January 8, 2019 | Tuesday

The European Union Information and Cultural Centre concludes successful year 2018 with many activities and increased visibility

Various cultural and artistic events, exhibitions and discussion panels, discussion with artists, information sessions about the European Union and activities on European values have marked 12 months of 2018 in both centres, in Pristina and North Mitrovica.

The team of the Centre, together with the European Union Office in Kosovo, have taken care to bring quality, creativity and increased number of visits by public to these events, which were both educational and informative in their respective fields, making sure to establish a better communication with the public and offer more visibility to the work of European Union in Kosovo.

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The first quarter of the year focused on activities to bring Kosovo citizens closer to the two centres. A great impact had the new location in North Mitrovica which was seen very positively by the public in this area who frequent the centre for various information and activities that are organised there.

Many activities were organised as one of the main tasks of the centre, while two media and outreach campaigns, implemented during this period, offered a different perspective opening up the centre much more with many outreach activities that happened in different towns in Kosovo.

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May and June were dedicated to Europe Day activities and the Quality Education Campaign. Bringing a Kosovo born, world-class tenor Rame Lahaj in Pristina to hold a concert and masterclass with students on Europe Day raised a great interest and marked a very successful event at EUICC. The whole week leading up to Europe Day was full of activities for different target audiences.  The Quality Education Campaign was launched in the first week of May with poster exhibition and Education Fair to continue with intensive agenda that marked many activities in different towns in Kosovo.

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A discussion panel on the connection between art, culture and education was another successful event that brought together in the panel important public personalities to discuss importance of art and culture inclusion in the curricula of Kosovo Education system.

In the second half of the year, EUICC included in its regular activity’s selection of art exhibitions from various artists. From August to December the works of Yll Xhaferi, Rron Qena, Mjellma Goranci and Shqipe Kamberi were exhibited at the centre raising interest of many citizens and this way opening to new audiences, young and old.  Arts and culture were present at the Information and Cultural Centre with an artistic talk with Hana Zeqa – fashion designer in Pristina and a concert by Milica Dobric Quartet in North Mitrovica. Another important activity was a 2-day music workshop held by the musician Liburn Jupolli in Pristina and a lecture held by actor Aleksandar Đinđić in North Mitrovica.

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A discussion on family law was held in September in Pristina, while a fruitful panel discussion unfolded the economic priorities of EU in Kosovo, with guests from Brussels: Javier Menendez Bonilla and Christiane Wetsphal. In Mitrovica, Jovana Jakovljević, an expert from the Institute for Territorial Economic Development, addressed different factors that contribute to the hierarchy of waste management and affect the treatment of waste.

Puck Le Roy, Daniel Lengyel, Olesya Brodin, Mona Guennewig and Pauline Grosdemange, five trainees from the European Commission’s Directorate-General European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in Brussels visited the EUICC premises in Pristina during their visit to Kosovo.

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The Environment Media and Outreach Campaign was launched at the National Library on September 24th under the slogan #GiveGreenAChance and continued until December 6th. This campaign marked a great success to which a great contribution was engagement of four distinguished names – public figures from the culture and sport domain, who teamed up with the EUICC to help promote the messages of the campaign.

During the campaign, various activities were organized, including the #InstaGreen social media activity, with best pictures on Instagram made by citizens, who were invited to post pictures of good environmental protection practices or environmental pollution in Kosovo. Awareness tree activity happened in Prizren, Peja and Pristina, while many film screenings and discussions were organised in different venues and universities. Other activities were numerous visits to different Environment projects supported by EU, and significant number of media appearances and interviews facilitated by the EUICC for EU officials that helped on offering a lot of attention to the #givegreenachance and its key messages.

One of the activities of this campaign, held in Gjakova, that brought together over 200 school children was the graffiti activity that happened at the banks of river Krena. This was part of the EU initiative of beach clean-up, raising citizen’s awareness about water protection and reduction of water pollution.

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In November, to mark the International Children’s Day and bring focus to the Convention on the Rights of Children, EUICC organised a joint event with UNICEF where high school children looked for answers on their concerns about environment matters from the panellists – representative of EU Office – Libor Chlad and UNICEF Head of Office.

During this period EUICC also signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education and started its regular info sessions for students of secondary schools to talk about the history and role of the European Union, the integration process of Kosovo and opportunities for students to study abroad. These info sessions will be held every month during 2019 in both centres.

More about the Environment Campaign that ended in the first week of December can be found in the link. This link contains all the events and more information on their progress.

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During the whole year, EUICC cooperated also with Member States, giving opportunities for them to promote their work and culturual values in different ways. Some of the highlights were the Education Fair in May and the European Day of Languages in September where a significant number of Embassies participated.

The Information and Cultural Center, in Pristina and in North Mitrovica, will continue its activities in 2019 promoting the work of the EU in Kosovo, offering many themed discussions on various European values and bringing more cultural and artistic events for the public, this way serving as a bridge and creating an important connection between the European Union office in Kosovo and the public.