Opening ceremony of the AER Summer Academy

With the participation of more than 90 young people from 19 countries, the Summer Academy of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) entitled “Youth is Future, Youth is Europe”, was officially opened at the Assembly of AP Vojvodina on 2nd July 2019.

Mr. István Pásztor, President of the Assembly of the AP Vojvodina, welcomed the participants and emphasized that the 17-year cooperation between the AP Vojvodina and the AER was successful and fruitful.

“The Assembly of the AP Vojvodina, let me be a bit indiscreet, has traditionally been a good host for a number of events organized in partnership with the AER. The proof is that we have been honoured to host the Summer Academy for the second time”, Pásztor said, and reminded of the fact that the first Summer Academy entitled “Multicultural, Multiethnic and Multilingual Regions – Regional Diversity as a Precondition for Socio-Economic Development” was held in 2014.

“This year’s Summer Academy is dedicated to young people with the motto “Youth is Future, Youth is Europe”. The motto of the Summer Academy and the cultural and historical habitus of Vojvodina are in accordance. Although historically not young, Vojvodina has emerged as a European project”, Pásztor said.
“In Vojvodina, we have learned the values of life in community, compromise and agreement. The terms community, compromise and agreement are pronounced differently in each of the six languages in official use in AP Vojvodina, but they always mean the same without residue. Respect for man, humanity and dignity”, Pásztor said. He added that the participants of this year’s Academy were the present and the future of Europe.

Zobenica Damir, Vice-president of the Vojvodina Assembly and AER Vice-president for Inter-regional Diplomacy, expressed his belief that during five days, the participants of this year’s Summer Academy would acquire knowledge and establish new friendships lasting a lifetime.

“The Organising Committee of the Summer Academy has prepared very good and useful lectures, workshops and events outside the Assembly edifice. I am glad you are going to visit the Novi Sad beach, city centre, and especially that you will attend the opening of the EXIT festival”, said Vice-president Zobenica and wished the participants a pleasant stay in Novi Sad and successful work within the framework of the AER Summer Academy.

Rune Fredriksen, President of Organising Committee of AER Summer Academy, talked about the importance of the Summer Academy and young people’s participation in the event. Welcoming the participants, Andrew Gibson, AER Vice-president for Equal Opportunities, said that the in terms of the AER event, the hosts of the 2019 Summer Academy set a new standard given its program and concept. The participants were also addressed by Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, and Paula Holst, the Vice President of the AER Youth Regional Network. The opening ceremony of the Summer Academy AER was moderated by Tamara Glišić Krivošija, representative of the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina.

The opening ceremony of the AER Summer Academy was also attended by the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly of APV: Snežana Sedlar, Aleksandra Đanković, Dušan Jakovljev and Miroslav Vasin, moreover Ognjen Bjelić, Provincial Secretary for Regional Development, International Cooperation and Local Self-Government, Nikola Banjac, Secretary General of the Assembly of APV, and Vukašin Grozdanović, Coordinator of OPENS 2019.

The AER Summer Academy will take place until 5th July and it will be an occasion for young people to participate in lectures and workshops, exchange ideas about their vision of the future and prospects of Europe, to get to know each other and establish contacts.

Also, within the OPENS programme in the City of Novi Sad, young people from all over the Europe will take part in a number of creative and entertaining contents and in that way will get to know the European Youth Capital 2019, visit the Exit festival and Sremski Karlovci.