European Youth Encounter: “Memory and commitment” – Call for participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Memorial of Rivesaltes Camp (France), in cooperation with Buchenwald Memorial (Germany), Foundation Fossoli (Italy), Museum-Memorial of Exile La Jonquera (Spain) and Les Territoires de Mémoire (Belgium) are organizing an European Youth Encounter “Memory and commitment” at the Memorial of Rivesaltes Camp (France) from June 28th to July 5th, 2017. Partner organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in BiH (YIHR BiH).

The aim of the encounter is to exchange and work on the topic “memory and civic commitment” – How to connect dealing with the past and commitment for the present? How can memory work help to develop and strengthen the commitment for current causes, as the defense of human rights and the fight against xenophobia?

Activities of the encounter are workshops, visits, encounters with associations and artists who are involved in the defense of human rights, round-tables, artistic performance with young Syrians about the current situation in Syria. The participants will be asked to do some preparatory work which they will present and discuss during the encounter.

Participants will be young adults between 18 and 25 years who are active in the field of memory work and civil society, from Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain – three participants from each country.

YIHR BiH is looking for participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina. You can apply by sending your CV and motivational letter to, no later than June 7th (16.00h). The working language will be English.

More about the Rivesaltes Camp (France):

The Rivesaltes Camp, in South-Western France, nearby the Spanish border, was opened in 1939 as a military camp. From 1939 on it served also for many other purposes: after 1941 it was used by the French State as an internment camp for “undesirable foreigners”, especially Spanish refugees, Jews and Roma; in 1942 it served as a detention and transit camp for Jews who were then deported to the Nazi extermination camps in Eastern Europe; after 1944 and the liberation of France, collaborators and German prisoners of war were interned there; after 1962, it was then used for several years as a camp for  Muslim Algerians who had served as auxiliaries with the French Army during the Algerian War of independence (1954–1962), and then, from 1986 until it’s closure in 2007, the camp was partially used as a detention center for illegal immigrants.  The Memorial of the Rivesaltes Camp, which is documenting the different layers of it’s history, was inaugurated in 2015.


Maison de I’Europe de Paris is implementing a new project called EUbyCITIZENS in cooperation with YIHR BiH and another 9 partner organisations from Europe.

The European Union is facing up to the mistrust of European citizens. The Maison de l’Europe de Paris and its partners are convinced that, by stimulating the knowledge of the history and the current role of the European Union, the distrust which prevails these days might disappear.

Therefore, the Maison de l’Europe de Paris developed the EUbyCITIZENS project, which aims to reach many citizens from various groups through partners established in 10 countries. The project takes place in Member States (France, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Romania) and candidate countries (Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia), from East to West in Europe. This political and geographical diversity represents the wealth of European culture. It allows having a contrasting outlook of the EU and its issues and guarantees the relevance of the project.

The goal is to give the keys for a better understanding of European history and current European policies in order to better involve the citizens in the democratic process.

To this end, experts from civil society debate in several countries with citizens representatives on three topics: the history of the European Union, its values, and the impact of European policies in daily life. They write together a booklet entitled “The European Union seen by the European citizens”. The authors could be inspired by a former booklet written by the “Maison de l’Europe de Paris” with 3 partners (from Luxemburg, Poland and Germany) in 2012 and available in 3 languages (French, English and Polish).

Concurrently, several activities (street interviews, conferences, questions on social networks) are put in place in order to collect the opinion of the European citizens from the 10 countries regarding history, values and future European issues.

In the end, the booklet and collected opinions will be brought together in a digital and educational tool in Prezi format.

The partners meet with the experts and citizens representatives: in February 2016 in Paris during a preliminary meeting, and then for 5 meetings to draft the booklet (in April 2016 Warsaw, June 2016 in Sofia, September 2016 in Belgrade, December 2016 in Ljubljana, January 2017 in Barcelona, March 2017 in Bucharest and May 2017 in Paris)

The impact of this project results from the booklet and the digital tool. They guarantee wide dissemination and allow teachers and educators to have access to a pedagogical tool and teaching aid. Our relays, in civil society, in formal and in non formal education, are the first beneficiaries of these tools. They will in turn spread the information.

The quality of the project is guaranteed by the cooperation between experienced partners, which call on experts and citizens from 10 different European countries.

The opinion report from Bosnia and Herzegovina is available here: Opinion report – Bosnia and Herzegovina