From 12 to 15 June, an international conference "Europe is cool" was organized in by the Association for the Development of Volunteer Work in Novo Mesto within the EU-funded program "Europe for Citizens".
The conference was organized to support and promote basic European values, EU policy and partnerships. Two members of the Triglav Association participated in the conference as representatives of project partners.
On the first day of the conference, after the welcoming words of the organizers, Marina Lukšić Hacin, PhD, from the Slovenian Institute for Migration at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts presented the phenomenon of multiculturalism as active citizenship. Drawing on practical examples and theory, the conference was brought closer to the relationship of the state and society to other cultures. After the lecture, a visit to the intercultural festival was organized as part of the Culture Week, where the participants of the conference attended the performance of African traditional meat by the Sankofa mixed choir.
On the second day of the conference a study visit to Ljubljana was organized. The participants of the conference visited the Association for the Promotion of Volunteer Work "Slovenian Philanthropy", where Primož Jamšek, Coordinator for Field Work and Volunteer Involvement, presented to them the work of the Association and brought them closer to the phenomenon of volunteerism in the modern world. After the "intercultural lunch" prepared for the conference participants by the members of the association and migrants, the conference participants attended the lecture of Jure Gombač, PhD, who presented the results of the project "Migrants as an opportunity for local development". After the lecture, Professor Gombač was a guide through the Trubar Street, which served as an example of symbiosis between the local community and "migrant entrepreneurship". From a formerly dilapidated street, Trubar Street has become a "housewash" and a great example of how, with a little effort and goodwill from both the local community and the non-governmental sector and activists, an abandoned location can be transformed into a potentially cost-effective place to live.
The following day, a series of lectures were organized in Novo Mesto. First, the EU Parliamentarian from Slovenia, Dr Milan Brglez, presented the participants of the conference with the topic of solidarity as a fundamental value of the EU and the role of the EU Parliament in fostering and developing solidarity among European nations. Afterwards, archaeologist and museologist Verena Vidrich Perko, PhD, from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana gave a lecture on the importance of preserving cultural heritage for the future of the EU. Finally, Tomaž Slak, PhD, from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana gave a presentation on the restoration of the main square in Novo Mesto, after which he presented the results of the renovation of the square to the participants of the conference. Leading them through the streets of the old city, across the square to the site of the old bridge, Dr Slak replaced the theory with a practical example and in vivo presented the conference that with good organization, professional guidance and hard work, one city can be reborn and become a desirable place to live and an attractive destination for tourists.
At the end of the conference, the International Fair of Cultures and Culinary Arts was organized on the main square in Novo Mesto, presenting national specialties, presenting cultural and historical heritage and tourist potentials of all participants of the "Culture Week".
With the greetings and wishes for successful work, the hosts and participants of the conference parted on the last day of the conference with the hope of a reunion and further close cooperation.