The sixth session was chaired by Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director, UPF-Europe.
- Ms. Claire Laurent, ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office
- Dr. Philipp Depisch, President of the Middle European Initiative
- Ms. Evgeniya Beginina, Head of the Analytical Department of the Youth Commonwealth Institution at the Moscow City Government
- Ms. Nargiz Ismailova, Moscow Academy of Economics and Law
The panel was preceded the day before by a round-table discussion among young conference participants. [For notes from that discussion, click here.] The young delegates from Russia and Europe used this preparatory event to get to know each other and explore issues important to them. The youth panel was chaired by Mr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director of UPF-Europe.
Ms. Claire Laurent, representing the ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office, summarized the main topics of the discussions: (1) the question of mobility and visa-free travel between Schengen Treaty countries and the Russian Federation and (2) promoting a culture of volunteering, especially in the Russian Federation. Many were surprised to learn that the Russian government is taking an active role in promoting volunteerism in Russia.
Ms. Evgeniya Beginina explored the connecting elements of youth and volunteering in her remarks. As Head of the Analytical Department of the Youth Commonwealth Institution at the Moscow City Government, she gave an overview over the city's efforts to promote volunteering among its young citizens. She highlighted her institution's interest in learning from the best practices of volunteer organizations in European countries and the structure of the volunteering activities there. Ms. Beginina proposed to collaborate with UPF-Europe's Youth Committee in setting up exchange programs between volunteers in Moscow and other European cities.
Dr. Philipp Depisch is President of the Middle European Initiative, an organization working with young leaders in several central European nations. He shared his personal and professional experiences in European-Russian exchange programs and cooperation. Dr. Depisch closed his statement with a strong plea to his fellow Europeans to “approach Russia with an open mind and cooperate with Russians on an equal level.”
Ms. Nargiz Ismailova, from the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law, highlighted the extensive work of UPF's Young Ambassadors for Peace throughout Russia. She stressed the value of volunteering for the development of one's personality and said that “the future of our nations is built on the character of our next generation.”
These inputs initiated a fruitful discussion with questions, ideas, and contributions from the floor centered on how to promote a culture of volunteering and young people's participation as active citizens.