December 2023 – December 2025
Student Campus, Ljubljana, Slovenia

EPEKA Slovenia is a partner in the digitalVScorrupt project. It is a 30-month project coordinated by EPEKA Montenegro, which will run from 1 December 2023 to 1 December 2025, starting in Slovenia with a preparatory meeting from 31 January to 3 February 2024.

Corruption is a widespread problem that undermines the foundations of democratic societies, impedes economic progress and destabilises governments. In this context, the Western Balkans are particularly affected and our project aims to tackle corruption in the region by strengthening the EU’s core values and bringing the WB closer to EU standards.

The objectives of the DigitalVScorrupt project are multifaceted and aim to promote cross-sectoral cooperation to facilitate informal learning, strengthen organisational capacity to use ICT to detect corruption and promote EU values. In addition, the project seeks to establish a dialogue with policy makers on the dangers of corruption, thus safeguarding the stability and security of the EU.

The planned activities are wide-ranging and include meetings, trainings, cross-border activities, youth exchanges and conferences, involving 900 individuals from 13 countries. The expected outcomes include the training of 75 youth workers on anti-corruption practices, the active participation of 59 individuals in youth exchanges, the involvement of 240 participants in national cross-border activities and the participation of more than 150 participants in conferences.

The project will have a wide-ranging impact, using training materials, tools and videos to disseminate knowledge and strategies to fight corruption.

The DigitalVScorrupt project is aligned with the European Commission’s priorities, which are in line with the objectives of the Lisbon Treaty and the current 2019-2024 agenda. The project comes at a time when the EU is investing heavily in the WB, as evidenced by the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana in December 2022, which highlighted a nearly €30 billion economic and investment plan for the region.

Against the backdrop of the energy crisis, the EU is working to improve the quality of life in the Balkans. Non-formal education, a cornerstone of the DigitalVScorrupt project, is key to this effort, as it seeks to instil the EU’s core values and the rule of law. Digital tools such as the ERAR public remittance monitoring system developed by the Jožef Stefan Institute will play a key role in preventing corruption.

DigitalVScorrupt is an extension of a previous successful Erasmus+ project and builds on a history of more than 2000 young people being involved in non-formal education on corruption. The project is based on cross-sectoral cooperation, involving long-term and new partners from different sectors and backgrounds, ensuring a broad and inclusive approach.

The project partnership is designed to reflect inclusiveness and diversity and includes organisations representing LGBTQ communities and Roma networks to ensure that the consortium represents a broad spectrum of society.

The DigitalVScorrupt project is a comprehensive initiative targeting the endemic issue of corruption through educational and digital means, with a strong focus on youth inclusion, cross-sectoral cooperation and the promotion of EU values. Its strategic approach to non-formal education and digital surveillance makes it a pioneering project in the fight against corruption, aiming to create more transparent, democratic and just societies in the EU and the WB.

General objectives and specific aims of the “DigitalVScorrupt” project: which aims to protect and promote the European way of life by upholding EU values and fighting corruption, which is recognised as a serious threat to the rule of law in the EU and beyond. The scope of the project has been broadened to cover a wider range of activities and to include a wider audience, including vulnerable groups, in non-formal education programmes. The aim is to improve the quality of life of Europeans by using youth work, non-formal learning and digital tools in the fight against corruption.

Although not directly mentioned in the Erasmus+ Guide, the project recognises that corruption is a pervasive concern, as confirmed by Eurobarometer surveys showing that a large majority of EU citizens consider corruption to be widespread and are pessimistic about the effectiveness of national anti-corruption measures, a perception that has been further exacerbated by the recent corruption scandals involving Members of the European Parliament.

A report by Transparency International gives unfavourable corruption ratings to several countries in the Western Balkans and underlines the urgent need for intervention in these regions.

The needs of different stakeholders, including youth workers and young people in the EU and the WB, organisations working with young people and young people themselves, were methodically taken into account in the design of the project. These needs range from acquiring competences and tools to fight corruption, expanding professional networks and developing new approaches to tackling corruption. The aim is to build strong networks between the EU and the CB, share good practices and use ICT tools to monitor public spending.

In addition, the project aims to increase the capacity of organisations serving young people, especially those facing challenges, through non-formal learning and mobility programmes. This is to ensure young people’s active participation in society and to recognise the benefits of EU accession.

To achieve these objectives, the project has outlined a series of activities including meetings, training courses, workshops, the production of educational videos and the development of toolkits and manuals. The activities are designed to cover different aspects of corruption, for example in public institutions and businesses, and the protection of whistleblowers.

The project also seeks to strengthen the rule of law and uphold EU values through education, digital innovation and cross-sectoral cooperation. The aim is not only to educate and inform, but also to actively involve a broad spectrum of society in the fight against corruption, thereby promoting a more inclusive, transparent and accountable European future.

The project takes into account current challenges such as the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine. Recent incidents in the EU Parliament and issues such as controversial construction practices in Turkey after the earthquake have spurred the network into action and demonstrated how widespread the impact of corruption is.

The consortium is characterised by its diversity, involving a range of European partners. The project is seen as a living embodiment of EU values, building on the foundations of previous collaborations and Erasmus+ standards. Partners from different sectors are united by common objectives to uphold the rule of law and the EU’s core values.

The project is designed to maximise visibility and impact in the EU and the WB.

It integrates the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027, the European Youth Goals and the Youth Dialogue

Extensive details offer a deeper insight into the wide-ranging efforts of the DigitalVScorrupt project. The project’s activities are carefully designed to address different aspects of corruption and its impact on society, with a particular focus on youth empowerment and the use of digital tools for transparency and accountability.

DigitalVScorrupt is based on non-formal learning methods, participatory approaches and cross-sectoral cooperation. It strongly emphasises the rule of law, EU values and the fight against corruption through education, digital transparency and empowering young people and business leaders. Long-term results are expected, and the project’s resources and tools will be freely available for wide use, ensuring a lasting impact. The project includes theoretical and practical training with a focus on corruption in the private sector and whistleblower protection. Youth workers will gain competences through workshops, field visits and public events. Discussions will take place on the Open Governance Initiative and its application in the youth sector. A public art intervention will address corruption and empower youth workers on the ground. The ICT programme will show how technology can protect and support whistleblowers.

Key outputs of the DigitalVScorrupt project are manuals and tools for working with young people. These resources are intended to inspire youth workers and the general public to take action against corruption. They serve as open platforms for reporting corrupt activities, embodying the project’s commitment to engaging change-makers in society.

Partners:

  1. EPEKA Scientific Research Association for Arts, Culture and Educational Programmes and Technology, Montenegro
  2. EPEKA Scientific Research Association for Arts, Culture and Educational Programmes and Technology, Serbia
  3. EPEKA Scientific Research Association for Arts, Culture and Educational Programmes and Technology, Social Enterprise, Slovenia
  4. UDRUZENJE AKUSTIKUM
  5. EPEKA BERLIN EV
  6. QENDRA OPEN DOORS, Albania
  7. FUNDACJA EUROPEJSKI INSTYTUT OUTSOURCINGU
  8. CENTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING PRIZREN
  9. TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL Iceland
  10. INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED RESEARCH FOR BUSSINESS
  11. PHIREN AMENCA INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
  12. LYKIA IZCILIK VE DOGA SPORLARI KULUBU DERNEGI
  13. ARCIGAY APS
  14. Skupnost Občin Slovenije
  15. Institut Jožef Stefan

The project is funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.

More information at www.epeka.si and epeka@epeka.si.

Gallery
– kick off meeting: 31 January  – 3 February 2024, Ljubljana