Jonge mensen naar Boedapest

Jonge mensen die het leuk vinden om met andere jongeren in Europa te spreken en een intererreligieuze training willen ontvangen, kunnen zich melden voor een bijeenkomst van de Europese Jongerenraad van Europa (EYCE). Maaike de Reuver, de coördinatrice voor dit werk namens de Raad van Kerken, wijst op een bijeenkomst die plaatsvindt van 4 tot 11 december dit jaar in Boedapest.

Maaike schrijft: ‘EYCE verzorgt zo een vier keer per jaar trainingen rondom verschillende thema`s. Dit  keer een interreligieuze training, in Budapest, van 4 – 11 december‘. Maaike noemt de trainingen, waar ze zelf ook aan heeft deelgenomen, ‚ leerzaam‘, ‚ontzettend leuk om een week op te trekken met mensen vanuit heel Europa‘.

De Raad heeft een regeling getroffen met de lidkerken. Samengevat komt het er op neer, dat jonge mensen zich kunnen melden, dat EYCE vanuit Europese fondsen een deel van het budget voor zijn rekening neemt en dat de lidkerken genegen zijn de – in dit geval – 50 euro te betalen die men als eigen bijdrage moet neertellen. Wat rest bij de deelnemers is wat kosten voor souvenirs en de bereidheid vooraf zich schriftelijk aan te melden en achteraf de bereidheid schriftelijk te rapporteren.

Maaike schrijft verder: ‚Laat het me weten als je wilt deelnemen aan de trianing, dan kan ik je helpen met het invullen van je aanmelding, en kan ik financiering voor je gaan regelen. Laat het me vooral ook weten als je vragen hebt of nog meer wilt weten over de trainingen!‘ (maaikedereuver@hotmailcom). De deadline voor aanmelding is 1 november 2011.

Thema van de ontmoeting in Boedapest is: ‚Secularism and Religions: Working Together for a Common Europe‘. De bijeenkomst vindt plaats in het European Youth Centre Budapest. Hieronder volgt een uitwerking van de bijeenkomst die door de organisatie is opgesteld in het Engels.

The current discussions in Europe show that there are ambiguous viewpoints on the religious communities. On the one hand there is the attempt to involve the religious communities into decision making processes and the shaping of civil society on the institutional level. It outlines Europe as a value-based union in its present and defines Europe’s voice in the world as being strong due to this heritage of the values, which indicated clearly the role of churches and religious communities as the bodies advocating for these values.

On the other hand there is the phenomenon of secularisation and the bad publicity of religious communities. For example, a clear separation of state and church needs to be assured, the lack of values in daily practices of religious communities are asserted, and misunderstandings of the form of dialogue between religious communities and secular institutions are common.

Therefore, it is important for the religious communities and organisations in Europe to take action and engage into the dialogue with the secular society to overcome these stereotypes and develop projects that enhance a constructive cooperation.

This is especially important for young people, being the ones, who will be the stakeholders in the society of tomorrow, which is shaped today. With this study session we will address the questions on how religious communities can engage into a meaningful and constructive dialogue with the secular society and to explore the ways, how this dialogue can be carried out beyond stereotypes and violence.

The study session will aim at empowering young people from various religious communities to be key actors in promoting and implementing the dialogue between religious communities and secular society.

The study session will offer participants the following:
1.Knowledge on historic developments of the dialogue between religious communities and secular society;
2.Analysis of the approaches of various faith communities in Europe with regards to their participation in civil society;
3.An overview on the current dialogue between religious communities and the civil society in various counties and on the European level;
4.An opportunity to share good practices and initiatives from various countries;
5.A platform to develop a common standpoint among young people of various faith communities on engagement into a constructive dialogue with secular society on a personal, local and European level;
6.A possibility to develop creative and practical approaches to be used to enhance the involvement of local religious communities;
7.An opportunity and safe forum for exciting intercultural and interreligious sharing and exchange!

Profile of participants:
This study session is aimed at young people (aged 18-30) actively engaged in their communities. They should have the potential to actively contribute to the discussions and activities, and to initiate local or regional resonance, as well as to be ready to share their traditions openly. The participants should be open minded youth leaders, who can engage into open discussions and promote meaningful dialogue between the religious communities in Europe on their local and national levels. Selection criteria will include gender, religious, and regional balance.

Arrivals and Departures:
Sunday 4thDecember is the day of arrival and Sunday 11thDecember is the day of departure.

As the study session will be held in Budapest, Hungary participants are expected to come to Budapest Western Train station (Nyugati pu.), Budapest Eastern Train station (Keleti pu.), Budapest Southern Train station (Déli pu.) or Budapest Ferihegy Airport (Terminal 1 or Terminal 2). More detailed travel instructions will be available to the participants selected.

Please make sure to arrive/depart on these dates as the possibilities of arranging accommodation in case of early arrival and late departure will be extremely limited. We cannot arrange extra night’s accommodation unless this is absolutely necessary for reasons of travelling schedule and approved in advance by organisers.

If needed for university or workplace, participants can be provided with a letter confirming the participation in the study session.

The study session will be based on the non-formal learning methods. The activities will be aimed at combining theoretical input with practical experiences and training elements, as well as active contribution by the participants.

Through an interactive methods and discussions the participants will learn about various aspects of intercultural awareness. Discussions and presentations in plenary and smaller groups will reveal how the participation of various religious communities in society is influenced by national peculiarities, culture, as well as is related to values.

The lectures of the guest speakers will give the participants an overview on historical developments in the dialogue between the religious communities and secular society, as well as current debates on institutional and European level. The simulation of debate on an institutional level will be organised to provide experience of the dynamics and structure of the negotiation and consultations initiated by the Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty.

During the visit to Budapest participants will have the possibility to meet with various faith communities and discuss their involvement in the society. The “Experience the Prayers!” day will give participants the opportunity to participate in prayers of one another and share an open discussion about the respective traditions.

A significant element of the study session will be intercultural learning, which can be experienced not only through personal encounters, but also during the International Banquet and a Cultural Night, where the participants will be invited to share their cultural heritage and traditions.

A preliminary timetable is availabe. 

The following persons are in the preparatory team of the study session:
Adriana Florea (EYCE, Romania)
Victoria Godik (EUJS, Ukraine)
Kristîne Jansone (EYCE Office)
Saida Ounissi (FEMYSO, France)
Maria Koutatzi (CoE Trainer, Greece)

The participation fee for the study session will be 50 € (Euros) including accommodation, meals and programme. Please note that this amount can only be offered because of the subsidies received from the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, which subsidises the total cost of accommodation, meals and programme. Full board and lodging will be provided at European Youth Centre.

Please note that the payment of a cancellation fee of 200 € (Euros) is expected from participants who cancel their participation in the event less than 2 weeks prior to commencement of the activity.

The travel expenses of the participants will be fully reimbursed. All the travel documents and proofs of payment (tickets, boarding passes, invoices etc.) should be preserved in order to receive the reimbursement.

Least costly route:
The policy of European Youth Centre provides the reimbursement on the basis of the least costly route to Budapest. However, the preparatory team would like to encourage participants to travel in as ecological manner as possible! The selected participants will be asked to consult the preparatory team before making any travel arrangements!
The participants should be present for the whole study session. Those who participate for less than 90% of the total duration of the activity will not be reimbursed.

Please ensure bookings are made at the best fare but do not buy any tickets prior to confirmation of your participation, agreement with the organisers and visa acknowledgement (if applicable).Expenses will be calculated and reimbursed in Euro!!

Please note that health insurance is NOT arranged by the organisers. We advice participants to make sure that you have a European health insurance card or similar before travelling.

Some of the participants may need a visa to enter Hungary. Please check immediately with the Hungarian embassy or consulate in your country whether you need a visa to enter the country. Please note that participants needing a visa have to apply for the study session as soon as possible in order to avoid any troubles in getting a visa. An official “Letter of invitation” needed for obtaining the visa will be issued and sent to the selected participants as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the participant to contact the embassy and follow the procedures.

Please do not go ahead applying for a visa prior to receiving the letter of acceptance to the study session. The selected participants will be instructed carefully whom to address in order to obtain documents needed.

Please be very careful and ask the Embassy exact details of the documents needed. Some of you might not need a visa, but a proof that you will be insured and taken care of during your stay in Hungary. In any case please let us know as soon as possible, so we can ensure that all participants get the documents on time. More detailed information will be given in the letter of acceptance.

The cost of the visa is included in the travel costs and reimbursed upon presentation of a receipt. Agency fee or visa service fee is not reimbursed. If the participant has to travel to get the visa, the cost of the travel is not automatically reimbursed. The participant should contact the organisers and check if the reimbursement of the travel for the visa is possible. 

The language of the study session will be English. It will be essential for all the participants to understand and speak English in order to take full advantage out of the study session.

An online application form can be found here:

You can also request the application form at the

Please submit your application form as soon as possible. The absolutely latest deadline for receiving applications will be 1st of NOVEMBER 2011

We kindly ask that the enclosed application is filled carefully and clearly. Sending incomplete forms or sending them too late might mean that applications are not processed. If you fear that the application will not reach us in time, please contact us to notify.

Up to 30 participants will be selected by the preparatory team to attend the event on the basis of the quality of their application. This selection will try to ensure a geographical, religious and gender balance.

The deadline for applications is only four weeks prior to the event. This is the minimum time needed to guarantee a smooth visa application process and reasonably priced tickets. Therefore, we are forced to select participants immediately after the deadline. Right after selecting participants, those selected will receive more detailed information about the programme of the study session. Also note that participants are only accepted if they have received a written confirmation by e-mail. Please keep in mind that selected participants will have to agree on travel costs after having received the letter of acceptance. Therefore they are kindly requested to ensure email access between the 1st and 10th of November.

Please share this information in your networks, and especially with the persons you will nominate to the event. The selected participants will receive more detailed information after the selection and documents to prepare themselves for the study session.

The event will be a unique place, where we will have intercultural and interreligious experience. The entire preparatory team is looking forward to experiencing this event together with many committed participants!

Foto: Jongerencentrum in Boedepast