The strategic objective of AEKS was achieved well last year, as we were successful to participate in a total of four European projects, Skills for Seniors (SFS), Impact of Eurosscepticism on the Construction of Europe, Mabel and 2Will project.
2Will (To work on the Integration of Local Life) project started in spring 2017 and will last still another year. The project is under Town Twinning Programme. Partners are mainly Municipalities from 16 European countries with the coordinator from Poland. The aim of the project is to build networks with different countries and encourage citizens into new ways of democracy by inspiring to dialogue and reflection on EU policy. The focus areas are solidarity, Euroscepticism and future of Europe linked to voluntary work. The target group are citizens of 18 – 40 years of age. A project meeting was held in Agia, Greece on 26 – 30 September 2017. Each partner country gave a presentation on activities of the project in their locality and country. AEKS presented the project also to the Mayor. AEKS organised students at Higher Secondary School to work in teams and prepare for different kinds of crisis situations in Finland. Their solutions were presented in Agia meeting to all partners. In Agia, the delegations participated in the festivities of the Greek national holiday with parades and chestnut festivals. We could also familiarize with Larissa town and the ruins of the oldest amphitheatre, which had been excavated.
In a European project, Skills for Seniors, the activity of senior citizens is promoted, e.g. with English language learning and supporting EU knowledge and wellbeing. The main focus is to share good practices among the countries. The coordinator is from Italy and other partners include Spain, Hungary, Poland, Malta and Cyprus in addition to AEKS, Finland. The first project meeting was held in Herrera Spain on 27 – 29.1.2018. All partners except for Malta were present. We learnt to know the cultural and senior centre of Herrera and agreed upon a concrete work plan for the project. We also had a possibility to visit the medieval monastery in Guadalupe. The respective project meeting will be organised by AEKS to held in Asikkala, Finland in 2019. The next step of the project is to organise a language course for seniors in all partner countries during the spring and summer 2018. AEKS will organise a language course in Vääksy and Sipoo in Finland. The next partner meeting is in Cyprus in May 2018. The results of the courses will be assessed in a joint seminar in Malta in September – October 2018. The activities of the other two proejcts will start later in spring and early autumn this year. All four European projects support the aim of AEKS to increase and improve knowledge and dialogue on European citizenship among Finnish people.