Analytics and Interview

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Youth Human Rights Movement

International project “Youth for open Europe!” searches for people

Дата публикации: 

On May, 5th the “Young Europe” international network together with the YHRM and a number of other organisations and networks are going to celebrate the Europe Day – anniversary of the foundation of the Council of Europe – by starting a new international project “Youth for open Europe!” devoted to visa practices of the embassies of the European countries in Russia.

We search for people who are ready to help us with realizing our idea!

Organizers of the project:
The “Young Europe” international network, the international Youth Human Rights Movement, the European network FLARE (Freedom, Legality and Rights in Europe).
The project has been supported by the Youth Human Rights Movement – Berlin (Germany), Youth Human Rights Movement – Sweden (Sweden), INWOLE e V. (Germany), the Anticorruption Network Office (ASK).

Briefly about the problem:
The idea of this project was proposed by a group of young activists who many times faced different obstacles and problems while trying to receive visas to be able to participate in various human rights and civil meetings in Germany, France, Italy and other countries of the Schengen agreement.

The only project concerned the monitoring of visa practice in embassies of the Schengen zone countries was conducted in Russia in 2005 – 2006 with the initiative of Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland). Since then several new countries have joined the Schengen agreement, new agreements to facilitate visa regime between particular Schengen states and Russia were adopted and other changes have been made.

In 2008 the Finnish Institute of Foreign Affairs supported by Heinrich Boell Foundation (Moscow office) conducted a research devoted to possibilities of visa regime facilitation between Russia and the European Union. In the final report of the research a key moment for our project is the absence of unified standards in the work of the embassies’ visa departments (in what concerns the set of documents, application procedure, availability of embassies and access to information, etc.). In a number of aspects (including the procedure of making a decision of delivery or refusal in visa) the practice of the Schengen agreement countries differs considerably.

In our opinion, facilitation (or entire waiver) of the visa regime between the EU and Russia should start with a unification of procedures of documents acceptance and decision-making, an increase of transparency of consular departments work and decrease in existing administrative barriers.

Project’s objectives:
* to promote introduction of unified and transparent standards of work for visa departments of the Schengen agreement countries;
* to promote decrease in administrative barriers in obtaining Schengen visas by Russian citizens, including young activists as one of the most mobile groups;
* to promote the right to freedom of movement, ideas of legality and transparency, youth mobility and international cooperation.

What do we plan to do and how to help us?

1. 6-months monitoring of visa practices in embassies and consulates of the following countries: Italy, Sweden, Poland, France, Hungary, Belgium and Germany, - in Moscow, St.-Petersburg and Kaliningrad. Besides the final report we plan to develop a number of recommendations on introducing unified standards of visa work for visa departments of the Schengen agreement countries in Russia. Presentations of the results will be held in Berlin (Germany), Brussels (Belgium), Stockholm (Sweden), etc.

You can:
* become regional coordinator (Moscow, St.-Petersburg and Kaliningrad) and be responsible for gathering information in all the embassies within your "territory". Basically, if you are not from one of the specified regions of the project, but there are also consulates of Schengen countries in your city and you are ready to undertake them – we will be only glad;
* help with research in the Internet (sites of embassies and visa services, sites of offices-intermediaries, thematic forums, etc.).
* help with test calls and inquiries to embassies;
* help with working out the methodology for monitoring (the questionnaire for survey of people, the questionnaire for interviews with the embassies, etc.);
* act as “an involved observer” if you or your friends are going to submit documents for visa in the near future in one of the specified embassies;
* share with us your contacts in embassies of the project countries;

2. Information campaign to raise youth awareness about the rules and conditions of the Schengen agreement, concerning the most frequent problems and possibilities of solving them.

You can:
* help with working out the instructions for getting Schengen visas which will be placed on the site of the Anticorruption Network Office (ASK);
* help with editing the manual for youth “How to get Schengen visa” (a preliminary title);
* help with designing stickers, flyers and other visual products of the project;
* help with distributing of the project in your region;
* create a documentary film or a photo-exhibition;
* offer something else!

And also everyone can help to disseminate the information about the project as wide as possible!

How to communicate with us:

If you are able and ready to join this project please, send us till April, 30th, the following information to

1. Name, surname
2. Region
3. Organisation/group which you represent
4. Contacts:
Phone number
Others (ICQ, Skype, etc.)
5. What you are ready to help with

With greetings from different cities and countries,
Project team:
Aksenova Irina, Baranov Konstantin

“Young Europe” international network
International Youth Human Rights Movement
FLARE network
Youth Human Rights Movement – Berlin (Germany)
Youth Human Rights Movement – Sweden (Sweden)
INWOLE e V. (Germany)
Anticorruption Network Office (ASK)