Programme: EUROPE FOR CITIZENS
Sub-programme: Strand2: Democratic engagement and civic participation
Citizens' Forums for United Europe (eUnited)
17 events have been carried out within this project:
Preparatory activity in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Participation: The event involved 12 citizens, including 4 participants from Bulgaria, 2 participants from Spain, 2 participantс from Poland, 2 participants from Greece, 1 participant from Germany, 1 participant from Italy.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, from 08/09/2020 to 10/09/2022
Short description: The event was strictly dedicated to project management and activities planning. The discussions were on the following topics:
- Update following COVID-19 outbreak
- Partnership Agreement
- Planning of activities
- Project prolongation
- Other pressing matters
Regional event in Valladolid, Spain
Participation: The event involved 34 citizens, from Spain.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Valladolid, Spain, on 09/092021
Short description: The aim of the event was for citizens to debate on the demographic and social challenges, and they drafted some recommendations to share the youth point of view on the possible solutions and measures the EU could undertake.
Local event in Laguna de Duero, Spain
Participation: The event involved 29 citizens, from Spain.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Laguna de Duero, Spain, on 25/06/2021
Short description: The aim of the event was to gather citizens to discuss the demographic and social challenges in the region and reflect on what the EU means for them.
The event was focused on gathering mainly rural people and elderly citizens, so to collect their point of view on the topic of demography and society, and the challenges that Europe faces. Each one wrote some recommendations and posted on the eUnited wall. Additionally, the participants explored the Citizens’ App of the European Commission and took a Quiz to learn more about the European Union.
International event in Madrid, Spain (Main event in Spain)
Participation: The event involved 20 citizens, including 3 participants from Bulgaria, 3 participants from Greece, 6 participants from Spain, 2 participants from Germany, 3 participants from Italy, 3 participants from Poland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Madrid, Spain, from 02/09/2021 to 04/09/2021
Short description: The aim of the event was the Citizens' Forum on European demography, society and culture. It was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Spain, with the online participation of the European Citizenship Point in Spain. Findings from the research on the effects of the demographic change in the EU societies were presented by all eUnited partners, highlighting its specific country demography, society and culture.
Artistic performance from Spain demonstrated the folklore and especially the gaita in a multicultural perspective. Additionally, coordination meeting of the partners took place after the Forum’s celebration, and team building activity completed the international event.
Local event in Schónbrunn, Germany
Participation: The event involved 30 citizens, from Germany.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Schónbrunn, Germany, on 24/09/2021
Short description: The aim of the event was to discuss the various aspects of digitalisation. To start with, the term and the meaning of digitalisation were explained and presented. A study conducted at the school on digitalisation in the education system was then evaluated. The students were able to expand their understanding of the topic and gave impulses that were taken into account at the conference in Berlin in December (Individual teacher preferences often decide on the use of media; Differences between subjects (especially science classrooms are better equipped); In the schools - Good basic digital basic equipment, but partly outdated or not usable; The schools are sensitised to digital content would like to see more integration in the classroom).
International event in Sassari, Italy (Main event in Italy)
Participation: The event involved 32 citizens, including 15 participants from Italy, 4 participants from Germany, 3 participants from Poland, 3 participants from Bulgaria, 3 participants from Greece, 2 participants from Spain, 1 participant from Netherlands, 1 participant from South Africa.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Sassari, Italy, from 28/10/2021 to 30/10/2021
Short description: The aim of the event was to summarise the progress made in the 6 Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Germany, Spain and Italy) on the White Paper on the Future of Europe, launched by the EC in 2017, to analyse the strengths and weaknesses in the local/regional policies and develop suggestions for the final Citizens 'Europe e-Paper, focusing on the opportunities for better EU future, suggested by citizens during the event.
International event in Berlin, Germany (Main event in Germany)
Participation: The event involved 33 citizens, including 5 participants from Bulgaria, 2 participants from Greece, 8 participants from Spain, 10 participants from Germany, 3 participants from Italy, 4 participants from Poland, 1 participant from UK.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Berlin, Germany, from 02/12/2021 to 04/12/2021
Short description: The aim of the event was digitalisation in the European Union. The international partners presented various digitisation processes in their countries of origin. The fields of application discussed were, for example, public and municipal administration, the health system, the education system, agriculture and the economy. In the subsequent open part, the participants discussed the contents and exchanged opinions on advantages and disadvantages. The central advantages were perceived to be the increase in efficiency in administrative processes of hospitals, schools and city halls. There was a critical discussion on the topic of data protection.
During the project, the international partners and the local population were able to exchange with each other. This led to an understanding on an international level, which actively and directly contributes to European understanding and integration. Individually, the participants of the conference were able to expand their expertise on digitalisation at the European level. New highlights, perspectives and suggestions for their own development were given.
International event in Kozani, Greece (Main event in Greece)
Participation: The event involved 136 citizens, including: 1) 32 participants physically presented in the event, of which 17 participants from Greece, 4 participants from Bulgaria, 3 participants from Germany, 3 participants from Italy, 3 participants from Poland, 2 participants from Spain; 2) 104 participants were online, of which 51 participants from Greece and 53 from different European countries (Slovenia, Poland, Montenegro, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Spain).
Location / Dates: The event took place in Kozani, Greece, from 17/03/2022 to 19/03/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to meet and discuss topics such as: Trends and concerns in European public opinion regarding security challenges in Europe, necessary resources to effectively prevent and counter asymmetric threats, public awareness of European security and defence policies and migration management, social cohesion and solidarity between EU member states. After the event, a case study at a migration office was carried out, in order to present the work done at regional level in the security area, including cybercrime. During this activity, the participants had the opportunity to interact with the asylum seekers who are accommodated, to tour the offices of the migration office and to discuss with the employees both the difficulties faced by the asylum seekers and their daily life in the Structure.
Regional event in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Participation: The event involved 33 citizens, from Bulgaria.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, on 27/04/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to discuss on the importance of the democracy as a key pillar for sustainable societies.
During the event, was drawn the importance of the rule of law and the active citizenship. A special panel was dedicated on the European institution and the process of decision-making. They were involved in the work of the European Parliament, its constitution (political groups, parliamentary committees, etc.) and, mainly, its powers in terms of decisions and protection of civil rights and citizens in the European Union.
Regional event in Sassari, Italy
Participation: The event involved 25 citizens, including 5 participants from Spain, 5 participants from Italy, 5 participants from Romania, 4 participants from Bulgaria, 6 participants from Turkey.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Sassari, Italy, from 27/04/2022 to 28/04/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to tackle the issues of discrimination. The participants were divided into groups of 4 people and asked to search for hate speech on social networks and reflect on why they chose them, why they are discriminatory comments, and how to respond, also on the basis of the notions learned during the workshop.
International event in Warsaw, Poland (Main event in Poland)
Participation: The event involved 105 citizens, including 87 participants from Poland, 6 participants from Germany, 4 participants from Greece, 3 participants from Bulgaria, 3 participants from Italy, 2 participants from Spain.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Warsaw, Poland, from 05/05/2022 to 07/05/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was the future of the European Union, including the challenges it will face in the nearest future and how it can become more competitive. The aim was to increase the participants' knowledge and awareness of the challenges in the modern Europe and to develop a common perspective and possible solutions. An important element was to learn about the different points of view and differences in the approach of representatives of hosted countries.
The meeting was an opportunity to talk together about the current situation in Europe and the challenges it faces. We talked about safety, activities in the field of environmental protection, migration issues and local government issues.
On the second day of the meeting, the participants took part in educational activities in the „European Town” during the celebration of Europe Day in Łazienki Królewskie Park in Warsaw. There were, among others, present in the Miasteczko representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as experts from other social organizations with whom the participants held individual talks.
Regional event in Suhl, Germany
Participation: The event involved 19 citizens, including 15 participants from Germany, 1 participant from Bulgaria, 1 participant from Hungary, 1 participant from Moldova, 1 participant from Russia.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Suhl, Germany, on 10/06/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was the current digital challenges for the citizens in Europe and reflected on what the EU means for them. During the meeting were presented the recommendations of the young people from the region, who participated in the first local and regional event in October 2021 and the results of the conferences and seminars in all partner countries. The event gathered representatives from the social institutions from Suhl, Zella- Mehlis and Hildburghausen.
Local event in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Participation: The event involved 60 citizens, from Bulgaria.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, on 19/05/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to discuss on the topic of digitalisation and the digital reform that is part of our daily activities.
The city of Stara Zagora has been trying to become a digital hub in Bulgaria, where through education investments will be attracted for starting innovative companies in the IT sector. There is a clear will from local community and stakeholders to develop an ecosystem giving young people the opportunity to stay in Stara Zagora and to start a specialised education as early as high school and continue to the local Trakia University to obtain a Bachelor degree. This creates opportunities for young people to follow a career path in the IT sector. At the same time, it is an opportunity to keep young people in the area and to even attract others from different parts of the country.
Local event in Sassari, Italy
Participation: The event involved 26 citizens, including 10 participants from Romania, 9 participants from Bulgaria, 7 participants from Italy.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Sassari, Italy, from 15/06/2022 to 16/06/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to discuss about the main findings during the main international events that are part of the project. The topics covered during this event were: Competitive Europe in Poland, Migration & Security in Greece, Demography and Society in Spain, EU Communication in Italy, Digitalization in Germany, Climate Change & Environment in Bulgaria.
International event in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Main event in Bulgaria)
Participation: The event involved 73 citizens, including 54 participants from Bulgaria, 4 participants from Greece, 7 participants from Spain, 3 participants from Germany, 3 participants from Italy, 2 participants from Poland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, from 30/06/2022 to 02/07/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to organise the final international event of the eUnited project – the Final Conference on Climate Change and Environment. It involved 73 participants from 6 countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain). A pool of interesting speakers from the Ministry of Environment and Waters, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and WWF Bulgaria.
During the workshop of the Final Conference on 01/07/2022 youth participants has agreed that there is potential solution on 3 different levels and have suggested as follows:
On worldwide level:
- Invest in Hydrogen based energy sources and infrastructure
- Limiting single-use plastic and replace with alternative resources
- Limiting trade with environment harmful countries, through higher taxes or installing quotas
- Creating a network of ecological schools in all countries across the globe, adapted to all age groups of the population
On EU level:
- EU to have exclusive competences in the field of environmental policies
- Investment in train network across EU through GHG emissions quota paid by commercial and cargo airlines (including by private jet owners)
- One-day Second-hand share market across Europe
- EU wide network of recycling machines for plastic and glass bottles
On regional level:
- Promoting short supply chains, local products and urban agriculture
- Integration of public composters along with separate waste collection
- Alert system for local climate anomalies (such as air pollution, floods, etc.)
Promoting local initiative for recycling, such as “Trash for books”
Local event in Sassari, Italy
Participation: The event involved 15 citizens, including 6 participants from Italy, 3 participants from Romania, 3 participants from Slovakia, 3 participants from Estonia.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Sassari, Italy, on 10/07/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to provoke a conversation between the participants and the facilitator, and many times the facilitator opened a discussion on issues that were important. Participants worked in groups by brainstorming on EU citizens’ involvement and then the facilitator opened the discussion on these issues.
At the end of the day the evaluation was done and from the feedback received from the participants it turned out that they liked the activities and had gained important knowledge and skills for them.
Local event in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Participation: The event involved 15 citizens, from Bulgaria.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, on 27/07/2022
Short description: The aim of the event was to discuss climate a change and youth involvement.
As a focal point of discussion were taken the conclusions and suggestions drawn in the final international event – the Conference in Bulgaria on 1st of July. A special attention was drawn on different tools that could be used by young people to share their opinion and to seek likeminded people among their peers. The most largely known initiatives on EU level have been promoted, including the European Solidarity Corps among others.
Some of the young people shared their ideas on how they could change the narrative. Some of the suggestions were for a guided training on the importance of water, an independent pool of young climate journalists, etc.
Europe is at a crossroads and needs to decide how it wants to tackle the challenges of today: the impact of new technologies on society and jobs, the climate change, migration and security concerns, the rise of populism. These are difficult times but Europe has always been able to adapt. The “Citizens' Forums for United Europe" project comes to support all EU initiatives in the next 5 years, aiming to respond better to the changing reality and to transform challenges into opportunities.
Our objective is to summarize the progress made in the 6 Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Germany, Spain, and Italy) on the White Paper on the Future of Europe, launched by the EC in 2017, to analyse the strengths and weaknesses in the local/regional policies and develop Citizens' Europe e-Paper, focusing on the opportunities for better EU future, suggested by citizens from 6 countries and different profiles, backgrounds and ages. Now, after the EU Parliament elections, the project partners consider necessary to provide the MEPs with recommendations raised by the citizens on their alternative visions for the future of Europe. Policy makers should listen to the voice of the people and demonstrate that citizens’ concerns are considered in the next strategic agenda.
The project will directly involve 620 citizens in forums, debates, and solidarity acts on the EU challenges, treating a special topic in each partner country: Competitive Europe in Poland, Migration & Security in Greece, Demography and Society in Spain, EU Communication in Italy, Digitalisation in Germany, Climate Change & Environment in Bulgaria. Approximately 6000 citizens will be reached indirectly through the project social media, awareness raising campaigns, video competition #unitedEurope on YouTube, local expositions, and street events.
We expect to engage people in the EU idea and empower them, so to be able to overcome internal differences and stand united to tackle the trials of our times.
АГЕНЦИЯ ЗА РЕГИОНАЛНО ИКОНОМИЧЕСКО РАЗВИТИЕ – СТАРА ЗАГОРА
АРИР е създадена през 1995 г. с подкрепата на USAID. Първоначално като организация, фокусирана върху засилване на връзките между местните власти и бизнес общността, скоро тя привлича като членове общините, центровете за обучение и организациите, подпомагащи икономическото развитие на региона.
Членове на агенцията са град Стара Загора и общините - Николаево, Братя Даскалови, Гурково, Опан, Казанлък и Раднево, както и Тракийски университет, Българо-германския учебен център, Търговско-промишлената палата.
АРИР е работила по редица програми и проекти, финансирани от Европейския съюз, USAID, както и по британски, канадски и италиански двустранни програми.
От 2009 г. АРИР е приемна структура на Информационен център Europe Direct, чиито дейности са насочени към повишаване на информираността за принципите и политиките на ЕС сред широката общественост и различни местни общности като студенти, учители, местни власти и предприемачи.
РЕГИОНАЛНА АСОЦИАЦИЯ НА МЕСТНИТЕ ВЛАСТИ НА ЗАПАДНА МАКЕДОНИЯ
LGA-WM представлява 12 общини от регион Западна Македония с население от около 300 000 жители. Мисията на LGA-WM е да подкрепя и представлява общините в региона за местна и регионална организация, координация, управление и експлоатация на техните ресурси. LGA-WM работи за създаване на политики за насърчаване на иновациите, регионалния растеж и надграждането на обществените услуги за гражданите. Тя също така работи за създаване на инструменти за вземане на политически решения, които насърчават технологично силен пазар и развиват и насърчават икономическия растеж в региона на Западна Македония, Гърция и широко в Европа, с акцент върху югоизточната част на континента. Асоциацията подкрепя нови начини за мотивиране на регионалните мрежи и клъстери да прилагат иновативни идеи и политики. Институционалната роля е резултат от динамиката на LGA-WM да влияе на политики и стратегии на всички нива на управление.
POLSKA FUNDACJA IM. ROBERTA SCHUMANA
Polska Fundacja im.R. Schumana (PFRS) е неправителствена и неполитическа организация. Основните цели на Фондацията са да насърчи полските граждани да участват активно, да популяризира възможностите, създадени от полското членство в Общността, да насърчи ценностите на Европейския съюз и да укрепи гражданското общество в Полша. PFRS изпълнява образователни и граждански програми, фокусирайки се върху следните въпроси: европейска интеграция, активно (ЕС) гражданство, обществена ангажираност на гражданите и популяризиране на демократични и граждански ценности. Фондацията си сътрудничи с широк кръг институции в и извън ЕС, като се концентрира върху насърчаването на политически и социални инициативи, фокусирани върху развитието на демокрацията. В този процес тя подкрепя културни, научни и образователни организации, които активно допринасят за развитието на по-тесни връзки между Полша, институциите на ЕС и други държави-членки на ЕС, както и инфраструктурата на НПО, работещи в подобни области на работа.
BIDA e.V.Kultur und Bildung
BIDA e.V. Kultur und Bildung е организация с богат опит в обучението за възрастни. Основната ѝ цел е да се популяризират грижите за младите и възрастните хора, изкуството, културата и образованието, като се използват интерактивни методи за социализиране на различни целеви групи. Организацията е изпълнила проекти, показващи нови начини за комуникация, култура и образование, и е улеснила различни дейности, насочени към социална интеграция на маргинализирани групи и групи в риск от социално изключване като имигранти, жени жертви на насилие, безработни, нискоквалифицирани възрастни и бежанци. Целта на BIDA e.V. е да се премахнат бариерите и да се увеличат възможностите за групи в неравностойно положение да получат достъп до живота на общността, пазара на труда и да избегнат дискриминацията. Организацията е осъществила различни европейски проекти, координирайки дейностите в региона на Тюринген и е натрупала опит в управлението на проекти. Мрежата на BIDA включва местни, регионални и международни организации.
Център за европейска интеграция и обучение ALPHA
EITC ALPHA е сдружение с нестопанска цел, което работи върху процеса на европейска интеграция на институциите, гражданското общество и младите хора чрез насърчаване на гражданското образование, правата на човека и междукултурния диалог на национално ниво.
Тя е основана наскоро от служители с богат опит в управлението и координацията на европейски проекти, оценка на качеството, обучения по планиране и изпълнение на проекти и работа с групи в неравностойно положение, като имигранти, преждевременно напуснали училище, безработни, роми и възрастни граждани .
Някои от ключовите дейности, изпълнявани от EITC ALPHA, са обучение и консултации по управление на проекти; спорт, култура и изкуство; организиране на семинари, форуми, конференции, изложби и всякакви събития за разпространение на теми, свързани с европейската интеграция и развитие; изследвания в социалната и образователната сфера в рамките на инициативи на местно / национално / международно ниво; оценка на качеството на проекти и програми.
MINE VAGANTI NGO
Mine Vaganti NGO е организация с нестопанска цел, създадена в Сардиния през 2009 г., чиито услуги включват образование и обучение, разработване на проекти, изследвания, международна мобилност и консултации. MVNGO има 4 офиса в Сасари, Ури, Олбия и Темпио Паузания, покриващи северната част на Сардиния и други клонове в останалата част на Италия.
MVNGO насърчава междукултурния диалог, социалното и зелено предприемачество, социалното приобщаване чрез спорт, официалното и неформалното образование, включително целеви групи в неравностойно положение като мигранти и хора с увреждания. MVNGO е част от 3 международни мрежи като VEE, ISCA и MV International.
MVNGO разви партньорство и извън Сардиния, както и с Провинция ди Алесандрия и Провинция ди Тренто. Много от местните власти предоставят на организацията необходимата логистична подкрепа (обществен транспорт, специални разрешения, материали или посещения с екскурзовод за гости), за да позволят успешното изпълнение на събитията в рамките на реализираните проекти.
The project's general objective is to contribute to the citizens' deeper understanding of the EU values, its history and diversity. Reflecting on the European citizenship identity through engaging in EU initiative people from different EU countries and regions, could help the citizens to understand better the Union policy making process and promote opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering at Union level.
Considering the current economic and socio-political changes, the debates about migration and security in Europe, it becomes apparent that there is an increasing need to address the topics of civic engagement and social cohesion, and to further explore how solidarity and non-formal education can contribute to fostering these values in the society. The project will mainly target the young generation, which will further draw the future of the Union, based on the lessons from the past. The partners aim at improving the conditions for civic and democratic participation at Union level by giving primary role to the involvement of disadvantaged citizens (70%of all project participants), raising awareness on their inclusion as equal members of the EU society, and trying to find solutions to the daily challenges they face. The project events will gather experts, CSOs, vulnerable citizens' groups, public administrations, and young people to debate on topics of major social importance for Europe.
The eUnited project will also promote opportunities for societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering at Union level as young citizens' response to local crisis/challenging situations in different EU regions. Volunteering is a key aspect of the EU youth policy and its importance for the development of actions targeting young Europeans has been recognised in many EU legislative documents, papers, and other initiatives, as the ESC. The project will provide young people with an opportunity to express their personal commitment through voluntary activities within the 6 partner countries. This way they will be able to acquire new skills for their personal and professional development. In addition, this non-formal learning experience will facilitate the young people's transition from education to employment in more competitive, digital European market.
The project targets the multi-annual Programme's priority of Debating the future of Europe and challenging Euroscepticism, aiming to turn the criticism of the EU into a useful, constructive, and positive driver for European integration, bringing the EU closer to the citizens. Starting from research and analysis of the5 scenarios of the White Paper on the Future of Europe, the eUnited debates will focus on current trends and enable participants to challenge Euroscepticism and to suggest possible actions that the European Union could undertake to foster a sense of belonging to Europe, besides reaching out to citizens who reject or put in question the European Union and its achievements or remain indifferent.
Debates among relevant stakeholders will be initiated under the notion of suggesting common accepted solutions at local level and exchange of opinions at European level, intervening to influence politicians and policy makers to promote intercultural dialogue, to combat stigmatization of disadvantaged citizens and to foster tolerance and empathy, which in turn brings about more cohesive, democratic, forward-looking, and constructive Europe.
The methodological approach taken by eUnited to achieve the project's objectives aims to reflect on a new narrative for Europe, citizen-oriented, forward-looking, and constructive, that would be more engaging for the younger generation, relying on the experience and specific strengths of the project partners in the EU integration process.
The working methodology establishes an organic approach where the local and transnational debates will be in constant exchange and will nourish each other at the various stages of the project, while dissemination will ensure its success and sustainability. lt is based on participatory democracy principles, which are brought forward throughout all the planned events, encouraging mutual understanding, social inclusion, participatory citizenship and enhanced social interactions.
Investing and promoting active volunteering in EU context, the project will contribute to the development of shared identity for the Union's citizens, among the younger generation, as 77% of the directly involved participants will be under the age of 30.
The partners will recruit groups of 10-20 young people, targeting ESC members, to develop volunteering activities in 6 EU Member States. For the purpose, all partner organisations will adhere to the Charter of the European Solidarity Corps. Before each of the project events the local working, groups will make previous research on the topic, will study the local situation and its consequences at a larger EU scale. Partners will use different research methods (e.g., interviews, collection of photos and videos, street games, open discussions, archival& press research, etc.).
Each partner will host an international event where working groups from the partner countries will meet and debate on the research findings. The events will be attended by representatives of local communities, stakeholders, PAs, disadvantaged people, and young citizens, taking forms of round tables, seminars, forums, trainings, educational and cultural activities. The Polish and German events will commemorate the Europe Day in May 2020 and May 2021.The final International Conference in Bulgaria will summarise the project's overall results and discuss concrete ways to create a more democratic Union. The collaboration of citizens from different backgrounds and 6 EU countries will facilitate the understanding of their national and EU identity and help them to reengage with the EU.
Kick-off Meeting in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
On the 9th of September 2020, in Stara Zagora Bulgaria was held the first meeting of the project consortium. Due to the lasting pandemic situation, the event was hybrid, most of the partners were present onsite, but there were some who were online.
The meeting was strictly dedicated to project management and activities planning. The discussions were on the following topics:
- Update following COVID-19 outbreak
- Partnership Agreement
- Planning of activities
- Project prolongation
- Other pressing matters