European Youth Water Parliament, Youth for Water and Democracy in the Europe of Transition
The Parliament was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Swiss Government, and additional assistance by WSSCC, ISW, Municipality of Stara Zagora.
The European Youth Water Parliament, Bulgaria 2003 brought together the efforts of youth, local authority, school authorities and NGOs in the municipality of Stara Zagora on one hand, as well as a number of partners from developed world and European countries in transition on the other, in the process of raising youth leaders’ awareness for the essential need of democratic tools in strategic decision-making in water and sanitation sector. 14 youth delegations (3 kids, 1 adult) - 2 delegations from Bulgaria and 12 delegations from the countries in transition and EU countries - Romania, Macedonia, Bosna and Hertsegovina, Moldova, Chroatia, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Sovakia, Kyrgyzstan, Belgium, Greece gathered in Stara Zagora Spa resort for the Parliament and the Feast from 1 Sep. to 7 Sep. 2003. Experts from Bulgaria, France, Canada, Ecuador and Nigeria also joined to facilitate and support the work of the youth delegates.
A model distance youth leaders’ participatory training program on democratic tools applicable in decision-making in river basin management was implemented as a starting point for ‘learning by doing’ and ‘learning by sharing’ strategy applied via a Snap Shot Survey of river basin management practices. Modern information technologies, as well as exciting competitions were fully utilized to foster collaboration and communication between peers from countries of transition and Western Europe. European youth groups and Bulgarian participants involved in the project met for a European Youth Water Congress and Youth Water Feast to exchange knowledge and plan future collaboration in person.
The results included sophisticated informative regularly maintained WebSite and e-list in Bulgarian, English and French; model training program developed, published and tested in practice; 2 booklets (in Bulgarian, English, French, 500 copies each), 3 posters (500 copies each), 1 video. A number of press conferences added to the sustainability and transparency of the results.
The project made a real step to raise youth awareness for active civil position and participation and foster youth cooperation among youth water groups from countries in transition and Western Europe.
The follow-up processes of the Parliament included participation of delegation of countries in transition in the Youth Water Parliament in Switzerland (2003) and launching of Youth WASH.