FNF Greece: Young Greeks learn and discuss about the refugee crisis

img_3855klThe emerging challenges for Greece and the EU through the refugee crisis have been the focal points of this year’s Liberal Youth Seminars. The successful series was organized for another consecutive year with the support of IMEDA and ALBA College in downtown Athens. For three weeks 18 active young leaders studied the concept of liberal leadership and effective ways to work on such important issues as the refugee situation in Europe.

img_5233klThe 2016 faculty was again honored by high-ranking officials and experts. Margaritis Schinas, Chief Spokesperson of the EU Commission, gave a talk about the “multi-crises” that the European Union is facing today. He supported the view that Europeans have to work closely together to overcome our common problems. “The opponents of the EU will suggest the ‘pendulum solution’, which is going back to the nation-state, isolate oneself and build walls, hoping that somehow it will get better”, he said. “However, the EU is the most successful experiment of peace in the history of mankind, and if we look ahead we will see that our future is to be united.” Later, Mr. Schinas had an open discussion with the participants answering all their questions.

img_5084klKonstantinos Tsoutsoplidis, Spokesperson of the European Parliament’s office in Greece, focused on the political initiatives which were taken by the Parliament for the refugee crisis. Later, he commented on the challenges for the EU leadership, discussing the rise of populism and extremism in Europe.

Among the lecturers of this year’s seminar were also Panagiotis Gennimatas, Honorary Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Alekos Papadopoulos, Former Finance Minister of Greece, Moawia Ahmed, President of the Greek Forum of Migrants, Jelena Dubovi, Human Rights Coordinator for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Serbia, and Maria Alexaki, journalist and correspondent for the Greek National Broadcaster ERT.

img_5178klThe participants had the chance to work in groups and conduct several experiential workshops developing their presentation and public speaking skills. As a final assignment they had to produce two videos on the values taught in the seminar. The first video, named “The sons and daughters of the war” is a documentary on the passage of Syrian children, while the second, named “The Interview”, criticizes clientelism in the Greek labor market.

Athanasios Grammenos
Picture: FNF Greece