? What role do memories play slapped and can choose to fight back, to start in the way I perceive myself? yelling, to call for support or not to do anything To begin with, most theories deal with in return. Each option may affect my self-awarehow a person’s identity is molded while interact- ness, but the actual identity stays unaltered. ing with the environment, basically family and In the end, the most precise undisputed society. They all have the common principle that definition that philosophy offers, is the percepa human being must interrelate with the outside tion of a continuous personal entity both in itworld to develop these “characteristics, feelings self and at all times (if you excuse my imperfect or beliefs that distinguish people from others”. translation). So the next time someone asks you And this would not work without something who you are, that would be an infinitely geeky that one can define as “not me”. (IMalternative to saying your name! PORTANT REVELATION!)
This is me 2.0 by Benjamin Eisert
Virtual identity: Benjamin takes a tour in the book of faces
child, your virtual ID-card, visible to everyone. Hence it seems logical to monitor and try to control what information about oneself is being Are you happy with yourself? Do you love published online. Websites such as ‘www.yasni. yourself the way you are? Or is there something, de’ are specialized on online search for indisome specific fact about your physical appearviduals, even offering an e-mail alert one can ance or characteristic you don’t like to think of subscribe to, sending a short notice whenever that often or were always not happy with. Did something new involving you appeared on the you ever feel awkward about what defines you, web. what makes you unique, what constitutes your Your profile is what you present to the identity? Well, with facebook & co. you can be public, and since we’re given the possibility to whoever you want to be (or at least try). You can share everything from family and other relations create the perfect image of yourself and present to one`s favorite toothpaste flavor, the question it to the world! Through social networking and of what to disclose and what better not to tell with some creativity you have the possibility to arises. You have to know for yourself to what compensate for everything you think you have extent you dive in. But being generally rather not enough, or too much of, or not at all. Show skeptical towards making more things public or off, “like” some fashion designer or any sophisti- visible to my “friends” than necessary, I give my cated and most importantly ridiculously expen- best by fine-tuning my privacy preferences. And sive brand, and there you go, “richer” than ever still, with facebook wanting to get out of us as before. The opposite might work as well. much as possible, the result is not that satisfac With basic skills in photography or photory. Facebook annoys me. But yes, it is fun and toshop, in serious cases both at best, you can very useful. Still, I just can’t smile. even make yourself look nicer, thus more “in Being a regular user of social networkteresting”. Another feature: change. “Liked” ing, you are constantly exposed to the danger of something not-so-cool anymore? “Unlike” and exposing too much. A lot of people I know share embrace the latest and hippest product, brand, things they would most probably never tell or group or whatsoever… (& hope no one noticed). show me face-to-face. But on facebook, they But does it work? Is it worth the effort? do. In the vicious circle of everyone having more As long as you never actually meet with your and more friends and appearing more and more ‘friends’, it does work perfectly. But as soon as interesting one is inclined to give up astonishyou do, you will have to face the inconvenient ingly large amounts of one’s private sphere. truth. With or without putting your face in the Without anybody having to force us and doing book of faces, we are who we are. Facebook everything voluntarily. doesn’t change anything. But why do we do such things? Where Popularity is another interesting pheis the sense in appearing cool and well-liked nomenon. Impress with cool friends from all to people who don’t really know you and you over the globe. ‘The more friends the better’ don’t know either? Apparently some people feel appears to be the motto. A guy with amazor sleep better having hundreds of facebook ing friends map has to be a cool guy, doesn’t ‘friends’. he?! And no, this is not my friend’s map, and I Feel free to add me on facebook, I don’t wish it was! Hold on… or wouldn’t that be haven’t broken through the 1000 barrier yet… rather a cool thing? Admittedly, I sometimes kind of want Your virtual appearance is your poster to feel what it’s like.
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dreilützow: a castle? a farm? or just a mystery
by Stella Benfatto and Quynh-Anh Nguyen-Xuan
The press team has been exploring the real identity of our “brick host”! Indeed since the arrival of the different officials and delegates, people had different reactions towards what they found and could admire around the placement. Did we find a definition to describe in one word what’s behind the bushes and doors of our hosting house? Let’s say that at least we tried!
small cages with bunnies and one guinea pig, waiting to grow up and run on the oversized hamster wheel. (We have proof they will grow up to human’s size – be careful!) 2. To leave the sheep and their babies alone, just don’t walk in the direction of the green lake. (Don’t worry if you are getting too close, you’ll smell their magnificent scent). 3. Sneak around, and behind some trees you’ll get the change to find a real useful yellow Before the beginning of the Nation Selec- telephone booth, which is supposed to make tion Conference, a group of innocent foreigninternational calls. (However if you managed to ers was tricked into believing that we would be do so, you’ll be the most incredible person since accommodated in Schwerin’s castle. They all there isn’t any telephone inside!) probably have been enchanted from the beau 4. In the direction of the rabbits, try to tiful picture that was uploaded on the session spot an indefinable white “thing” (it’s the only website. But we actually have been brought to way to call it) which is hanging from a tree and if an unidentifiable place in Dreilützow (which you understand what it is, let us know! is already unpronounceable for foreigners in 5. If you want to pray, you can leave your itself). committee and find some peace in the chapel EYP is used to different places! However on the left side of the park. this time we have been invited into the middle Many other fascinating details demarcate of German fields and trees. At first sight it apthis place, making it unique amongst other EYP peared to be a quiet and simple location, due to settlements. Some of the people have said that the impressive main building. For some people, it looks like a farm, that it has a royal touch, but it was even able to substitute castle of Schwerin. some other just can’t give an explanation to all Yet if you walk around a bit, you’ll realize that the weird things around the place, in particular you can’t define this place as ordinary. the misty chair’s room, which has already mes Here are some exclusive tips, from your merized all the people entering it, by making press team, to discover the different faces of the them all fall on their backs and staring at the site: ceiling. 1. Go around a bit, behind the Thus we hope you’ll enjoy trying to give main building you will notice some an appropriate noun to our Dreilützow site!
the true face of germany
by Zuzana Holakovská
As this session is German National Selection Conference, it might be interesting to know how Germans and foreigners see Germany. There is certainly not a lack of general information on the Internet; however is that what really attracts the most? Continue on reading and learn some interesting facts about Germany.
other hand Germans wish their country was known as a mediator of Europe which everyone can trust and its citizens famous for their humorous, kind and cheerful personality. Most of young Germans, despite their pride of their cultural heritage such as the rational way of thinking, would not mind moving abroad to get to know other cultures. Starting from the basis, let’s go over the You may be asking now – But what do the generally known facts. Germany, officially the others, the foreigners, think about Germany? Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in What are the stereotypes? The majority of EuWestern Europe with a population of over 81 ropeans associate Germany with football, Oktomillion, of which 3.4 million are living in the cap- berfest and Berlin. Apparently there are many ital city Berlin. The political system is a federal personal characteristics typical for the Germans parliamentary republic and the current head of such as punctuality, tidiness and loudness as the government, called the chancellor, is Angela well. Fortunately Angela Merkel´s position in Merkel. Europe has had such a great impact on foreign Now just think for a moment and ask ers´ views and opinions that when talking about yourselves - have you ever really thought about politics they did not mention the embarrassing Germany in particular? In case you haven’t, we resignation of the minister of defense Gutteninterviewed few EYPers and found out their berg who was nicknamed Baron Cut-and-Paste, opinions. The four German citizens we quesZu Copyberg and Zu Googleberg by the journaltioned agreed after all, that their home country ists. is famous for car factories (Volkswagen, BMW, Personally I believe there is no doubt Mercedes), Oktoberfest and Bratwurst. Cora, about the enormous amount of effort the Gerone of the organizers, remarked that Germany mans have put into the reconstruction of their being famous for beer is a stereotype, because image and economy after certain dark moments the only region where beer is actually really in their history. The extent of their success is unfamous is Bavaria and foreigners tend to reduce believable, therefore Germany surely deserves Germany only to this southern region. On the respect and admiration.