Tear down the walls in your head!

As it was mentioned in the last issue of “Ecosprinter“, the Migration Campaign is going to be the main topic in the agenda of FYEG this year. The idea evolved from the summer camp 2002 in Topola, Serbia. Some people continued working on the issue and now we can declare that the Migration Campaign is on its way to become FYEG’s most successful and the best campaign ever!

On the Federative Council in Ghent a lot of member organisations expressed their interest in participating in the campaign and started working on different ideas. By the end of 2002 several concepts started forming. A few months later, ten young women and men from all over Europe applied to be members of a preperation team and we packed our sleeping bags in order to depart for the first prep team meeting. This first meeting took place in Potsdam, Germany at the end of February 2003.

Although there were some problems related to the visas, we where very motivated and enthusiastic about being a part of such an important item in the history of FYEG. We started the meeting on Thursday, the 27th of February in the house of the Greens in Brandenburg which served also as our accommodation. We started with a detailed introduction round where we got to know each other’s experiences in working with migration topics.. We were glad that we already had a good basis of theoretical knowledge and practical experience; this can be a great advantage for the project! To expand our knowledge we organised two workshops: the first one was about the situation in Serbia and especially in Kosovo which was facilitated by Milan. For the European point of view, we invited Elisabeth Schroedter who is a green member of the European Parliament. She reported on the situation in Central and Eastern Europe and the consequences related to the EU-Enlargement in summer 2004 as well as on the asylum policy of the EU and European agreements like Schengen Catalogue and Dublin Contract. She underlined that it would be very important to work on issues like migration, because there’s almost no interest among civil society and governments.

With the help of that theoretical background we started debating on the goals of our campaign, the target group and the main themes we’re going to deal with. We agreed that our main topic should be freedom of movement.

We’re going to focus on young people but not only on greens, because we mainly want to raise awareness and make people think about what’s going on. We have to inform them so that they can get active. The campaign basically depends on three steps:

  1. informing ourselves. This can be done in seminars, learning groups and with spreading information via email.
  2. informing the others. With the help of our web-site www.openborders.org , seminars and information material, we’re going to spread information as much as possible. To make people curious and interested in our campaign and willing to learn more, we’re going to carry out a lot of actions in public like imprisoning ourselves, reclaiming a town as “free movement area” or relocating borders. This item includes a kind of lobbying politicians as well as governmental and governmental groups in favour for refugees and a human point of view on the “case” of migrants.
  3. get people active! When people raise their knowledge about current policies they will hopefully notice that the current situation has to be changed. It’s our task to channel their need for activity. We’re going to have a forum on our web-site where people can talk about their experiences and exchange information and we’re going to set up a suitcase that shall circulate all over Europe in which every participating group shall put something related to their country and action. We’re going to give practical advice about what everyone can do. We’re calling for the participation of everyone who realises that we really need a change now!

Furthermore, we’re planning to do a detailed documentary of the campaign with articles, pictures and a movie, so that we will be able to enjoy our successful campaign in future times but also to encourage others to follow our example.

But we weren’t only working all day. We had a lot of fun in Potsdam and Berlin (although we had some troubles with the public transport – actually it’s not as punctual as you might expectJ) and we feel very motivated to struggle for our campaign in the next year. Even though the campaign itself will only start in September 2003 a lot of preparation work has to be done in advance.

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