ILC Vienna: The Round Table in notes

Protocol – Round Table – Europe & Russia

Minutes by Reka Artner

When: 11.10.2012 – 17:30 – 19:30 o’clock
Where: Seidengasse 28, 1070 Wien
Who: European & Russian Delegates to the ILC

Keynote speakers:

Elisabeth:

  • A lot of talk about it, crucial new security strategy, etc.
  • Are the EU and Russia really good neighbors? Does EU & Russia act like neighbors?
  • Talks about this situation are already going on since 2 decades;
  • Mutual interest of creating a VISA free travel – one year ago both agreed on common steps to reach a VISA free regime;
  • Amendments are being negotiated to already existing contracts;
  • Now: restrictions still exist;
  • Russia: VISA free travel in 2 years; EU: not so optimistic, a lot of concerns (security, political, documents)
  • A huge lack of trust between EU & Russia, they are building paper fences;
  • They need to build trust, work on joint-projects;
  • How can you combine security and freedom of travel for the youth?

Philip:

  • talking about iron curtain – has experienced it;
  • first time we are able to talk to Russia, travel there, etc.
  • people older than 40 years, still have the Cold War in there head and cannot trust each other;

VISA in Russia:

  • very hard to get VISA from Russia to Europe + you have to pay, easier to get a VISA to Russia ( under 3 days)

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Russian student in Vienna:

  • you have to show each year that you have a place to stay, you have enough money to support yourself, you have to prove that you are not a criminal;

Symptoms:

  • trust among young people? – we don’t have the Cold War in our heads, so we think of Russia as of any other country;
  • Russia is facing a dilemma whether to be oriented east (Asia) or west (Europe)
  • Round table good initiative to cooperate and talk about it; harder on governmental level;

Is Russian youth interested in Europe and visa versa?

  • Russia: far away, big country, a lot to discover, interested culture; wants to be part of Europe, not Asia even though most of it is in Asia; initiative to establish ‘Eurasia’; depends on where you are living – if you are asking West-Russia, they feel like part of Europe; If you ask East-Russia, they agree to be Asian;
  • Russia – new business centers emerge, that’s why it gains popularity;
  • Russia: we are from two different areas, but we are one country and going into one direction;

Volunteering in Russia:

  • not well established yet; youth would be interested, but we are missing experience & knowledge; that’s why we would also ask Europe (since they have a longer tradition of volunteering) for advice;
  • there are a lot of young people who would be interested in international experiences and take action;
  • 5. Dez. international day of volunteering; would be interested in a round table or an event also connected internationally to get to know European volunteers and their initiatives;
  • no legal basis for volunteering, which is a problem;
  • volunteer in Russia: a person who works for free on/for a project;
  • concept: force to volunteer to graduate;
  • they have a volunteering ‘ID’ booklet – you need to have one to be a legal volunteer;
  • projects in volunteering are still missing in kindergartens, schools..
  • 2 funds for volunteering: -) charity funds; -) state initiative, but only small ones, not enough;
  • university is not supporting it financially but finds it a good initative;
  • interesting projects: -) fight the flood -) raise money for sick kids;

Bogdan’s experience:

  • volunteering – civil service at the age of 18
  • for 9 months
  • was a very valuable experience for his life

Austria:

  • strong civil society
  • out of 8 mio. people – 4 mio. people are volunteering as for example ‘fire fighters’, etc.
  • they want to make volunteering acceptable as ‘work’ and considered in your ‘pension’

New concept:

  • social entrepreneurship – business not only aimed to maximize profit, but also include a social aspect (involve disabled ppl,, prisoners, etc. )
  • independent from government; community living around it, should buy the product/service and then it is supporting itself;
  • Russia has little experience in fundraising and cannot support the system;
  • In Moscow – social entrepreneurship is very supported and financed to expand social businesses;

End: 19:40 o’clock

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