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Online diary Euregio Academy 2019

Euregio Academy - common roots, challenges and future

The common office of the European region accompanies the Euregio Academy with an online diary.

Editor: Silvia Ramoser MSc.

Photos: Fondazione Trentina Alcide De Gasperi / EVTZ Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino

Registrations are still possible at any time at

2nd stage:
April 26-27, 2019
Neustift Monastery: European Society and Future

Saturday April 27, 2019

The Euregio-Akademie participants arrived fresh and lively in the morning either by public transport or in group journeys at the Neustift monastery educational center. Also on the second day of the Euregio Academy there were interesting lectures with top-class personalities on the program and so led Paolo Zanenga from DIOTIMA SOCIETY immediately in the two keynotes under the topic "European society - fit for the future" stood, a.

Katharina Moser, founder of MOSAIK Designing European Experiences, asked the question “Why Europe?” at the beginning of her presentation. There are major problems in the world such as migratory movements, globalization, climate change and social inequality that affect us all. It would make rational sense if we in Europe tackle these problems together and stick together. But according to Moser, people don't think rationally. You are emotional! Emotions are the greatest driving force and that is why it is so important that the European Union can be experienced and felt emotionally. People get an EU feeling mainly through encounters and personal experiences. Often, EU citizens only understand what Europe can do when they travel to the EU and come into contact with people from other member states. In the exchange it becomes clear how different we are, which at the same time should be seen as an opportunity to learn from each other. The European Union can be experienced through projects such as Free Interrail or Routes - Europareise in the middle of Vienna. Exactly such experiences make you a more diverse and European person, concluded Moser. But you have to get involved and make a conscious decision. This is the only way to have a perceived European identity.

Paolo Chiocchetti from the University of Luxembourg In the second keynote highlighted the tension between economic competition and solidarity in which European society finds itself. Chiocchetti spoke of the European “compromise”, according to which, in addition to competition, the social model is fundamental to understanding Europe. The EU has always had the goal of social rapprochement between the member states. Solidarity is part of the DNA of the European Union, said Chiocchetti. The problem, however, is that early economic policy has clearly placed itself above the social, so that EU policy prefers economic issues to social ones. In order to avoid the vicious circle between competition and solidarity, the right balance should be found in each case, emphasized Chiocchetti.

With these interesting keynotes, the time flew by, so that there wasn't too much time for the subsequent discussion. The coffee break should not be neglected. In the meantime were Franz Fischler, President of the European Forum Alpbach and Arnold Schuler, Deputy Governor, arrived at the Bildungshaus to be on "Round table" along with Giuseppe Zorzi, historian and educator, Eva Lichtenberger and the two keynote speakers Moser and Chiocchetti to discuss. As the moderator of this panel discussion summed up Matthias Fink at the beginning about the results and findings of the previous presentations. Fischler initially made it clear that none of the central questions of the future can be resolved at national level and that we therefore need the European Union. He did not deny that there are mistakes in every large EU project. According to the President of the European Forum Alpbach, changes within the EU are needed for the system to work. Politicians react to pressure, says Fischler and appealed to the young people present to get involved - also in the EU election in May. It is the young generation that has to position itself on the key questions of the future, emphasizes Fischler: "You are the ones from whom I want answers!"

For Arnold Schuler, the EU is home, as he said. Developments outside of Europe can only be countered if everyone pulls together within. According to Schuler, more personalities are needed at the European level who can emotionally occupy the positive aspects of the EU. In the end, Schuler expressed the daring wish for a European soccer team to compete in the Olympic Games as a unit. Following on from Ms. Moser's presentation in the morning, the discussion took up the importance of emotions. Zorzi also emphasized that clear words and concepts are needed to generate emotions. Concrete information should be communicated, but at the same time a vision should be conveyed. The vision of a social union is important that the population feels that they are being taken seriously, said Chiocchetti. There is already an approach in which the losses of the so-called globalization losers are compensated. According to Chiocchetti, however, this approach is still not very successful. Georg Grote also demanded in his statement that the idea of ​​the EU must penetrate all sections of the population. The EU must also be brought to the less educated classes. It is important that EU policies resonate with the citizens, as in the case of the abolition of roaming charges.
Finally, Lichtenberger asked the Euregio Academy participants how they deal with the fears with which the populists are playing. empathy was the answer. In addition, the EU must offer young people that feeling give back, really change something to be able to. In his closing remarks, Fischler urged the Euregio Academy participants to become active themselves in order to make this change a reality.

On the basis of this lively discussion one could see how topical the topic “Challenges for European society” is and how much it preoccupies young people. It was discussed further at lunch that followed.

On this beautiful April day it was not easy to reunite the Euregio Academy participants in the Augustinisaal after the lunch break. Hence headed Markus Warasin from the Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament only briefly with a video and then relocated his lecture on the European elections outside. In five stations, Warasin spoke about the practice in the European Parliament, the European elections and the election campaign “This time I will vote”, which he helped to design. The Euregio Academy participants listened enthusiastically to Mr. Warasin's stories, which contained one or the other dazzling detail.

With the end of the tour through the grounds of the Neustift monastery, the second stage of the Euregio Academy came to an end. Two intense but exciting days lay behind the participants, during which fun was not neglected. Now it was time to say goodbye again before the Euregio Academy participants from all Euregio regions come together in August at the European Forum in Alpbach for the third and final stage of the Euregio Academy.

Friday April 26, 2019

The four weeks have passed quickly since the first Euregio Academy weekend and so the Euregio Academy participants found themselves together again in the venerable walls of the Neustift monastery educational center near Bressanone, in the second stage with top-class speakers about European society and its future Discuss challenges. The second edition of the Euregio Academy was held at the same time as a Euregio Atelier, which sees itself as an interdisciplinary Philosophicum.

Greeted in the representative Augustinisaal Günther Rautz, the scientific director of the Euregio-Atelier and director of the Institute for Minority Law at Eurac Research, all participants whom he called on with regard to the focus of the two days “Challenges of European Society” to take part in the EU elections in order to actively shape the future of the EU. Thereupon he handed over the floor Christoph von Ach, the Secretary General of the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino. Von Ach also welcomed all those present and wished the participants an instructive and interesting two days. It is important to give young people a space to think about Europe, said von Ach. Immediately headed Georg Grote from the Institute for Minority Law at Eurac Research about the first two keynotes that are in the sign "Challenges for Europe“Stood.

Professor Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann from the Salzburg Center of European Union Studies first traced the history of the European Union, including the new beginnings and setbacks, as she emphasizes. Already after the Napoleonic Wars there were attempts at an equilibrium order in Europe, which was more of a balance system than a real agreement, according to Puntscher-Riekmann. After the Second World War, Europe experienced a “boost of wisdom” emanating from people like Monnet, Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, who were concerned about the post-war order. Subsequently, Professor Puntscher-Riekmann pointed out the progress and regression of the European Union: from the Schuman Plan to the empty chair policy and the Luxembourg compromise to the EU enlargements. Because with regard to today's EU policy, the past must always be taken into account. In view of the history and the challenges of the EU, Professor Puntscher-Riekmann called for a focus on foreign and security policy, which must be promoted primarily by the large member states. Puntscher-Riekmann sees Brexit as a new beginning and thus concludes her lecture on European unification with a positive view of the future.

As the second keynote speaker Tadhg O’Hannrachain from University College Dublin to the lectern. O’Hannrachain begins by highlighting the two greatest challenges that he believes the world is facing: global warming and limited resources. These two problems will also pose an enormous challenge to the European Union. According to O’Hannrachain, these challenges can best be tackled democratically by political institutions at national and supranational level. But according to Freedom House, acceptance of democracy as the world's leading form of government is more at risk than at any point in the past 25 years. Developments in recent years such as the increasing number of racist remarks, open aggression and growing populism are very worrying, emphasized O’Hannrachain. The problem is that people forget. They forget what war means and how fragile democracy ultimately is. Inequality is a deadly threat to the functioning of a democracy. According to the professor, social inequality in England also played a central role in the Brexit referendum. In conclusion, O’Hannrachain emphasized that we must strengthen, protect and expand our democracies in order to successfully master future challenges.

In the stimulating discussion after these two interesting keynotes, the question was asked whether the institutional structure of the EU is sustainable. Puntscher-Riekmann replied that the EU has grown historically and therefore, from their point of view, there can only be reforms and not dismantling them. But reforms are urgently needed. According to Puntscher-Riekmann, the regions and municipalities in particular should receive more power. It was also stressed that the EU urgently needed more resources. Citizens have many expectations of the EU, which it cannot meet with its limited resources and competencies.

There would have been many more questions and comments from the Euregio Academy participants, but it was already time for lunch. In the afternoon there were four short presentations by Mattia Frizzera, Marc Röggla, Rainer Weissengruber and Melanie Plangger on the topic of "Rebuilding Europe" on the program. Eva Lichtenberger In her introduction she referred to the title "Rebuilding Europe", which implies that the "cosiness is over". Now it is time, said Lichtenberger, that we think about how to deal with the current problems and how we want to tackle them above all. In workshops, the Euregio Academy participants, together with the four experts, deepened their lecture topics and discussed them. The results of the discussion rounds were presented together again in plenary. The first small group with Mattia Frizzera found that some political parties use new media more than others and that this is also reflected in the polls. Information can easily be disseminated via social media and made available to a large mass. The question here is to what extent the state should or may regulate this flow of information. In his introductory lecture, Marc Röggla gave a lecture on the South Tyrolean Convention on Autonomy, which was initiated as a participatory process by the South Tyrolean state parliament in 2016. In the discussion that followed, more was discussed about the European Union's narrative. According to the group, the EU is building new attractive topics with which to reach young people. Above all, the EU should bring people closer together with projects such as Interrail or Erasmus +. The diversity within the European Union should be seen as an opportunity to learn from one another in what is known as best practice sharing. Rainer Weissengruber's third group dealt with cultural heritage. Initially, the term culture was defined as a very broad term that encompasses language, literature, but also architecture. According to the small group, multilingualism should be encouraged, as language skills create absolute added value. On the part of the schools, there is very little sensitivity to European issues, the group criticized. Melanie Plangger informed in her lecture about the European Strategy for the Alpine Space (EUSALP). In conversation with the group it became clear that the EUSALP is relatively unknown in the population and that it mainly operates at the expert level. In order to get involved in the EUSALP, there must be a need for cooperation and a personal connection. The common problems and the common geography are cited as a point of reference. According to the discussion group, the strategy gains legitimacy through the positive output.

With these results, the official program of the first day of the Euregio Academy was concluded. After the delicious dinner, the participants met again in the Augustinisaal, where the Short film "Challenges for the EU before and after the EP election in 2019" was shown. The film served as a casual introduction to the topic of the European elections on the following day. But now it was really time to end the intensive first day of the Euregio Academy in good company - and where could that be better than in the Wolkenstein Lounge? Drinks were provided and so the Euregio Academy participants sat together comfortably with the speakers. Later that evening, the young people drove to their accommodation in the center of Brixen, where they also explored the city's nightlife.

1st stage:
March 29th - 31st, 2019
Pieve Tesino: History, Politics and Law
>> Program

Sunday March 31, 2019

The time change took its toll. Not all participants found enough time to have breakfast that morning, because it started immediately Giancarlo Orsingher, Coordinator of Europe Direct Trentinoto talk about the European Union, how it works and the impact it has on our daily lives. How relevant the EU really is for us becomes clear when you notice that it is estimated that around 70 percent of state laws have been adopted and / or at least influenced by the EU. Orsingher therefore called on young adults to vote in the EU elections on May 26th.

The weather was far too nice to just stay inside the university. Therefore decided Matthias Fink without further ado his presentation "The EGTC European region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino: function, competencies, outlook" to relocate outdoors. During a walk through the village, Fink explained in three stations how the Euregio was founded, what projects there are and how they are implemented and finally how the EGTC works. Fink emphasized that the European region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino should be felt by the citizens but should also be actively lived. Projects like the Euregio Academy are central, according to Fink, because this brings people from the entire European region together, they get an awareness of what cross-border cooperation means and can then convey their experiences to the outside world.

Exercise makes you hungry and so the participants strengthened themselves at lunch before working in discussion groups with participants from the first editions of the Euregio Academy. The aim was, under the guidance of the three graduates of the Euregio Academy Giulia Giuliani, Luca Marconcini and Maria Tischler To formulate proposals for the development of an even stronger cooperation between the communities. In a small group, creative ideas for projects emerged after a short time, which the European region can implement. The participants presented their suggestions in the plenary session. For the first group it is important that the citizens of the European Region know their common history and culture. In order to discover the European region at an early stage, the group therefore suggested introducing a compulsory internship within the Euregio in high school or upper school. Another point was shared public transport and better coordination of cross-border ticket sales. The group is in favor of introducing a common Euregio ticket. As became clear this weekend, people come together through food. The group took this as an opportunity to consider a project where people cook together with local specialties and quality brands and then eat and drink wine together. Such Euregio cooking events are to be held in all three regions. Furthermore, the group can imagine a cross-border master’s degree for students. The three universities of Innsbruck, Bolzano and Trento should join forces starting with an institute or sector based on the model of ‘Eucor - The European Campus‘ and steadily expand their cooperation.

The second group focused on the cultural aspect of the European region. She therefore thought of a cultural festival where music bands and other associations from all parts of Tyrol are represented with information on the European region in all three languages: German, Italian, Ladin. Because languages ​​are so important and they can be learned through play much more easily in childhood, the group suggested a Euregio kindergarten with bilingual or trilingual kindergarten teachers. Outside of school, too, there should be offers - including for adults - to learn the languages. Like the first group, this group is also in favor of introducing a Euregio ticket. Fink informed that a Euregio ticket is already on the agenda, but the implementation is proving to be challenging.

The topic of language competence was also dealt with in the third group. The group members pointed out that many people are excluded from Euregio projects from the outset due to their lack of knowledge of German or Italian or that they therefore do not dare to take part. The group therefore suggested preparing material in the form of handouts or brief information in two languages ​​at Euregio events so that all participants can follow the presentations. If this kind of translation work is guaranteed, more people will take part in Euregio events, the group is convinced. In addition, the European region is to expand its function as a dating agency. What is meant by this is that the Euregio brings associations and other associations together and supports them in cooperation with know-how. Finally, the group underlined that the European region should become more active in its own right. In order to increase the awareness of the Euregio, the Euregio office should intensify its own marketing and communicate successful projects better.

Matthias Fink was enthusiastic about the suggestions and thanked the young people for their active participation in the discussions on this first weekend of the Euregio Academy 2019. Marco Odorizzi, Director of the Alcide De Gasperi Foundation in Trentino, joined in the praise, combined with the hope of hosting the Trentino stage in Pieve Tesiono at the next Euregio Academy in 2021.

The farewell doesn't take long, because the second stage of the Euregio Academy 2019 will take place in the Neustift monastery near Bressanone in four weeks. And anyway, the group has already networked thanks to modern communication, so it certainly doesn't take that long for one or the other to meet in private.

To be continued ... and registrations are still possible at any time at

Saturday 30th March 2019

The first working day started with a welcome from Matthias Fink, whereupon the Documentation "Global Warning" by Ernst Gossner was shown. Gossner is concerned with the question of why and according to which patterns people keep waging war against one another and how these are legitimized. As an example he takes the Alpine War between Austria-Hungary and Italy during the First World War, where he builds a bridge to current war events. In the discussion that followed, the participants underlined how important it is to know one's own story and to recall it over and over again. Because war is not tangible for the younger generations. War is something distant that, thanks to the European Union peace project, is only known from the news. But as memories of the horrors of the world wars with the few people still alive who have witnessed them are gradually dying out, there is a danger of relativizing the war and its effects.

After the coffee break, the focus was on the history of historic Tyrol - today's European region. Lectures focused on "From Tyrol to the Euregio: A History of Minorities" Prof. Giuseppe Ferrandi, Director of the Trentino Historical Museum Foundation, the story from a Trentino perspective (1867-1918) and the emeritus Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rolf Steininger of the University of Innsbruck the story from a Tyrolean and South Tyrolean perspective (1918-1972). Ferrandi showed the situation of the Trentino population as an Italian-speaking minority in the k. u. k. Monarchy on and connected with the problem around the identity-creating language and culture and the efforts made for an autonomy of the Trentino in what was then the Crown Land of Tyrol. Steininger described the difficult process of South Tyrol's autonomy beginning with the rally at Sigmundskron Castle in 1957, through internationalization before the UN, the escalation of violence and the package negotiations up to the dispute settlement between Italy and Austria in 1992.

Following on from the first section, after the lunch break, the complexity of the story was demonstrated using individual concrete examples. Steininger took the person Canon Michael Gamperwho, according to him, is one of the “three great South Tyroleans” alongside Silvius Magnago and Toni Ebner Sen., as a starting point to reflect on the history of South Tyrol from the time of Italianization by the fascists to the First Statute of Autonomy in 1946. At the time of the option, Steininger spanned everything from the expectations of the South Tyroleans to the role of the church and the political negotiations between the dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

The Prince-Bishop Celestino Endrici was another important figure who was particularly committed to Catholic associations, social issues and the press from 1904 onwards. Odorizzi explained how the last prince-bishop of Trento struggled with the opposition between religious and national ideas in the time of fascism and saw himself primarily as a Catholic, which is why he advocated training priests who were able to speak the language of the faithful. As a result, Endrici contributed to the fact that the German language was used in the German-speaking parts of his diocese.

Patrizia Marchesoni, Vice-Director of the Historical Museum Foundation of Trentino, gave an insight into the life of the Marchesa Gemma de Gresti Guerrieri Gonzaga. Gemma Guerrieri Gonzaga, nee de Gresti, was a noblewoman who campaigned during World War I to bring Austrian soldiers who had been captured by Russia into contact with their families and later to bring them back to Italy. Her social commitment was very pronounced; as a result, she also worked with the Red Cross. By introducing these three personalities, the history of historic Tyrol was viewed from different perspectives, which gave the participants a comprehensive look at it.

Now the coffee break came at just the right time. However, the young adults did not have much time, because after the obligatory group photo, the next thematic block was on the program: "Why Europe Region? - Personalities in conversation ". Deputy Governor Mario Tonina In his greetings, underlined the importance of cooperation and invited the participants to get actively involved in the European region beyond the Euregio Academy. Then discussed Paola Borz (TSM-Trento School of Management), Cristina Maymone (University of Trento) and Annapaola Rizzoli (Fondazione Edmund Mach) With Boglarka Fenyvesi-Kiss from the Euregio office above Success factors for cross-border projects. Projects such as the Euregio Master, Fit4Cooperation and the research collaboration between the three universities of Trento, Bozen and Innsbruck were presented. All speakers noted that cross-border cooperation involves a lot of coordination, communication and challenges, but together something innovative and dynamic emerges that brings great added value for everyone involved. Last but not least, you meet interesting people and even close friendships are made.

After this intensive program, the cozy part began in the evening with a delicious dinner. But the mood changed when Marco Odorizzi revealed something "terrible": There was one Murder in the museum! As a young director he cannot afford a scandal - especially not in a small village like Pieve Tesino. So he asked the group toMuseo by Via "to solve the murder as soon as possible. The participants formed smaller groups in order to solve the "murder case" in funny surveys of the employees. Of course, everyone was suspected of murdering poor Sandro, including the director himself. Real Sherlock Holmes weren't among the participants ... Only with a little help and the whole group could the whole group expose Deborah as a murderer. After this shock and because there was still something left of the wine from the previous evening, everyone sat together for a longer time. The right music was also provided this time.

Friday March 29, 2019

Pieve Tesino, a small town east of Trento in the Tesino Valley is hardly one of the tourist hotspots. Nevertheless, interested people from all over the European region went there to find out about the Birthplace of Alcide de Gasperi There was a weekend as part of the Euregio Academy 2019 to deal with the topics of history, politics and law.

Once there, the participants at the Center for Alpine Research of the Tuscia University were welcomed by Marco Odorizzi, Director of the Trentino Foundation ‘Alcide De Gasperi‘, who officially opened the Euregio Academy 2019 together with Matthias Fink from the Euregio office. After dinner there was a visit to the Museum Casa De Gasperi on the program. Under the motto "For three glasses of wine with Alcide De Gasperi" gifts Marco Odorizzi and the Oenologist Tommaso Iori gives young adults an insight into Trentino, which is inextricably linked with the autonomous and EU founding father Alcide De Gasperi and wine culture. In doing so, they drew parallels between the low and high points in De Gasperi's life and local viticulture and wine production. Of course, the wine could also be tasted. With this very interesting combination of history and wine, the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other better in a relaxed atmosphere and to end the evening in a fun group with Italian-Austrian music.