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Report on the implementation of the European Awareness Day 23rd-24th September 2016, University of Warsaw

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During two days (23rd and 24th of September 2016), Warsaw, capital of Poland hosted “European Awareness Day” (EAD). EAD is a part of the project under the Jean Monnet Network titled "MoreEU – More Europe to Overcome the Crisis". Project is coordinated by Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Pisa, Italy) in cooperation with university partners: CEU - San Pablo University (Madrid, Spain), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal), Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute (Paris, France) and University of Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland).

As the previous, also the Polish stage of the EAD was a great success. In Poland, events were carried out by the Institute of European Studies at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies (University of Warsaw). The role of project manager in Poland is acted by prof. Konstanty Adam Wojtaszczyk, Director of the Institute of European Studies. Polish coordinators are also dr Łukasz Zamęcki, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies and dr Jadwiga Nadolska, Deputy Director of the Institute of European Studies.

In the framework of the European Awareness Day were conducted three events:
-  Musical and debate with youth,
-  Deliberative workshop,
-  “European breakfast”.

EAD celebrations were opened at 23rd of September 2016, in the hall of Auditorium Maximum of University of Warsaw by the Vice-Rector of the University prof. Maciej Duszczyk (who in the years 2003-2007 served as a Deputy Director of Research and Strategy, Office of the Committee for European Integration). Welcoming speeches were delivered by the project coordinators: prof. Konstanty Adam Wojtaszczyk and dr Łukasz Zamęcki. The official part was followed by the musical “Europe: what a passion!” prepared and performed by Italian artists. The ceremony was attended by over 500 students from 12 high schools, representing 6 Polish cities: Warsaw, Lowicz, Otwock, Minsk Mazowiecki, Siedlce and Kielce.

Students participating in the event were impressed by the artistic form and exceptional presentation of the history of European integration. After the show students stressed that they have never met such a dynamic form of presentation of history of European integration. The audience spontaneously responded to the presented 12 songs, which were complemented by a multimedia presentation. Huge applause won Paolo Barillari, who captivated the students by emotional performance of two Polish songs of Marek Grechuta and Urszula.

The second element of this part of the celebration of the European Awareness Day was the debate with young students. The moderators were dr Łukasz Zamęcki, and prof. Paweł Borkowski (Head of Chair of European History at the Institute of European Studies). On behalf of the Italian project coordinator in the debate took part Francesco Pigozzo. The discussion focused on the history of European integration, presented in a musical and referred to the current challenges that the EU must face (Brexit, populism, the financial crisis) and the future of European integration. Debate was divided into four aspects:

- Europe as a “story”,
- Kept and unkept “promises” of Europe,
- The “story” of a united Europe – is also our story?
- Is it possible and sensible to “leave the story” as the British did?

Different opinions clashed during the debate – pro-EU and Eurosceptics. Every voice was heard and commented. This form of communication and learning about the European Union enjoyed the students participating in the event. Information about the event was presented in the evening edition of the Warsaw Television Courier in TVP3 and in TVP Kultura in the TV program “Cultural week”.

The second event conducted during the EAD was the "Deliberative Workshop". The debate gathered over 50 participants representing more than 15 civil society organizations and academic institutions (Warsaw School of Economics, Institute of European Studies, University of Warsaw; European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht; Polish Association of European Studies; Embassy of the Republic of Latvia; Association BETA - Poland; Civil Institute; European Parliament Information Office in Poland; Institute of Economic and Social Studies, Warsaw; European Center, University of Warsaw;; InfoPointUE; Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw; Europe Direct Information Office; Institute of Political Science, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw). The main theme of the meeting was: “More Europe to overcome the crisis”. Deliberative Workshop was moderated by prof. Artur Nowak-Far from the Warsaw School of Economics and prof. Marta Witkowska from the Institute of European Studies. During the discussions were undertaken following topics:

- How today should be understood slogan “More Europe”?
- Where is located the crisis of the integration process?
- Are the Eurosceptics right in their calling for the return of competences from the EU level into the Member States?
- Is the EU a platform for competition between “small” and “large” states or rather a formula to building a compromises between states?
- What is the experience of civil society organizations regards European affairs?

The last event in celebration of the European Awareness Day was the “European Breakfast”, which was held on 24th of September 2016. The roundtable hosted on University of Warsaw had a closed character. The participants were journalists, representatives of NGOs and public administration (Europe Direct, Polish Radio - Radio Information Agency, Foundation for the Development of the Education System, The Institute of European Studies, Polish Association of European Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Poland, The Polish Institute of international Affairs, Polityka Insight, Europass Center, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna). The aim of the meeting was to exchange information about the experiences on communicating about European integration. Participants of the event discussed both the limitations and opportunities of good practices related to learning and informing about Europe and the EU. The first point of discussion were the challenges that arise in connection with communication and learning about the EU and Europe. Another point were the principles that guide institutions in connection with communication and learning about the EU and Europe. Another issue addressed in the discussion was a “variety of recipients” of the EU communication. A key element of the discussion were the good practices implemented in the process of informing and learning about the European Union. Participants shared their innovative, original activities in the field of communication and learning about the EU. Participants mentioned here such activities as: (Europe Direct - Lidia Janicka) giving lessons in schools (tailored to the needs of children); (Polish Radio - Radio Information Agency - Sylwia Białek) project Euranet Plus - radio broadcast in all Polish radio programs, funded by the EU and informing about current events in the EU; (Foundation for the Development of the Education System, Europass Center - Małgorzata Piekarska, Konrad Romaniuk) information projects targeted to children and young people: the European Voluntary Service, eTwinning project - a free platform addressed to teachers allowing networking of teachers and children from different Member States; (The Institute of European Studies, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw - dr Jadwiga Nadolska) organization of seminars, symposia and conferences on European issues, summer schools aimed to students from Ukraine, Belarus, numerous publications on various aspects of European integration; (The Polish Institute of International Affairs - dr Karolina Borońska-Hryniewiecka) organizing seminars and meetings on issues related to the European integration process; (Polityka Insight - Joanna Popielawska) information and promotion the European topics by analysts participating in meetings organized by various institutions (universities, the media, non-governmental organizations); (EurActiv - Karolina Zbytniewska) keeping the portal of the EU in an accessible way for the recipient; (Polish Association of European Studies – prof. Marta Witkowska) prize awards organized by the Polish Association of European Studies for the best doctoral thesis on European issues.

Post by dr. Jadwiga Nadolska and dr. Łukasz Zamęcki

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