Today, on the 10th of April 2007, the Easter Seminar of the Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) was officially opened in Tarbes, France. 100 Young people from 25 autochthonous national minorities from 14 European countries gather at this moment in the Pyrenees, at the border of Spain and France.
Lengas capsús las frontèras – YEN visits the Occitans in France
Today, on the 10th of April 2007, the Easter Seminar of the Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) was officially opened in Tarbes, France. 100 Young people from 25 autochthonous national minorities from 14 European countries gather at this moment in the Pyrenees, at the border of Spain and France. The seminar – which is the largest meeting of youth from autochthonous minority communities in Europe – takes place under the motto: "Lengas capsús las frontèras" – "Languages beyond the frontiers". YEN member organisation Conselh Representacion Generala de la Joventut d´Òc invited them to this seminar. Together with YEN they organised a programme that ranges from traditional Occitan games to a public debate on the subject of "The future of Europe from the viewpoint of the youth".
"In YEN we try to select our priorities balancing between the minorities in the east and in the west of Europe. Therefore we are very glad that after for the first time since 1996 we are again having the possibility to carry through an Easter Seminar in France", Aleksander Studen-Kirchner, president of YEN expressed during the opening reception of the Easter Seminar that took place at the town hall of Tarbes this morning.
Carinthian Slovene Studen-Kirchner emphasised that the situation of the autochthonous minorities will be closely examined. "What I noticed is, that local and regional politics as well as the people of France are very open and willing to support minorities, but that the official representation of the country is still denying their support for and the acceptance of minorities. Especially for the new members of the European Union, who need to reach and fulfil EU-guidelines, France should be a rolemodel by implementing these rules itself before pointing at others.", the president said.
Apart from the political themes also the intercultural exchange between the participants and pleasure is an important part of the programme. There is for example the famous exchange market of YEN, where all groups present their own specialties to the other participants – drinks, typical foods and information materials. In this an active annual fair of the minorities develops, which already has led to many new ideas and friendships.
"Until now we are very satisfied with the seminar – I think that we again achieve the right mix between serious activities about the issues of the autochthonous minorities in Europe and the more relaxing and pleasure-bringing activities, which also always should have their place at a seminar of YEN", according to the YEN-president.
© 2007 YEN.