Project NextGen GO!2025
The project includes conferences and workshops about Europe and Nova Gorica-Gorizia European Capital of Culture 2025. The project is funded by the European education and culture executive agency within the CERV Call for proposals for town-twinning and networks of towns and is implemented by the EGTC GO - the European grouping for territorial cooperation of the municipalities of Gorizia, Nova Gorica and Šempeter-Vrtojba.
As Nova Gorica and Gorizia will be the European Capital of Culture in 2025, the aim of the project is for students from both cities to learn what Europe means, what CEC is and how they can participate in this important event. In this way, they have the opportunity to get to know their "neighbours" in a cross-border and European spirit. 122 high school students from Gorizia and Nova Gorica participate in the project, from the following schools: Gimnazija Nova Gorica, Istituto Statale di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore "G.D’ANNUNZIO - M.FABIANI" Gorizia, Državni izobraževalni zavod Cankar Vega Zois from Gorizia and Državni izobraževalni zavod Gregorčič Trubar from Gorizia.
The project is divided into three events: the conference on the future of Europe, the workshop on Nova Gorica-Gorizia European Capital of Culture 2025 and the final event.
CONFERENCE ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE
On the morning of Monday, May 9, 2022, on Europe Day, the first event of the NextGen GO! 2025 project took place in the Kulturni dom in Gorizia, Italy.
The guests were Nataša Šip, from the Communication, Partnerships and Networks office of the European Commission; Tanja Fajon, of the European Parliament, Sandra Sodini, Director of the International Relations and European Planning Service of the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Kaja Širok, CEO of Zavod GO! 2025.
The conference was set up as an interactive conference, where in addition to guests' speeches, students asked questions and participated in discussions.
Nataša Šip spoke about the European Commission as one of the key institutions of the European Union: its executive body, which, among other things, proposes European laws, once adopted, takes care of their implementation in practice. There are also many concrete and useful things behind this boring sentence, such as the popular Erasmus + program. Ms Šip also introduced some of the main tasks for the EU, such as the green transition and the digitalisation of the EU. The voice of the people, including young people, can count in Europe - the unique democratic process of the Conference on the future of Europe in which citizens have played a leading role is just coming to an end. Young people have a special opportunity this year, as we are celebrating the European Year of Youth. She touched some practical aspects of life in the European Union from the point of view of young people, and along the way dispelled another myth about the "monster from Brussels".
Tanja Fajon, a member of the European Parliament since 2009, presented her work and a typical working day as an MEP to the students. In her speech, she focused on the main roles and achievements of the European Parliament and the influence it has in our everyday life. She displayed the main dossiers in the current mandate and the influence of the citizens on EP decision-making process. She concluded her presentation by highlighting the importance of elections. The participating students were interested in employment opportunities for young people.
In her speech, Sandra Sodini, currently director of the International Relations and European Planning Service of the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, to explained the development of territorial cooperation in our territory. She explored the various instruments of European and cross-border cooperation present in our territory and talked about her many years of experience in the field. Furthermore, as former director of EGTC GO, the organizing body of the NextGen GO! 2025 event, she explained to the students what role the institution has in our territory.
The morning session was wrapped up by Kaja Širok, who laid the foundations for the afternoon workshop and explained the birth of the idea of the candidacy of both Gorizias for the European Capital of Culture 2025.
WORKSHOP ON THE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE
On the evening of Monday, May 9, 2022, on Europe Day, the activities of the second event of the NextGen GO! 2025 project took place at the Nova Gorica High School, in Slovenia.
In this context, students who participated had the possibility to explore, together with Vesna Humar, what does the European Capital of Culture mean and how this title is actually not a prize but an assignment to make the city we live in a better place. Together they thought about the important interventions to be completed to make the two Gorizias a better place. The ambition is to revitalize the urban space, integrate human resources, learn and get to know each other's culture, heritage and knowledge to promote cultural production without borders, inspired by the fundamental values of European culture.
Humar exhibited the interesting Bid-book program, which is sustainable and future-oriented in a way that enhances the peculiarities and riches of the territory to baste the excellence of the European Capital of Culture project.
Inspired by the three pillars of the Bid-Book, GO! Share, GO! Europe and GO! Green, the students then worked in groups to propose their ideas.
The third event, that took place on the 9th of June, consisted in the award ceremony of the six best works, choosed by the a Committee composed by the team GO!2025 and the Culture Committee of the EGTC GO, whose representatives belong to the three founding cities of the EGTC GO, Gorizia, Nova Gorica and Šempeter-Vrtojba. After the greetings of the Headteacher, Mara Petaros, and the Mayor of Nova Gorica, Klemen Miklavič, the winning students had the opportunity to discuss their ideas for the future of Europe and the activities for the European Capital of Culture 2025. All the winners were awarded with a gift, handed to them by the coordinator of the culture committee of the EGTC GO, Gabrijel Fišer. The winners of the first prize will be rewarded with a trip to Brussels to discover the European institutions.
The first prize was awarded to the project "Prijateljstvo senza confini" by students Zala Flospergher (Šolski centre Gorica - S. Gregorčič), Irene Lauto (ISISS D'Annunzio - Liceo Linguistico), Luka Frandolič and Mojca Lipušček (Gimnazija Nova Gorica). Their project aims to promote recreational and educational activities for people of all ages from Italy and Slovenia. It identifies different age groups and envisages a different activity for each (e.g. kindergarten: cross-border summer school; high school: cross-border dance; pensioners: hiking and history lessons). Children, students and young adults will have the opportunity to attend language, literature, history, creative workshops, sports activities, etc. together in order to get to know each other, share their respective cultures and traditions and create new friendships.
The project received the highest score as it was judged by the committee to be most comprehensive and structured. It involves all citizens, from the youngest to the oldest.
The second classified project is named "GO Park" and was presented by students Janiki Cingeli (Šolski centre Gorica - S. Gregorčič), Alice Scaramuzza (ISIS D'Annunzio - Liceo Linguistico), Timotej Rebek and Matic Simčič (Gimnazija Nova Gorica). The project consists of identifying abandoned or poorly connected areas on the border and converting them into cycle paths. It also envisages the creation of new green areas for events, markets and festivals. The aim is to promote a sustainable way of enjoying the cross-border area, improving health and quality of life.
The commission liked the project because of its green and redevelopment theme.
In third position, the project entitled "The tour of Gorizia and Nova Gorica" that was defined by students Vittoria De Macedo (Šolski Center Gorica I. Cankar), Elena Gregorutti (ISIS D'Annunzio - Liceo Linguistico) and Žan Perat from Gimnazija Nova Gorica. Their project aimed to unite the most representative places of the two cities in a single guided tour to discover secret gardens and lesser-known corners of the area. Food, as a cross-border link, accompanies the tour with recipes of Gulaž and Štrudel.
The committee appreciated the decision to highlight the secret places of our two Gorizias.
NEXTGEN GO! 2025 WINNERS IN BRUSSELS
The first two winning groups were rewarded with a trip to Brussels. The group formed by seven students from the schools: ISIS "G. D'ANNUNZIO - M. FABIANI", “D.I.Z. Gregorčič Trubar” from Gorizia and Gimnazija Nova Gorica, were in Brussels from 10 to 13 October to get a closer look at the European institutions.
The students participated with great interest in the programme. On the first day, they visited the European Committee of the Regions, where Dr. Slaven Klobucar presented the main activities of the Committee and described the European instrument of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) to the students, complimenting the local EGTC GO for its work. Afterwards, the group had the opportunity to visit the offices and spaces of the institution, getting a close taste of the Committee's work during one of the busiest weeks of the year: the European Week of Regions and Cities, the largest annual event dedicated to cohesion policy.
In the afternoon, the students had the opportunity to visit the House of European History, a museum that introduced the group to the transnational phenomena that have shaped our continent. During the visit, students were able to understand the common experiences of European countries and learn about different interpretations and perspectives on the complex history of Europe.
Before the end of the day, the students met with Dr. Marko Makovec at the European External Action Service (EEAS), where they became familiar with the diplomatic body of the European Union, its work and policies. The students were especially interested in the EU's current international relations with the neighbouring Balkans, Russia, Ukraine, the United States and China.
During the morning of the second day, the students were hosted by the Member of the European parliament dr. Matjaž Nemec. He was happy to address the students, explaining the workings of the European Parliament. The students visited the hemicycle and asked many questions about the political issues the Parliament currently deals with. After a short visit to the Parlamentarium, where the students learnt about the history of the European Union, they moved on to the Council of the European Union. Here, the group visited the spaces open to the public, where representatives of Member State governments discuss and approve EU policies.
In addition to institutional visits, the students also had the opportunity to visit the city and its sights. They taste the local food, visit the chocolate museum 'Belgian chocolate village' and other attractions in the city.