Donnerstag, Juni 29, 2006


it's launched

Opening address
at the official launching ceremony
of the “All Different, All Equal” Campaign

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The idea of having a campaign was developed when working on the future work priorities of the youth sector of the Council of Europe. It was the suggestion of youth organisations as a contribution to furthering the priority of intercultural dialogue.

So standing here today, at the official launch ceremony, is a great testament to that original idea. Yet it is crucial to remain conscious that this is just a starting point to realising the vision and ambitions at the centre of the European campaign. ‘All different – all equal’.

Youth has always been at the front line of social change, and through this campaign, we are aiming to be the guardians, promoters and multipliers of the principles of Diversity, Human Rights and Participation.

We have many ideas on how to work with our peers to ensure true intercultural dialogue and social inclusion for all. Several projects have already taken place and many more are planned all over Europe. We want to reach out to more young people and also to those who remain unconvinced that the core values of the Council of Europe are still valid, relevant and should serve as the basis for contemporary societies.

We wish to emphasise that the principle of universal and indivisible human rights must prevail in a real and genuine manner. Many public authorities and institutions still fail to provide adequate answers to severe human rights violations and discrimination. We believe that we must hold everyone accountable for their actions and their lack of action in promoting legal and social rights.

Furthermore, we continue to be steadfast advocates for the participation and inclusion of young people in all levels of decision-making. The mainstream media continually portrays an image of young people as passive and apathetic. This is a simplistic view, and not reflective of our true diversity, potential and passion; yet we need to be provided with the means and the space to use our ideas and our energy constructively. There are also widespread stereotypes of stuffy, bureaucratic, and unreachable public authorities, and it is up to you to challenge these views, to open up to civil society and prove those clichés wrong.

To transform all the ideas on which the Campaign is founded into action we need to work together. Moreover, any actions undertaken will not have impact or be sustainable if they are one-offs; so they need to be done jointly between public authorities and youth organisations. Changing hostile and humiliating attitudes will be a lengthy process and there is still a need to provide more support; both politically and in terms of adequate resources.

Fears are the real frontiers in Europe; today’s borders are in our heads. I do not want to be afraid of who I am and I am sure that you all agree that no one should be. The reality though, is that in many places and situations I do have to be afraid of who I am, afraid of being open about my faith or who I am in love with.

I want to dare to be who I am, otherwise I will not be able to live up to my aspirations. This Campaign has then, also to address difficult and often controversial issues: this is the only way to assure real impact.

Europe needs a daring campaign to fight the fears of its own citizens, and it is us – together – who have to realize it. Our differences can be our strength if we build this Campaign on shared values.

We young people are committed, engaged and motivated to address these difficult but life changing issues and we’ll also have some fun running this campaign: a Campaign that matters and that can make a difference.

We have to be the change that we want to see.

Mittwoch, Juni 28, 2006


1 fine day

In 1 day the campaign "all different - all equal" will officially be launched in Strasbourg. The public launch with balloons, drummers and music will take place on the forecourt of the Palais, the main building of the Council of Europe, at 1 pm. People attending the launch are invited to show their support for the Campaign by wearing black and white – the colours of the Campaign logo. In the afternoon an exhibition of those involved will be set up at the European Youth Centre followed by a party in the evening. To make sure this will be an international event, it is taking place paralell to a european co-ordination meeting of the National Campaign committees and the Parliamantary assembly of the Council of Europe.

Montag, Juni 26, 2006


look whos blooming

This blog entry is to honour Tom. He told me his childhood myth this weekend. They are excellent and deserve to be published!
First he was convinced that peacocks are chickens in bloom, which I find very similar to my believe that daisies are children of marguerites, but even slightly more hilarious. A blooming chicken!
The second one is about food. He was convinced that his stomach is organised in different push loading drawers. So for food that he really likes he imagined big drawers, for food he likes less there were smaller drawers. Logically, there could not be a drawer for everything, so he imagined that is simply due to the missing drawer that he really dislikes some kinds of food, and as there is no drawer for this food he obviously can and should not eat what he dislikes!
I really love that one. I am sure this way I could have convinced my gran that I do not have to eat the pole beans!



I told you already that I was in Prague last weekend. Here is a picture update from Prague where we have had dinner in a traditional Czech restaurant with Czech folklore music. And guess what, I have been in Warsaw this weekend, having dinner in a traditional Polish restaurant with Polish folklore music. I’m slowly getting a folklore expert. Warsawa was hot and humid, the hotel was very interesting old style and the disucssions were often controversial. I enjoyed meeting old friends and aquaintance. Hope the final declaration will be put into practise with the lobby and advocacy help of the participants.



,,,Wie alle Liebenden stand auch sie hilflos vor der Tatsache, dass sie erkennen, verstehen, begreifen konnte, nicht aber helfen. Liebe schützt nicht vor Einsamkeit. Manchmal verstärkt sie sie noch.

Montag, Juni 19, 2006



I spent the weekend in Prague. The youth forum held a seminar on youth participation there. We used existing political commitment like the charter for local and regional youth participation of the council of Europe, the white book for youth of the EU the convention on the rights of the child and the world programme for action for youth as reference documents. We had quite some interesting debates and I learned about several good examples of their local implementation. But most of all I worked with friends there; friends from the bureau and secretariat but also friends from member organisations. Fortunately the evening programme was rather informal and left enough time for food, drinks and interesting, well even funny conversations. Thanks to the Balkanesian participants we also had the opportunity to listen to quite some songs. Some people who had to listen to it might claim inconvenience compensation but most participants enjoyed the jolly atmosphere! I love the old city centre of Prague, its narrow lanes with cobblestone, the architecture, and the castle… I even like the Czech dumplings J


vienna calling

I love my town. Vienna is truly beautiful but show even more of its good sides during summer. Last week I was in Vienna from Monday to Wednesday. I enjoyed the Naschmarkt with Sigi. It was simply delightful; the mood, the sun, everything. I have also spent quite some time in the museums quarter. Good food, nice friends, simply summer and holiday feeling. I know why I live in Vienna and I would actually not mind getting old there.

Sonntag, Juni 11, 2006



Trakai is a town and lake resort in Lithuania, a part of Trakai National Park territory and an administrative centre of the region. The town is located 28 km west of Vilnius and there are 200 lakes in the region. The town as well as its surroundings started developing in the XIII century as a state centre. Trakai is a town built on water. The town is surrounded by Lukos (Bernardinų), Totoriškių, Galvės, Akmenos, Gilušio lakes. Renaldas took the bureau there on Saturday night, so we had a midnight walk around the castle and some of us went shipping on the lake during the full moon night on a rowing boat. It was simply beautiful and very romantic!

Freitag, Juni 09, 2006


happy holiday

Before I end my holidays and go to the bureau meeting – a short update here on useful words I have learned whilst touring through England.
Oblivious, obfuscate, obsequious, toady, omitted and condescending… there we go.
The one thing that was most fascinating to me is, that it was indeed all the time sunny and warm if not even hot here! I am happy I took few days off, next time will be only in July.

Montag, Juni 05, 2006


useful word of the day

I have learned a new word today: IMBECILE
very useful word to know.

I also learned that london is warmer and more sunny then Vienna has been in the last weeks, that is really challenging my stereotypes...

The employment seminar in Stockerau was really concrete, prectical and useful, it was a good spirit of all people present and trying to contribute to a good outcome. hope to have another youth forum event in austria soon.

Donnerstag, Juni 01, 2006


get together

Today the seminar “youth and jobs: the way forward” is starting. It is going to take place in Stockerau. I have never been there, though it is really close to Vienna. It is always nice to have youth forum people coming to my country and even nice to my town.
Yesterday I managed to get Marta into my apartment, though she was almost fading away already! And I was introduced to my new flat mate Shane, who has the most amazing tattoos I have seen in a while! It was a really chilled evening with collegues who became friends and new friends. So now off to Stockerau, hope it will be a good seminar.

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