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WOMEN’S CIRCLE FOR EUROPEAN FRIENDSHIP

FRASCATI CONGRESS – 20 – 24 SEPTEMBER 2010

ITALIAN SPEAKING ROUND-TABLE

DISCUSSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. ENLARGEMENT OF EU (INCLUDING RECENT INCREASE TO 27 MEMBERS AND POSSIBLE FUTURE ADDITIONS)

Extensive discussions, resulting in the following hopes and/or recommendations:

  • New EU member states should be democratic and should have implemented equality legislation including human and women’s rights
  • Circle groups to seek to increase knowledge of “New Europe” (i.e. newer members) through presentations, conferences, visits, literature and art
  • Circle groups to focus each year on one “New Europe” country or on a European City of Culture selected for that year
  • Groups to make more use of professional speakers, such as academics, diplomats, etc. with working knowledge of “New Europe” countries
  • Circle to encourage all Groups to celebrate Europe Day (9th May), International Women’s Day (8th March) and perhaps Friendship Day (23rd September, as Congress delegates celebrated in Frascati)
  • Groups to consider joining the European Movement (Two Groups are already members).

2. WOMEN IN A CHANGING WORLD

Extensive discussions, resulting in recommendations that:

  • Groups should be encouraged to discuss and debate topical subjects such as:
  • Changing patterns of family models and cohabitation
  • All forms of discrimination and violence against women
  • Groups should be encouraged to debate and combat media representation and debasing attitudes towards women.

3. INTEGRATION AND DISCRIMINATION

Extensive discussions on the impact of immigration on Circle countries, which identified the need to reduce barriers due to isolation of some communities of immigrants and their lack of knowledge and language of the host countries, by educating both children and parents. Frascati and Maidenhead delegates gave examples of integration activities in schools. Recommendations overlapped with those under topic 1, EU enlargement.

4. LOOKING BACK

The proposal for a book collating the history of our Circle found no favour. Instead, Michaela Howard suggested that a common web site is set for the Circle, which could be used by each Group to publish and exchange electronically their history (see below).

5. LOOKING FORWARD

The Italian Round-Table had insufficient time to cover this agenda topic, but the key recommendations were:

  • Circle web site - Michaela identified a great need to exchange information between the sister Groups and their Presidents, and suggested that a common web site is set up for the Circle, which could be used for publishing and exchanging information electronically. Each Group would have its own area which would be managed independently. Each Group would decide what information wished to publish. This could include: History of the Group, programme of activities, annual reports, Congress reports, exchange trip reports, content of presentations on “New Europe”. The web site could be set up such that access to group-specific information (e.g. exchange visits) would be password protected. Michaela suggested that a project be set up involving the Secretaries of the Groups, to discuss the proposal further. Her proposal was discussed and endorsed by the Italian Round Table (and subsequently, formally accepted by the Presidents’ meeting).
  • Conference – Belgian proposal to replace current Congress format with a shorter smaller conference, with an European theme
  • “New Europe” initiatives:
    • Exchange of presentations and material on “New Europe” themes and topics, including relevant books and CDs
    • Joint Group trips to Eastern Europe
  • Information exchanges (could be made easier via a common web site):
    • Sharing lists of recommended European books and films
    • Sharing newspaper and publications coverage of political, cultural, social and environmental issues
    • Sharing information, including interests and photos, for new committee members, participants in exchange visits (delegates and hostesses), Congress delegates and hostesses.
  • Visits - Involvement of individual members visiting a sister group in that group’s activities.

 

To have been a delegate at Congress was a very enjoyable experience and which we hope our feedback will benefit our Group.

Jill Hume and Michaela Howard, September 2010

 


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