The afternoon of the first day of EU Camp was structured around the round-table discussions with the newly elected young local government representatives of MIÉRT. This year’s local elections played an important role from the point of view of youth organizations and MIÉRT since it has never happened before that the government lists included such a great number of young people. It has been proved that there are many talented young people who want to do something for the community, and they got the chance now, as among the young people from MIÉRT included in the lists of DAHR there are 12 mayors, 3 county council vice-presidents, 16 county councillors and over hundreds of local councillors representing the interest of the youth after the elections. Recently, DAHR has became to be more open towards the young people and, as a result, approximately 750 young people linked with MIÉRT were included in the candidate lists of DAHR at the elections. These young, newly elected local government representatives spoke to the camp participants about their objectives and plans.
Public institution or community institution?
At the round-table discussion entitled “Public institution or community institution?” the participants listened to Róbert Grüman, vice-president of Covasna County Council and Barna Botond Bíró and Tihamér Barti, vice-presidents of Harghita County Council. At the presentations they learned about the new local government representatives’ point of view related to the fact that there is a need for the presence of young people in the public institutions.
The vice-presidents shared their experience, where did they start from and what they achieved in their career. After finishing high school, Róbert Grüman worked abroad as unskilled labourer. He returned home in 2007, took part in the foundation of HÁRIT and in campaigns, then, he also held the executive position in MIÉRT. Barna Botond Bíró shared as well the early stages of his career. He said that he wanted to become a priest, but life carried him towards the political career. He was active in student organizations and took part in many student day-related events as organiser. Tihamér Barti explained that “I managed to become a county councillor through a difficult struggle but now I managed to be elected as vice-president.” He was a member of GYTIT where he started to build his career. He also shared his life experiences with the listeners: “life is a struggle, nobody was given integrity but they had to fight for it. I encourage everybody to try to get involved in the achievement of a goal through local youth organisations.”
The issue of young people’s role in the political and civil life was raised at the presentation. The county council presidents considered that young people bring flexibility to political life. According to Barna Botond Bíró, when there is a decision adopted in the public administration it firstly affects the youth “if you want to settle something, then, do it by yourself. Young people must have a say in decisions through local government bodies.” Róbert Grüman said that “the good thing about civil organizations is that you can test yourself as an organizer or volunteer. These youth organizations offer many opportunities for the young people.”
After getting into a public institution, everybody starts their political career as a novice. According to Róbert Grüman “the majority of what one gets is new and has to be learned”. Consequently, young people have a place in public institutions, civil organizations and they should be supported to impose their wishes.
Career Charades: Mayor
Newly elected mayors for MIÉRT spoke on the first day of EU Camp about the next four years’ challenges, goals and plans.
Zoltán Bántó, mayor of Şamşud, Ferenc Demeter, mayor of Micfalău, István Demyen, mayor of Bacşa, Adrián István, mayor of Dârjiu, Imre Kovács, mayor of Satu Mare and Dezső Szabolcs Simó, mayor of Abrămeşti responded to the questions related to the profession of mayor while István Kozma, mayor of Sânsimion, was the moderator.
To the question „Why I wanted to become mayor?” the majority of the leaders from Szeklerland responded with development of culture, economy and community but the young mayors underlined the importance of representing the young people’s interests and helping them make their way in the country.
István Kozma, newly inducted mayor, brought up familiar issues from his recent past when he stirred the discussion towards election promises and relationships with predecessors. The audience could learn a wide range of election strategies as the answers ranged from the ten-point draft of Imre Kovács, mayor of Satu Mare, to the attitude of Dezső Szabolcs Simó “I promised not to promise anything” who was forced into this situation due to the debts inherited from predecessors in Abrămeşti.
In many places communication with predecessors was a big problem. Beyond charges, recoveries and breaking facebook friendships, mayors suffered from the absence of mutual partnerships. To the questions of the audience related to the youth, István Kozma underlined motivating of generations, while Adrián István considers that one of the most important missions of the profession of mayor is the education of the new generation.
Wooden spoon, high heels, skirt, diploma – women in the local governments
In the presentation “Wooden spoon, high heels, skirt, diploma, the EU camp participants could listen to Csilla Lőrincz, vice-president of DAHR’s women organization, Mária Melles, deputy mayor of Băile Tuşnad. In Csilla Lőrincz’s equal opportunities are given an important role opinion in the political life. It is not the décolletage that is decisive but what a women has accomplished either at the local or county governments. She also shared statistical data with the audience that showed that the number of women who filled certain political function increased compared to the previous office. “There were 3 mayors who were women, now there are 5. The number of deputy mayors also increased from 12 to 18.
Mária Melles, deputy mayor of Băile Tuşnad, gave an account of her career to the audience. “I started my second office. I got into the local government four years ago and I had never been politically active before, I was more active in civil organisations. I have always been interested in public life topics and I attended many events.” Mária Melles, deputy mayor, thinks that “everybody has to prove, regardless of men or women.” In her opinion “we are better problem solvers than men”. In the words of Csilla Lőrincz, it is important to become familiar with the women organization of DAHR which helps women to feel that they are supported.
András Gombola filled the Taboo corner of the 13th EU Camp with the feeling of a lifetime
Similar to last year, the Taboo corner was set up this year as well in the EU Camp where speakers deal with topics considered taboo. The first presentation of the Taboo corner was also extremely popular this year where András Gombola told his life story entitled “I became homeless”.
András Gombola fencing coach filled the Taboo corner of the 13th EU Camp with the feeling of a lifetime. The audience listened closely and in absolute silence during one hour and half the almost incredible life story developed from the cavalcade of drugs, ego, lack of love and self-destruction. The world of the speaker was opened up at the age of eight when he started to practice fencing and turned out to be talented soon after and which opened the Pandora’s box of endless egoism and mind-altering drugs. The life path winding around Satu Mare – Bucharest – Budapest – Nyíregyháza – Costa Rica– Germany – Törökbálint and who knows how many others, with stages affected by drugs, alcohol, prison, sex and traumas demonstrates a morbid but deep and yet recharging story.
The protagonist of a thread of life full of suicide attempts leading to hundreds of downs was able to free himself of drugs after a three-part therapeutic treatment of 15 months. Although, he has been doing this successfully for 5 years, he does not consider it a complete happy end. And, however, the presentation clearly conveys self-knowledge, love and faith, the speaker could not come up with a receipt to follow for the audience.
The first day of EU Camp ended with the performance of Csaba Marosán entitled “Good love advice from our ancestors, dirty love stories” which despite of late start attracted many campers to the tent and made the tired campers smile.