Skip to main content

The Youth in Celje Colorfully Presented the Diversity of the European Union

In Celje, young people celebrated the 20th anniversary of Slovenia's accession to the European Union (EU). Ahead of Europe Day, children from kindergartens and schools in the Celje region, as part of the European Village project, presented EU member states and countries on the path to EU membership at stands on the Main Square. Additionally, awards were presented at the Celje Cultural Center for the best works by students who participated in the Europe in School competition.

The rain didn't dampen the spirits of the youth who, at the concluding event of the European Village project, presented their European-themed musical and vocal performances to those gathered in the central square of Celje. These performances, much like the stands set up across the square, represented EU member states and candidate countries. They also showcased their creativity at the stands themselves, where visitors could see how children and young people, along with their mentors, had creatively explored various European countries throughout the year, including their language, cuisine, and people, which they then presented at the stands.

Young people too can influence the development of society

The participating children and youth, as emphasized by the keynote speaker at the event, Minister of Education Dr. Darjo Felda, were born after Slovenia joined the European Union 20 years ago, along with nine other countries. Minister Felda highlighted that young people represent the future of our society. He emphasized the importance of cooperation, tolerance, and respect for diversity, which are fundamental elements of a more connected, advanced Europe. He thanked all participants for their efforts and encouraged them to engage in learning, exploration, talent development, and active involvement in society. Minister Felda also highlighted that young people have the power and opportunity to influence the development of the community, of which we have been members for 20 years. The event was also addressed by the co-organizers, Mayor of the City Municipality of Celje, Matija Kovač, and the Principal of the III. Elementary School Celje, Aleksander Verhovšek.

Good breeds good and is rewarded

Creative were also numerous children, both from kindergartens and young high school students, who participated in the Europe in School competition. The project, organized in recent years by the Association of Friends of Youth Slovenia, was themed "Good returns with Good" this year. It encouraged young people to reflect on what goodness is and how to create conditions for their own and others' happiness, how to respect themselves and others. At the concluding event, which took place again after a four-year hiatus, two performances were prepared, and awards and recognitions were given to the authors of the best works in literary, artistic, photographic, video, online, and creative categories.

Accompanying Events

The celebration of Slovenia's accession to the EU was accompanied by a round table titled "Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Republic of Slovenia's Entry into the European Union" at the Secondary Health and Cosmetics School Celje. Additionally, a temporary exhibition space hosted an exhibit titled "Images of Democracy: Selected Material from the Archives of European Union Countries," where materials illuminating significant historical moments such as the development of suffrage, democratization processes, mass gatherings and political turning points, efforts for women's emancipation, and peaceful conflict resolution were on display.