Together, partners from six European countries with the aim of encouraging young people to actively participate in shaping the future of the EUROPEAN UNION, revisiting the violent past of wars in Europe, discussing what the recent rise of Nationalist movements means for European Society, and the importance of preserving the fundamental values on which the EU is based for the future of Europe.

Gmina Starachowice, Starachowice, Poland

Starachowice is one of the biggest administrative, economic and cultural centres of the Świętokrzyskie Province, found in the middle of the woodland in the northern part of the province, at the foot of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, in the picturesque valley of the Kamienna River.

The town is 32 km2 in size, with about 50 000 residents. In the south part, you can see the Świętokrzyskie Mountain with the highest peaks: Łysica and Łysa Góra. A many-kilometre-long belt of woodland, with the majority being pine trees, surrounds the town and is an excellent place for recreation and leisure. Within the town, you will find three water reservoirs: Lubianka, Pasternik and Piachy, excellent places to relax, practise water sports and go fishing.

 The mission of the City of Starachowice is to provide professional, reliable and friendly service to the citizens and to meet the needs of the local community by implementing the principle of self-government. The political changes of the 1990s left a strong mark on Starachowice. Thousands of people lost their jobs. The city faced social problems, high unemployment, alcoholism, crime and poverty. In addition to the state of public space and city buildings. Nowadays Starachowice is a dynamic industrial centre with a thriving Special Economic Zone. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% in 2018. Despite the good economic conditions, the city faced many problems such as depopulation, ageing of local society and low quality of living. The scope of the city’s activities which correspond to the idea of ​​the project include in particular the following matters: 1. social assistance, 2. education, 3. culture, 4. sport and tourism, 5. pro-family policy, 6. support and dissemination of the local government idea, 7. cooperation with non-governmental organizations, 8. cooperation with local and regional communities of other countries.

 Currently, the biggest project in our city is social revitalization. This process began in 2015 when the Ministry of Development started a Model Revitalisation of Cities program. Starachowice is one of 20 cities (among 240) that received funding for the implementation of the Starachowice from Scratch project. The project’s objectives are to prepare a revitalization program, conduct social activities in the city and develop technical documentation. Thanks to these, the Municipality could obtain funding for infrastructure investments that will start in 2018. As part of the project, we have carried out several social activities, including social consultations, animation activities, workshops for young people or social diagnoses.

In 2017, we adopted a comprehensive revitalization program for the city. When preparing the document we invited and encouraged our citizens to join us. We asked them to help us to create the best program for them. We have organized meetings, especially with young people, local entrepreneurs, seniors, NGOs, and local public institutions. The Citizens told us what they expected, we told them what we could do. In this document, young people were indicated as one of the largest development potentials in the city, and their involvement can have a decisive impact on stimulating the local community to grow. All activities are carried out in close cooperation with citizens, youth, seniors, entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations. Especially young people are key partners for us.

Since 2007, the Youth City Council has been operating in Starachowice. It consists of 22 young people. Young people’s representatives work on increasing the interest and commitment of young people in public affairs of our city, as well as on developing dialogue between representatives of the authorities and young people. Additionally, as part of the Erasmus + KA3 program, currently, young people are developing their strategy, where they will indicate the directions of activities so that the city could be attractive to young people. Thanks to the revitalization, the city also creates a special place for young people, entrepreneurs and NGOs, where all these groups will be able to act together and learn from each other.

The City office has extensive experience in the implementation of projects financed from the EU, as well as other sources and has appropriate human resources to carry out projects.