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FORS Montenegro team
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As the young are a primary group that will benefit the most from the process of European integration, a large part of the project "Let Me Tell You Something about the EU" was concerned with their education about this topic. One of the most interesting activities carried out within the project was a literary competition for high school students on the topic "What the EU means to me". This activity was organized in cooperation with school managements in target municipalities and teachers of mother tongue and literature. The Committee for selection of the best works consisted of a representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro and mother tongue and literature teacher.
The First place was won by Ljeposava Durkovic, a student from High school "17 September" from Zabljak. The second place went to Martina Lutovac, a student from High school "Panto Mališic" from Berane, while the third place was won by Angela Petrovic, a student from High school "Beco Basic" from Plav. The winners got valuable prizes: laptop computer, digital camera and printer.
First place - What the EU means for me
What does the European Union mean to me? I assume that everyone will understand this question in their own way, adapt it to their lifestyle and try to include it in its ideal of everyday life. Maybe the European Union should mean exactly that: an ideal, a symbol of everyday life. In my opinion it is just an abstract concept.
The European Union as a topic is represented in the media and in life in general. They represent it as a unique and supranational union of European states. We are its subjects, the elements of a whole. That's why its quality and results achieved in practice depend on us. For example, the European Union promotes freedom, equality... Actually that is what we should be learning, learning to accept differences and not as flaws, but as our reflection in different mirrors.
Consider it this way: we all breathe the same air, we see the same world but we have different points of view. We sail through the same waters, but we swim everyone in their own way. This is actually what the European Union is: a tripod standing on freedom, equality and democracy. On this basis new things will develop and so on. No tree has grown just like that. It needed sun, water and above all time. And a long time! European Union needs us as individuals, as holders of these fundamental instruments and changes. We need to expand our horizons, to reach out across borders, to stop being so limited. I think that the European Union could provide that to us.
Maybe it's just my desire for a change since we have been standing still for so long. Perhaps this could be one if not two steps ahead for us. I do not know what in particular this community could offer us. However, in today's times when you just hear about the wars, the use of chemical weapons, the daily suffering of the innocent, it is pleasant to know that somewhere there is something opposite to all that. It all comes down to our choices, our decisions. And maybe we are not even influenced by this.
Thank God, we are not close to these wars. If we are safe today, does this mean that we will be safe in the future? Who can guarantee that our children will live in a peaceful environment? No one, but it's nice to know that members of the community that bases even its simplest views on peace, still exist somewhere. I do not think that the Union can protect us from that, but I think that the environment, in general, would have a new emphasis and some other values that are currently synonymous with something very far away, like they do not belong to our time, could be adopted. Today situation is like this, but tomorrow it might be different. We will not look at the future indifferently, we have the ability to create it, to be its makers to the extent that we as individuals are enabled to do so.
As a state and as a nation we are proud of our past. We are proud of the wars that we had to fight for freedom, we are proud of our heroes, famous battles that our ancestors fought for us, for freedom. It's all ours, our pride and our blood, and others need to know that. They need to know that we rose from the ashes, in order to have an opportunity to open ourselves to the world. Maybe these are just my childish fantasies, my attempts to break the discontent, to color the world as I see it. I choose to believe. I believe in the smile that will come when the weapons fall, I believe in the embrace of different ones, I believe in the idea of a union...
High School "17 September"
Second place - What the EU means to me
At a time when my country, Montenegro, makes important steps on a European road, I think about what actually the European Union means to me, what will change and what new opportunities will open in my life. To me and my generation an answer to this question is very important, because the most important period of our lives will be linked to what will follow after joining the European Union.
The European Union at the moment for me, being 15 years old, means good opportunities for further, modern education, for safer future. Of course I believe that the educational system in my country is good and I think that students have the opportunities to acquire high quality education, and in recent years applicable knowledge, since considerable attention is paid to new methods of work. Studying foreign languages at school is very well organized so that all students who understand their significance leave school with excellent knowledge of two important European languages. I know that experts of international reputation descended from my school and in it acquired high quality knowledge. It is in that sense I'm talking about my vision of the importance of the European Union. I just want me and my peers not to think about whether we will be granted a trip to Europe, whether our education system will correspond to European educational institutions if we wish to continue our studies elsewhere, where we believe that we will be provided with the best opportunities. My school became a partner of a school in Germany a few years ago and established a programme of student exchange. I have met students from Hamburg in my city and found them to be very interesting. I also heard about the impressions that my peers acquired when they were in their country. That's why I know that my school and the education that I get is not something that I should be dissatisfied with. On the contrary.
However, I believe that the European Union will open up some new roads for all of us, because accountability, organized system of institutions, respect for human rights - that is what should be a priority objective of my country in the future. But I would not want for life in the European Union to change the spirit that characterizes the people who live in my country. I would not want the parents to have little time for their children, to meet with my friends on rare occasions, that emotions and positive relationships between people, willingness to help others - to all fade away, and that the limited regulations occupy the main place in our lives. I'm sure that this depends on people and that my country with all the best features shall be and remain in the future, in the company of European countries.
This is the European Union as I see it in one part of it, the European Union which allows free communication, student exchanges, good chances for further education and as such can count on my support and that my peers.
High School "Panto Mališic", Berane
Third place - What the EU means to me
The European Union is a safe haven in which, until we anchor, we need to go through smaller and larger waves to see the sunny side of the world. Benefit from European Union can be seen at every turn. Going through our Montenegro you can see many posters advertising projects funded by the EU. The EU unselfishly assists us in the implementation of these projects, which are of great social importance both for small and larger communities, and thus we receive a message of solidarity and humanity.
As our protector, it defends our rights and improves our lives. When I say "our" I mean specifically to our youth, who often remain neglected, and our knowledge is not valued as much as we deserve. The Union deals with the improvement of our lives, gives us a great number of benefits to suit everyone.
Education that the European Union will give us will be at a high level. In the EU only thing evaluated will be knowledge and hard work, just as our school motto states "KNOWLEDGE IS POWER". By creating new work conditions we'll go forward, as responsible, knowledgeable citizens, ready to move on in life. Inspired by the vision, full of ambition, we'll go forward together, strong, as one force, creating a better world for all of us, a world where we will all be equal and united, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity and other factors, which would, otherwise, divide us.
Peace and stability are another important fact that is clearly and unequivocally one of the key segments of the EU, on which it is based, and accordingly enacted many laws that govern the area for the entire European Union on, with the duty to help each other, which flows additional level of security to the citizens of the European Union. What I particularly like is that the EU as a multinational and multicultural society allocates significant funds earmarked for the fostering of traditions, culture and language and the preservation of national identity. It is important that we all speak the language we know and that we can understand each other.
As the largest regional organization in the world it will create for us the conditions for better economic life, the progress of education in which we will be able to demonstrate our knowledge in any country, no matter from which country we come from and where we were educated. Everyone will be evaluated on their knowledge, and for us young people it is a great opportunity to demonstrate the progress through our work that will pay off. Therefore, we all, especially us young people, should hope and do everything in our power to be part of the EU, which opens the door to all that is progressive and prosperous in life.
I hope that we will be the next country to join a large, orderly, and harmonious family with equal rights for all who live in it, regardless of the differences that exist in each family. With this accession we will have the opportunity to visit all the countries in the region, and meet their people, culture, customs, language... My greatest wish of all would be to find a job without any problems and prejudices in any of these countries that I plan to visit.
High School "Beco Bašic" Plav