JANUS seminar brought participants from over 20 countries together in London to share and discuss their experiences and stories from international youth projects that were supported by the European Union Youth in Action Programme. As this is coming to an end, all were there to find out more about its successor Erasmus +.
The conference organisers put issues of active citizenship and involvement at the very core of the event and the participants themselves were planning and running the conference throughout the course of the day.
During the seminar, participants shared their experience of European youth projects, including Paul Davies (UK), who said, “Thanks to the Youth in Action my life was transformed. It has shaped me into a greater professional and someone who is more tolerant, caring and interested in the world around me.”
Dami Benbow, former Deputy Young Mayor of Lewisham and seminar participant, demonstrated through his own personal experience that the democracy and participation have to be taught through real life practice and less through lectures and theory.
The seminar, organised by the British Council – UK Youth in Action National Agency and the Momentum World led to the high level conference that took place in London on 8 August 2013.
Dr Maggie Atkinson, The Children’s Commissioner for England, attended the event and stressed the importance of active participation and dialogue between young people and the European institutionsl. Dr Atkinson said, “Your advice to the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament is very valuable and I urge you to use this opportunity as we are moving to new seven year planning circle.”
Director Education and Society at the British Council, Dr Jo Beal, emphasised that there is much hope and optimism around the new Erasmus + programme saying, “We have great plans for the beginning of Erasmus+ and I believe young people have the skills to change the world with its support.”