Here begins the exploratory journey of the experience of this community which will then conclude with the face-to-face activity on 16/17/18 March. The first of the two meetings organized by the municipality of Hernani opened with a warm welcome from Mayor Xabier Lertxundi Asteasuinzarra. His brief intervention well represented the desire for innovation of this small community and the ability to transform ideas into effective practices and courageous experiments supported by local institutions.
Mireia Espiau Idoyaga's opening speech focused on the structure of gender equality policies in the Basque area. As in many other areas in Europe, it is possible to trace an evolutionary path of the local culture on the subject and a progressive cultural and regulatory work that seeks to favor the creation of a more equitable and just model.
It is obviously a complex and articulated issue that often finds cultural obstacles difficult to remove and requires a lot of commitment and attention from all sectors of society if it is to become an effective reality.
The comparison with the participants in the meeting and the questions that emerged after the intervention also highlighted the different general and local situations in the participating countries. Substantial differences seem to remain both in terms of legislation and in terms of application, because obviously it is not said that good legislation then translates into real and effective application of the same.
The second speech on the first day was instead centered on interculturality, another burning issue in a Europe that is confronted with migrations, wars and renewed nationalisms. Where to find the correct balance between respect for identities, acceptance and cohesion?
Jeanne Rolande Dacougna Minkette illustrated the current state of the art in the context of the Basque country. The problems are not dissimilar from those expressed in the previous intervention, it is possible to create general reference structures and guidelines, it is then up to daily practice to make them real and effective.
However, having a clearer idea of the reference frameworks in these two key subjects proved to be very useful in appreciating the work done in Hernani in the construction of the Hernani Burujabe project.
Thanks to the intervention of Mikel Valero Alzaga we began to get to know the many lines of activity that the municipality, citizens and organizations are carrying out in search of a territorial transformation oriented towards inclusiveness, self-determination, sustainability. Mikel told us about neighborhood actions, food and energy sovereignty, local currency and much more.
As you can begin to appreciate from this presentation, the areas of intervention are many and constantly evolving and we can't wait to touch these experiences first-hand at the next project meeting.
Already on this virtual occasion, an exchange of ideas and experiences between the partners was possible in order to compare the different local situations. It can also be noted that some of the common problems that have emerged so far could find useful intervention tools in the methodologies that the MEET project is trying to make more easily available to the participants.
In particular, the sixth meeting of the project will be dedicated to the use of advanced democratic methodologies of inclusion, participation, empowerment and deliberation. These are approaches that could in some way simplify and make the meeting of cultures and needs truly possible and more effective at the moment apparently irreconcilable and difficult to manage.
But let's proceed in order, the next appointment is soon in Hernani, if you would like to join us here you have the link to register.