We spoke with the Green Institute Greece - a non-governmental, not-profit scientific foundation who, along the Green European Foundation and with the support of the European Parliament are organising the European Green Activist Training in Greece, you can read more and apply using the links below!
Tell us a bit more about the Green Institute and the work you do.
The Green Institute is a non-governmental, not-profit scientific foundation that aims at the study, analysis and dissemination of all aspects of ecological thinking and political ecology as well as the promotion of research and documentation on the environment, the economy and society. Although the Institute was created after an initiative undertaken by the Green Political Party of Greece, with whom we are still affiliated with, we preserve an independent character. We join forces with other green political foundations around Europe, including the Green European Foundation (GEF) and work together to promote the ideas of political ecology among citizens of Europe. Another aspect of our vision, is to listen to scientists and cooperate with them in an innovative way to provide answers to the real challenges that people in Greece face regarding energy poverty, economic struggles, refugee integration, productive reforestations etc.
What was the first EGAT like?
Greece's first time taking part in the European Green Activist Training in 2021 was a great success. We managed to set a record number of applications among all institutions that have taken part in the program and the 20 people that were finally accepted were introduced to concepts such as sustainable agriculture and nutrition, volunteering, youth participation, eco democracy, and as a preparation to the final study trip to Brussels, they learned about all major institutions of the European Union. During the trip to Brussels, the participants had the opportunity to meet 130 young and like minded people from many parts of Europe, speakers who were experts at the topics discussed, as well as Members of the European Parliament. In one sentence, we completed the program with 20 happy faces, 20 young people who were looking for ways to be active in the society and found several ways to do so.
In a few words, how would you describe the European Green Activist Training?
The European Green Activist Training is a program that equips young people, interested both in green & social issues and activism with the knowledge, skills and networking opportunities which will help them to bring about positive change in their communities and beyond.
What would someone attending EGAT learn?
Someone attending EGAT will learn the most fundamental things someone ought to know regarding green issues, the climate crisis, activism and the way the European Union and its laws work. They will also learn how someone can make a difference on a local, national and European level and how to work together with other people to achieve the above. Every year’s topics are different but at the core of the program there is always the notion of active citizenship and practical activism.
Can you talk a bit more about the topics covered in the training?
The topics covered in this year’s training program are Energy and Renewables, European Union and Democracy, Active Citizenship and Ecofeminism. Specifically, this year's first training will focus on timely topics such as the energy crisis, the energy security and energy communities. Later renewables will be explored and how possible it is to secure efficiency from them. Many experts will touch upon those matters and will provide insights. At the second national training, the focus goes on the European Union: what are the main institutions, what do they do, and how can the citizens have a say in the legislation procedure. Which are the most suitable and effective ways to influence European politics? Finally, we will explore a relatively controversial term, ecofeminism, and we will understand how it is structured and what it represents.
What are some things that those interested in applying should know about?
Those interested in applying should know that the European Green Activist Training is a programme that started in 2015. Since then, many editions have taken place and each year the Green European Foundation together with partner organizations strive to develop and structure it as best as they can. Every year, we take into consideration impact surveys from last years’ editions and we evolve and improve the programme altogether. It is a flagship capacity building programme that believes in the new generation, and seeks to provide knowledge and practical skills to the driving force of this generation.