2 – 9 May, 2017
Maribor, Ljubljana

The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., the scientific research association for arts, cultural and educational programmes and technology, a social enterprise, is organising a number of events as part of the European Youth Week 2017. The central theme of this year’s celebration is solidarity and social responsibility of young people in Europe. How is this reflected here?

In the context of the Fair Employment project, which focuses on themes such as active citizenship and intercultural cooperation or coexistence, we recognise that the issues are much bigger and broader and related to solidarity. Perhaps the most recent evidence of this is the creation of an initiative by the EU – the European Solidarity Corps. Strangely enough, the EU Commission is trying to tackle the lack of solidarity in the Member States precisely with young people, who feel this negative attitude of people and decision-makers the most, because they are the ones who are facing an unenviable situation that our parents fortunately never felt (perhaps because of a different system).

We are celebrating a week in which young people are supposed to be put on a pedestal, and yet it all has a slightly bitter taste. In fact, the central theme of this year’s celebrations is breaking on the shoulders of young people and is something of an oxymoron. Young people are undoubtedly the most vulnerable group in today’s society and have been for a long time! Either they do not know how to get along or they cannot, so we also see the main problem on the part of young people in the pragmatism of political sub-teams and their members.

We will start the European Youth Week on a symbolic day off work on 2 May, appropriate for the youth situation, with the chant Kombinatk, Le vkup, le vkup poor gmajna.

European Youth Week 2017 programme:

Rally in Romana kafenava “All equal, all equal united for youth rights.
2 May from 11 a.m. to the final drop
Gorkega 34, Maribor

“49,000 young people aged between 15 and 29 lived below the poverty line in Slovenia in 2015.” 76.5% of young people’s first jobs are atypical – i.e. not permanent, full-time. This is the highest share in the EU.”

These are all facts that youth rights activists DJ Ana and DJ Stane, together with you, will try to change with revolutionary songs. Tunes like “Tomorrow we go on the attack”, “Let’s sharpen the cuts”, “Who are these young boys” and others will hopefully revive the long forgotten intergenerational solidarity and activism among young people.

European Youth Week in Brussels
The Future of the EU – Youth Strategy Conference
2 – 6 May
Brussels, Belgium

The President of the Association EPEKA, a social enterprise, will take part in the Youth Strategy Conference.

World Press Freedom Day and Turkey Book Launch
3 May at 6 p.m.
European House Ljubljana, Dunajska 20, Ljubljana

On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day is commemorated following a decision of the United Nations Assembly. In a democratic world, journalism used to be considered as the fourth branch of government. With the rise of the internet, fake news and ownership linked to power and capital, this too has come to an end. In Turkey, the number of imprisoned journalists has increased by a full 22% and currently stands at over 300. The World Press Freedom Day event will also include the launch of Dr Bogomil Ferfile’s new book Turkey. The presentation will be followed by a discussion with Branko Soban, a journalist from the Dela foreign correspondence.

Visit of the EU National Agency for the Erasmus+ Youth Programme
4 May at 11:00
The EPEKA Association, Soc. Ent., Koroška 8, Maribor

Maribor’s youth field is very diverse. The fact is that young people with fewer opportunities are not actively involved as promoters or implementers of Erasmus+ K1 events. Solidarity and social responsibility of young people also means that we try to help in solidarity young people and organisations coming from backgrounds where the necessary competences to apply for the call for proposals are insufficient. To this end, on this day we will meet with experts from the National Agency to answer, among other things, the question of whether solidarity can also be taken into account in the evaluation process or whether positive discrimination can be applied.

Noon tea on the situation of youth
4 May at 12 noon
The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., Koroška 8, Maribor

Despite being an unexplored area, it is safe to say that the economic crisis has cut deepest into the field of youth. Throughout the whole process, decision-makers did not adequately warn about this problem and consequently did not address it. Now the road to improving the situation is very difficult and needs the cooperation of all stakeholders. The solution in disguise is being implemented in a negative way and is leading to a catastrophe, which can be seen in the emigration of young people, especially highly educated young people, which is leading to a new problem that will be felt even more in the future.

“In the youth sector, there is a lack of cooperation between stakeholders in the pursuit of the public interest, especially between the national and municipal levels. The Council of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do not adequately perform the task of coordinator of youth policy between the national and local levels, and the coordinator of youth policy at the local level is not provided for in the regulations. In 2014 and 2015, the monitoring of youth policy was deficient at national level and non-existent at local level. In 2014 and 2015, the implementation of youth policy was also not adequately reported.”

We will discuss all this with invited representatives – Janez Škulj (MOVIT Institute), Tibor Vöröš (Youth Council of Slovenia) and Saša Pelko, Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Maribor. You are also invited to co-create the event.

Janez Škulj: History and development of youth work in Slovenia
4 May at 6 pm
Salon of Applied Arts, Glavni trg 1, Maribor

In the framework of the European Youth Week 2017, we are going to look back in time. We will take a look back at the history of youth work with an expert who has been involved in the field all his life. Last year, he published a publication, which we will present in more detail.

The past is not something that is often mentioned in youth work. Yet much of what is a reality in Slovenian youth work today has its roots in the past. In the publication “Contributions to the history of the development of the youth sector in Slovenia”, we have taken a short walk through the past from the end of World War I until 2013. In it, you will learn a little bit about the beginning of the Slovenian Scout organisation in 1922, but also about how youth associations were part of the instrumentarium in society to achieve political goals. And not only in the post-1945 period – large youth organisations also played an important role in King Alexander’s plans to “establish” a Yugoslav identity. Of course, all the lefts of the Union of Socialist Youth are also described, and a comparison is also made with youth organisation in some other socialist countries. Youth labour actions are not forgotten either.

But most of what is written is about the period around 1990. Then and a year later, the foundations of the youth sector were laid which still stand today. All of this is rounded off with a personal view from the author, who also notes that we are – according to the results of our development so far – a special case.

The future of the EU and Slovenia in it
4 May at 8 p.m.
Salon of Applied Arts, Glavni trg 1, Maribor

The European Union is at a crossroads. The exit of the UK, the conflict in Ukraine, the cold relations with Turkey are just some of the external factors weakening the EU’s position. But deeper still are the internal problems of values, the remoteness of Brussels’ actions for citizens and, indeed, the lack of understanding of the benefits of the community for all of us. How to encourage community, cooperation, pursuit of common goals and creating a better future together, we will discuss with Mr Janez Škul, an expert in youth work, EU policies and non-formal education.

War and the WWW – Kurds in Syria and online networks

5 May at 19.00
EPEKA Gallery, Koroška 8, 2000 Maribor

You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition project “War and WWW: Kurds in Syria and Online Networks”, which will take place on Friday, 5 May 2017, at 7 pm at the EPEKA Gallery, Koroška cesta 8, Maribor.

The War and WWW project is a project of online representations of war, more specifically about the ongoing war in Syria and the Kurdish factions involved in the fighting. When searching for material, the creators of the exhibition mainly used the search words Rojava, YPG, YPJ and PYD, which refer to the Kurdish area, as well as the acronyms of the largest Kurdish political and military factions in Syria. The exhibition is the result of letting the web connect, relate, intertwine and weave information. Above all, this exhibition is limited to material produced by representatives of Kurdish factions in Syria and published on social networks and official websites. This is an exhibition about the realism of representation in the age of social networking sites.

The exhibition will be on display until 9 June 2017.

Curatorial team.

In its original form, the exhibition was prepared and presented in the framework of the festival “Tolstoy, Seeker of Truth” produced by Cankarjev dom, 11 January – 3 March 2017).


Ederlezi – Yurving or Đurđev Day
7 May from 12 noon onwards
Romani kafenava, Gorkega 34, Maribor

Ederlezi is the biggest Romani festival celebrating spring. Youth, spring and the awakening of nature have a distinct meaning in the pagan community as well as among the Roma. Youth is madness, they say, but in reality it is the most beautiful time of human life. It is our responsibility to ensure that it remains so. Roma will remind us of the moments that we have unfortunately already forgotten. DJ Zeki will play Roma rhythms.

Turkey book launch
8 May at 6 pm
The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., Koroška 8, Maribor

Presentation of Bogomir Ferfil’s book Turkey in Maribor. The event will be moderated by Boris Jaušovec.

9 May
Economic Exhibition Centre, Ljubljana

The Association EPEKA, a social enterprise, will take part in the Mladifestival. The aim of the event is to bring together all the key actors of the youth sector in one place to promote youth work and its impact, the importance of non-formal learning and to stimulate debate with young people and youth work actors on the future of Europe. To this end, we have joined Movit, the Slovenian Youth Office, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Representation of the European Commission in Slovenia, the Slovenian Government Communication Office, the Slovenian Youth Council, the Youth Plus Syndicate and the MaMa Network. The Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., will participate by presenting its Active Citizenship for Youth project, which is part of the Youth Guarantee scheme, at the Open Space with Socially Responsible Employment or Fair Employment.

Party for Peace or Party4peace at KMŠ Klub
9 May at 10 p.m. to ultimate peace and freedom
KMŠ Club

A real Styrian gag ends either under the bar or at the police station. Not this time. Young and not so young will come together at the Party for Peace. We hope it will last as long as there are young people.

This investment is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Social Fund.

The youth programme of the Association EPEKA, Soc. Ent., is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport – Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth.
The content of this publication reflects the views only of the author. The National Agency and the European Commission are not responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.