“Youth Parliament: An Alliance for Engagement” is a project of participatory democracy that we have developed since the Asociación Melillense de Estudiantes Universitarios (AMEU) in 2011 and early 2012, with the support of the “Youth in Action” of the European Union and the Youth Institute.
The Youth Institute and the Government of Spain again believed in us, support us, recognize our work and encourage us to follow and work. So thanks to them, the illusion that we transmit and by the grant of 25,000 euros were granted for this project, we carry out in order to find solutions to major problems of youth in Melillacitizen participation.
It is also important to note that if not for the great collaboration that gave us Jesus Garcia and Javier Mateos (Viceconsejerías responsible for Youth and Tourism), go ahead with this project would have been infinitely more stressful than it has been, what publicly thank the personal and political commitment being offered to celebrate the international meeting in Melilla developed under this project.
Since our Association, in our more than seven-year history, we have a very broad and diverse work in different areas such as education, culture, art, entertainment or education, among many others.
This broad line of work we developed, is because we are passionate about the challenges we enjoy doing new and different projects and initiatives, activities that we believe are necessary to help achieve among all a better Melilla deficit and increase our chances of youth, especially abandoned in Melilla.
From the first day we became, if anything we have been characterized from the Association MVA, is to expose and fight the injustices we see around us, as well as proposals that we believe can make a city of Melilla progress and freedom .
And that is why we have made this exciting project, highly novel and innovative in the context of Melilla, which felt it was absolutely necessary for our city.
Has long been denouncing the low levels of participation and the limited involvement of society in the exciting task Melilla should represent the modern building and exemplary Melilla we all desire.
The youth of our city, the vast majority, remain oblivious to the search for solutions to our problems, because they lack the motivation and enthusiasm necessary to do so. We are tired of this situation we suffer and we are not willing to be complicit.
Therefore, against prevailing policies in Melilla, leading to generate passive and submissive citizens, to remain beyond our sad reality, or against the attitude of certain countrymen, when they decide to speak out, do solely burning containers, we work to ensure that citizens Melilla become critical, participative and worry about everything that happens in our environment.
We believe in democracy, we believe in participation and we are convinced that we must care Melilla our city, our present and future. And that’s why we have developed “Youth Parliament: An Alliance for Engagement”, a youth participation project that we have led from MVA and which we believe was necessary to meet the challenges of present and future of young people and Melilla Europeans.
Youth Parliament is an initiative that sought to mainstream youth in local, regional, national and European, through the creation of a body in which we participate to share the vision we have of our socio-political environments, raisingproblems that affect us and the proposed improvements to help us solve them. To do this, we have the support of 16 other Spanish and European youth organizations.
Moreover, our key regional city, this project represents a dream that we have spent many years longing to MVA, which is nothing more than promote meaningful participation of young Melilla in the mechanisms of representative democracy, and facilitating dialogue between young people and those responsible for public authorities at all levels, especially in the Autonomous City of Melilla.
To do this, we believe, first, it is essential to create the organizational infrastructure necessary to form the basis for coordination and dialogue among youth of our city, because the existing organs, theoretically exist today, have for years without being summoned, being more than dead and buried.
They are 2 bodies of youth participation at our disposal in Melilla. The first is the Youth Sector Council, which consists of the Autonomous City and various youth associations, and the second is the Youth Council of Melilla, which is completely independent of the City and consists of more than one half of associations.
The Sectoral Council on Youth, which was established in 1998, and whose regulation provides in Article 9, which is “held regular meeting every two months”, ie the regulation states that will be held 2 meetings each month, but However not held any meetings since 2006.
The Government of the Autonomous City has convened more than 100 Sector Council meetings which tended to be called, that is, has stolen the young Melilla our right to participate in the “highest organ of participation, consultation and advice “which aims to” harness the participation of different social sectors concerned and the administration, programming and implementation of youth policy of the Autonomous City of Melilla. ”
The Youth Council, established in 1999, during the first 5 years worked pretty well. It was a time of “peace and harmony” in which member associations and the youths of political parties work together for the youth of Melilla. But in 2004 the Autonomous City through New Generations of the People’s Party, organized the “assault” to the Council and “killed” because they did not come to hold any meeting since 2006, and elected officials in 2004 seized upon power, despite having years and years have expired their mandates and much older of the law and statutes of the Council allowed.
As we see, in Melilla, at least theoretically, have been and are the channels and organs of youth participation appropriate and necessary, but non-existent in practice because of the “kidnapping democracy” that they have had on the City and the ruling party in the City .
It was therefore decided that from MVA rebel, and that we demanded that the rights that we met and we have, for which we partner with our European partners to address the democratic deficit that young people were suffering in our city of Melilla, as well as to create a network of participation at European level towards closer cooperation and transnational participation.
Consequently, we propose conducting Youth Parliament, and have led the following activities undertaken under this project.
DISSEMINATION IN THE MEDIA:
From the Association, we have made great efforts to make this project has a great media coverage, in order to make known to the public Melilla deficits and problems that we suffer the youth of our city.
We managed to expose them, and returned to our countrymen our proposals to combat and resolve, through newspapers, magazines, radio, television and digital media Melilla.
Apart from news, features and interviews published and broadcast, include the special program held in Cablemel TV on the occasion of the celebration of the International Meeting, which was held a debate between four of the participants and experts.
INTERNATIONAL MEETING HELD IN MELILLA:
This took place between 15 and 21 June. It had a very broad planning activities and was attended by fifty young people and experts from Portugal, Italy, Romania and five Spanish regions.
During these days, we were knowing and analyzing the reality of the participating countries and regions, paying special attention to the host city, Melilla. We perform many work sessions and visits, in order to delve into the problems and possible solutions, in addition to the specific needs of youth in different localities.All this done from a local perspective, while overall perspective the framework of the denominator that unites us: the European Union.
Following are the main activities during the days when international meeting was held in:
Among these, it is noteworthy that, first, we made personal appearances by participants and experts, to let us know among ourselves, and also made presentations of each of the Associations and Institutions involved, to learn aboutthe work each performed, and thus foster the emergence of future networking projects.
Once we met all the participants, experts and institutions, we proceeded to the specific working sessions. To do this, we start analyzing the reality of youth and youth policy in each of the regions and countries involved, with particular attention to the problems identified, to try to find a solution among all, and to highlight the successes of the measures and programs carried out successfully … with the aim of learning from mistakes and learn from the successes.
The working sessions were conducted 12 in all and focused on the following topics:
- Personal introductions of participants and experts.
- Presentation of Associations and Institutions involved.
- Analysis of the youth situation in each participating country and region, and subsequent exposure.
- Exposure of the youth situation in Melilla, and subsequent joint work session between all participants.
- Creating a Body-specific YPP Melilla.
- Creating a Youth Participation Forum Participants between the entities.
- Project Presentation Young Victoria, which is the proposal for the creation of a large complex Youth in Melilla. Then we broke into working groups by place of origin, and then proceeded to the presentation of ideas and proposals to enhance the project.
- Youth Emancipation.
- Social exclusion.
- The role of Vocational and Non-Formal Education.
- “Youth in Action” of the European Union.
- Development of conclusions.
Working visits we made, there were at different places and institutions very different from each other. We went Wing Assembly of Melilla, where we received the Vice President of the same, Cristina Rivas. We also went to the Foundation Monumental Melilla, where we work and support the work being done by the President to get Melilla declared a World Heritage Site.
We drove to see the local “moribund” Youth Council of Melilla, to enable participants to see first hand the reality on the ground of this body of youth participation. And so we to show the fiberglass cows decorated by the Melilla, which are found throughout Melilla, in order to further publicize this successful and emblematic project developed by the Association MVA a year earlier.
Another place we visited was the Great Victoria Strong, Girl and the Rosary, to work later in the other project of the Association MVA is being supported by the Youth in Action: Victoria Young. This is a very ambitious proposal to rehabilitate the said Strong, as well as its surroundings, so below are the location for the Youth Entertainment Complex that we believe Melilla need, and should revolve around art, culture and training .
We also visited the suburb of “La Cañada”, which is the most disadvantaged of Melilla, because we believe that to know the city well and work effectively in solving their problems, you need to know all the facts and not just your face nice.For the same reason we went to Nador, Morocco neighboring city located just 16 kilometers from Melilla, so present in the daily life of the Autonomous City and influences so that it was imperative to know to understand the reality of Melilla.
Finally, note that the meeting’s participants had the chance to take the “Route of the Temples”, which allowed them to learn more about the remarkable multicultural nature of the Autonomous City, thanks to the visit made to one of the Mosques , Synagogue and Churches we have in Melilla.
TRAVEL AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES:
Apart from all these visits work just described, participants of International Meeting could also make tourist view “Melilla la Vieja”, the “Center Modernist” of Melilla and the Moroccan town of Saidia and Melilla on the go Tourist Train.
INVASION OF LOCAL YOUTH COUNCIL:
The neglect of the local Council determined it could be the 50 international participants of the meeting we held in Melilla a month earlier, in mid-June, and they could see first hand that had become basically a warehouse rather than at the headquarters of an organ of involvement.
Absolutely all participating entities, the 17, conceived as incomprehensible that we had to Melilla associations do our work without a building, when we had a loan from the city for that purpose.
Consequently, a decision which was adopted unanimously at the meeting was that MVA, along with other associations that were concerned, was entitled, and encouraged him to do, to use the premises of the entity of which were and we are a full member.
After completion of the meeting, communicate this decision to the Deputy Minister of Youth Melilla, Jesus Garcia, who knew our decision to use a proper installation, before which we were told that as long as they respected would produce after holding regional elections and had formed the new government of the City, which we respect from MVA.
In mid July, once past the election and formed the new local executive from Melilla Association of University Students, along with 2 other associations of the city, proceeded to “invade” the headquarters of the Youth Council Melilla as a temporary solution to the neglect suffered by the main local authority youth participation Melilla, which was three years without even opening their doors.
In this symbolic invasion, we do to announce to the public that local operating again be officially open to all young Melilla, was truncated at 24 hours, as the new Deputy Minister of Youth, appointed just days before changed the locks to the premises and prevented us from re-entering the premises of the Council.
Faced with a public commitment to the Deputy Minister that it would seek a solution to the problems of the Council MVA accepted his decision and trust His promise, but unfortunately deceived us and we believed.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN MADEIRA:
During the work sessions conducted at the international meeting held in Melilla we focus particularly on all matters relating to youth participation, but we understood it would have been interesting to have paid more attention to rising unemployment in our Europe “in crisis”.
And it was why the two associations came to Melilla from Madeira, plus Ceuta associations and self-MVA, we propose to the Portuguese National Agency Youth in Action Programme the implementation of a new project on youth unemployment.
The result was that eight young people from Melilla and Ceuta other 8, we moved in late September to Madeira to work with 16 other young people of the islands in the project “Fight Inovação and empreendedorismo not Desemprego Jovem year” to seek solutions to the economic crisis in which we find ourselves and particularly to discuss about the high levels of unemployment in our society and that young people suffer in alarming rates.
We are in a global world, with common problems, to which we must seek solutions together. We can not take our word for navel of the world, the time to think about localism and passed into history, so that different countries and regions are obliged to work together.
Therefore, we believe it is very important that young people work together, and even more important that politicians listen to our demands and proposals, so we are very pleased to be able to participate in this meeting held in Madeira, in which major participating Portuguese politicians with a commitment to give voice to young people.
We hope that the ideas and emergency measures that the 32 young participants proposed, contribute to reducing the high unemployment levels currently produced in Europe, a situation we thought and we believe highly serious and worrying.
Since MVA applaud the Portuguese, its political class, because they listen to us and take note of our proposals. Our great hope is that public authorities in Melilla begin to more vigorously implement this type of democratic activities.
PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF A “YOUTH COMPREHENSIVE PLAN”:
In late November 2011 from the Association of University Students Melilla presented to the Deputy Ministry of Youth of the Autonomous City of Melilla up a set of recommendations for the development of a “Comprehensive Plan for Youth in Melilla.”
The 10 proposals were presented here is based on the conclusions drawn from the conclusion of the developed international meeting last June in Melilla in the framework of the “Youth Parliament: An Alliance for Participation”.
Thus, to make delivery of this document to the Autonomous City, we meet our moral obligation, with the hope that our proposals and recommendations are taken into consideration for the good of the youth of our city, and we shall not lose never hope that our local government as their own and assume them to contribute to the development and welfare of society in Melilla, and youth in particular.
REVIVAL “DEMOCRATIC COUNCIL”
In late July from MVA met with the new Director of Development, Youth and Sport, and the Deputy Minister of Youth. At this meeting we were promised during the summer would make a round of contacts with all youth organizations in the City to see if they wanted to reactivate the Youth Council and that if most of these so reclamase, the autonomous city would support it. We were promised that by the end of September would have an answer.
In early October due to the lack of news of the Director and the Deputy Minister, we try to answer based on the commitment they made with us, but did not get any reply. In this situation, we contacted the President of the Youth Council of Spain, informing him of the issues surrounding the Council in Melilla, and advise us on possible solutions that might have to end the “death” who suffered from this organ in Melilla.
After our meeting at the headquarters of the ECJ in Madrid in early November, Ricardo Ibarra advised us reactiváramos the Council, as this was the only way for young Melilla recuperáramos “voice” in Madrid, so we got down to work.
We went to the Register of Associations of the Government Delegation in Melilla to provide us with copies of the Constitution of the Council, and as we got it and found that the Association members had the power to convene a General Assembly of the Council convened a meeting of the Council held on January 3, 2012.
During the 15 that passed between the calling and holding of the Assembly, were working with advice from the ECJ to help us solve the “disaster” in which law was the Council, and by meeting daily with all the member associations to explain the situation and encourage them to bring actions in which the Assembly had to decide if we wanted to dissolve the Council, or if we wanted to reactivate it and choose a new board to put order in the internal situation suffered miserably for years .
The result was that on January 3 first round was held in the Assembly of the Council which was attended by 10 of the 16 member associations, and that seven of the ten attended openly supported the revival of the Council, including form one unit executive to address the many legal and financial irregularities that we have been denounced for years MVA. MVA President assumed the positions of Secretary and Treasurer in the new Executive.
Finally, from January 3, 2012, we can say that young Melilla have “recovered” our body of youth participation, which we had been “stolen” five years earlier.
COMPLAINT TO THE OMBUDSMAN AND THE COURTS OF JUSTICE:
On 10 January, the refusal of the Deputy Minister of Youth to allow people who make up the new Executive Council to enter the local Youth Council to collect all the documentation is in the same, and to the extensive evidence gathered that pointed to the existence of an alleged corruption scheme orchestrated by former Council executive Melilla Youth and the City, presented a complaint before the courts in Melilla.
Moreover, since mid-November 2011, before the letter presented to the Ombudsman, this institution is investigating possible crimes that have been undertaken around all that we have reported.
Time and justice and tell you if our suspicions are confirmed.