The doors of Castle Forchtenstein were open to all partners of EYFON and potential investors on the 16th July.
After a lunch together at the Forellenhof Knauder, during which ideas and perspectives of the organisation were discussed in a pleasant atmosphere, the guests and the EYFON team visited the castle together. There, everybody had the chance to see the new trailer for the EYFON YouthDays Hungary-Styria: HUST, and to hear about the activities of the organisation.
After that, the guests were shown around the castle and had a relaxed conversation about the forthcoming EYFON events.
The Open Day was an opportunity to get to know the EYFON team better, to gather ideas for future projects, and to exchange experiences with people working in different areas.
EYFON would like to thank all partners and investors, who contribute to fulfilling our vision and support our work in connecting young people.
The Europa-Forum Neumarkt 2019 organized by the European Federalist Movement (EFB Styria) and the Young European Federalists (JEF Styria) took place at the Castle Forchtenstein between the 12th and the 14th July. The high quality presenters from different European institutions included Dr. Eva Lichtenberger, Mag. Lukas Mandl, Dr. Melanie Sully, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Dr. Irmgard Griss and Dr. Albrecht Rothacher.
The presentations on the topics of Brexit, European Parliament elections, future visions of Europe, Southeast Europe, Hungary, and Russia had a numerous audience and were always followed by a lively discussion.
This year´s celebration took place in the Raiffeisen hall of the market community building, and on the occasion Prof. Franz Majcen was awarded the Golden Badge of Honour of the European Federalist Movement of Austria.
The Europe Library at Castle Forchtenstein was launched on the 13th July. EYFON President Christoph Leitl worked several months on this project in order to acquire a collection of around 2500 books and make it available to the visitors. Some of the books are part of the collection of Max Wratschgo, the honorary chairman of the European Federalist Movement (EFB), some of them were donated by friends and partners of EYFON, and some works were purchased from a bookshop in Linz that closed down.
All books are related to Europe and are divided by topics, such as picture books, history, politics, art, culture, religion, nature, gastronomy, and children´s books.
Under the motto „We strengthen our region“ Bernhard Radauer from Autohaus Radauer donated a silver Suzuki to EYFON for the summer season of 2019. The festive giveaway to EYFON president Christoph Leitl and CEO Christian Buchmann happened in the evening of July 12th at the Wegscheiderhof in Zeutschach in the presence of the Second President of the Landtag Manuela Khom and mayor Josef Maier.
This donation means more mobility and logistic support for EYFON, but also an opportunity to make the association more visible in the region.
Photos: Ena Dervisefendic
“My name is Ena Dervisefendic. I come from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also due to my roots I have a Slovenian nationality. I finished The First Bosniak High School – Cambridge International School in Sarajevo in 2018. I am studying Economics and Management at the School of Economics and Management in Sarajevo and have successfully finished the first year. When I obtain my Bachelor degree in Economics and Management in Sarajevo, my plan is to continue my Management Master studies in Vienna. To study in a multicultural surrounding is a great opportunity for young people to step out of their comfort zones, exchange experiences, to learn new cultures and to meet a world from different perspectives. Moreover, as a former swimmer that competed on an international level, I can say that through sport people are making connections and lifetime friendships and long-lasting partnerships. Besides swimming, my hobbies include all kinds of sport, volunteering in projects, photography and learning new languages. For young people it is important to get involved in many different projects that can help shape a better future, not only for them but also for Europe and for the whole world. Furthermore, because of that, EYFON is a place that can help you to grow as a person, to think more and to be aware of the important happenings in the political and cultural aspects in Europe because who can change the world if the young people can’t!”
So, let’s make a world a better place!
Topics such as sustainability and energy are always on the agenda for EYFON. Energy Styria supports our team with an electric mountain bike that was given to EYFON-CEO Christian Buchmann by Urs Harnik, a representative of the company. The event took place in Graz on the 4th July.
EYFON-CEO Buchmann sees Neumarkt as the ideal place to shape Styria´s green future. The acquisition of the electric bike may be a small piece of the sustainability puzzle, but it is a very tangible piece for young people.
“My name is Viktorija Blazheska, I come from North Macedonia and studied German Language and Literature in Skopje. My hobbies include reading, listening to music, and learning foreign languages. I have worked as a German and Slovenian teacher and enjoy doing literary translations. My plan is to continue my professional path with a Master degree in Linguistics.
I visited Castle Forchtenstein for the first time during the PilotDays in June 2018. The event was something completely new for me, and it showed me what can be done for a Europe that belongs to us all. This is why I am delighted to be a part of the EYFON team as an intern and hope to do good work, meet new people, and gathers precious experience.
Even though North Macedonia is not in the EU yet, it has made some big steps towards that goal and is undergoing important changes, which is why it needs young people with European ideas.”
Between the 24th and the 28th July the Europaburg castle Forchtenstein was host to a peace seminar in cooperation with the Russian-Austrian “Sochi Dialogue” forum. The participants were 43 high school and university students from Russia, Ukraine, and Austria. The focus of the seminar were political discussions, intercultural exchange, and free-time activities in the vicinity.
Several presenters coming from different walks in life completed the versatile special programme: Dieter Bacher, Research Fellow at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the research on consequences of war in Graz, held a lecture about the Russian-Austrian research cooperation, Tina Obermoser of Europe Direct discussed the results of the European election and the instruments of direct democracy in Europe with the participants. Theresa Seunig, Tina Breznik, and Fabian Fischer of the Young European Federalists (JEF) added an informal touch to the programme with get-to-know-each-other activities and energizers and talked about youth goals in the areas of work, health, and sustainability during a workshop. The participants got to know each other even better in a creative way in the Improvisational theatre staged by Gerhild Resch and Edith Wildenberg during two evenings.
This event is a “symbol of peaceful togetherness“, as Christoph Leitl summarized after meeting the high schoolers and students at the beginning in a fireside conversation. An animated discussion ensued already on the first evening, and in the course of the lectures that followed it became clear how different the attitudes of the Russian and the Ukrainian participants are, and how deeply rooted the harm done on both sides is. However, the young people agreed that it is important to foster mutual understanding despite the current conflicts, to find similarities and to be open to other perspectives. Dialogue forums such as EYFON and the Sochi Dialogue contribute valuably to that purpose. And, as one of the participants said in the end: „Bring them together as you do it. It makes more effect than you think!“
EYFON authored a process-accompanying evaluation from the perspective of an applicant in the ERASMUS+ Programm / EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS on behalf of the Member of the European Parliament, eng. Paul Rübig, PhD. The contents of the study are related to the experiences of three applications for the calls of the European Commission (2 x Quality Label and 1 x application „Traineeship und Job“).
EYFON has henceforth received the approval of the European Commission to appoint employees and we are looking forward to the support of Ms. Ena Dervisefendic and Ms. Viktorija Blazheska from mid-July 2019.
Click here to open the study! (in German)Continue reading