You and Me

You and Me - Empowering rural youth

A Youth film project for a new European narrative

Our youth film project brought together 9 young who grew up in the rural areas in Spain, Greece and Germany. They grabbed a camera and told their own stories beyond the media spin and stereotypes that have dominated the mainstream narrative in the European Union over the last few years. After taking part in a film training, they travelled in September and October 2016 as transnational groups through the rural areas of Brandenburg (Germany), Lesbos (Greece) and Aragón (Spain), where they interviewed other youngsters about their lives in the rural areas, their dreams and everyday challenges. They produced the documentary film Ruralink:

In the EU, 75% of the population lives in urban areas, while 80% of the territory is categorised as rural. Rural areas throughout Europe are often associated with remoteness, population decline, lack of education, infrastructure and services, and therefore risk marginalisation and social exclusion. The documentary film Ruralink features six stories of rural youth from Brandenburg (Germany), Aragón (Spain) and Lesbos (Greece) beyond stereotypes and mainstream narrative. It provides a fresh look at rural Europe and shows dynamic young people, committed to reviving their local communities and regions.

The documentary was supported by Jugend Für Europa in the frame of the transnational project "You and Me - A Youth Film Project for a New European Narrative". Started in April 2016, the project brought together 9 young people from rural areas in Attica, Lesbos (Greece), Aragón (Spain) and Brandenburg (Germany). After an intensive film training, they were split into three transnational film crews and grabbed their cameras to tell stories of rural youth in their regions.

Find out more on the project blog:

Direction, Camera and Editing: Ruth-Maria Thomas, Elisabeth Wank, Jesus Lozano Lombarte, Laura Martinez Pallas, Anabel Roda Cerda, Emre Jon Brooks, Panagiotis Kypriotis

Media trainer / Artistic Direction: Séverine Lenglet

Production: Citizens For Europe, Fondo Natural, Bridging Europe

Coordinators of the project "You and Me- A Youth Film Project for a New European Narrative": Chiara Zannoni (Citizens For Europe), Jorge Gracia Lopez (Fondo Natural), Eleni Kostantopoulou (Bridging Europe).

The content of this documentary does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lie entirely with the authors.

Funded by

Partner organisations


February 10, 2021
KNAD Kompetenznetzwerk Antidiskriminierung und Diversitätsorientierung

Competence Network “Antidiscrimination and Diversity Focus”

Competence Network
"Antidiscrimination & Diversity Focus"

We inform. We advise. We accompany.

Since 2020, CFE has been working together with the Anti-Discrimination Association Germany (advd) and RAA Berlin in the Competence Network “Anti-Discrimination and Diversity Focus”. As part of the federal program "Demokratie leben!", the network has set itself the task of advancing the professional discourse on the topics of anti-discrimination, equality and diversity focus nationwide and supporting governmental and non-governmental organizations in preventing, recognizing, addressing and reducing discrimination.
February 9, 2021
Screenshot Online Kick Off 1 DIYW

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Reviving youth engagement and participation in democratic life

Whereas various innovations to democratize contemporary democracies have been imagined, designed, tested and even institutionalised on different levels of decision-making (e.g. citizens assemblies, participatory budgeting, deliberative polls etc.), Democratic Innovations (DIs) still do not play a role in youth work and non-formal education today. The DIYW (Democratic Innovations in Youth Work) project aims at tackling the issue of democratic disenchantment and erosion by developing, testing and disseminating didactic materials that support youth workers, facilitators and trainers in democratic education as well as school teachers to introduce to young people the subject of Democratic Innovations with the use of non-formal education methods.
December 14, 2020

European Democracy Network Final Conference

Democracies in the Making! Online Learning Exchange

How can civil society and activist movements resist and handle attacks by authoritarian governments on democratic values and basic rights, also in times of the COVID-19 pandemic? And how can new forms of interventions inspire these movements and revive democracy? Organized within the European Democracy Network on Saturday 28.11.2020, our practice-oriented Online Learning Exchange "Democracies in the Making" connected about 150 activists defending democratic values and change-makers designing and implementing new models of participation and deliberation, beyond periodic elections.
September 17, 2020
EDN Activist Meeting Tisnov/Brno

EDN Activists’ Meeting Brno/Tisnov

Recovering in solidarity - EDN Activists’ Meeting in Brno (CZ)

After a long break, another EDN activist meeting took place between 11th-14th September in Brno/Tisnov. Notwithstanding the difficult circumstances of the pandemic situation, EDN activists continue to exchange their experiences and to support each other in their struggles for more democratic, inclusive and ecological societies. During the four days meeting, participants took part in a forest therapy, in a city tour and public event connected to local activist groups and movements in Brno, as well as in workshop sessions on non-hierarchical organisations, non-violent communication and in burn out in activism.
July 15, 2020

Start #AFROZENSUS and #VielfaltImFilm

Start #AFROZENSUS und #VielfaltImFilm

During the last challenging months we have been working intensively on two new projects and are happy to present to you #AFROZENSUS, the first large-scale online survey to record the life realities, experiences of discrimination and perspectives of African descent living in German as well as #VielfaltImFilm, the very first survey on diversity and discrimination in front and behind the camera.
June 9, 2020

Vielfalt im Film – Diversity in the film sector

Online survey Vielfalt im Film

For an inclusive film industry in front and behind the camera

How diverse is the German-speaking film and television industry? Who is represented and how, and who is not? What exclusions and precarious working conditions exist and how can we promote the development of an inclusive working environment in the film industry? The initiative and online survey Vielfalt im Film (ViF) is the first comprehensive survey of anti-discrimination and equality data in the German-speaking film and television industry. 30,000 filmmakers in German-speaking countries will be surveyed on equal opportunities, diversity and discrimination in the film industry.
June 9, 2020

#AFROZENSUS Online survey

Online survey #AFROZENSUS

A survey from the community for the community

More than one million people of African descent live in Germany. #AFROZENSUS is the first large-scale online survey to record their life realities, experiences of discrimination and perspectives. The aim is to use the results to empower the Black communities in Germany as well as to promote concrete political measures against racist discrimination and for the empowerment and protection of the Black communities.
March 4, 2020
Voting Rights For All Coalition in berlin - Campaign 2016

CHIEF-Podcast: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership for change

A coalition for political change - Storytelling "Voting Rights For All"

How do you initiate and implement a partnership between various actors from civil society, academia, politics and local communities? How can a coalition of various stakeholders advocate for social and political change? How do you foster an inclusive, participatory and impactful multi-sectoral collaboration? In this podcast, Séverine Lenglet, Head of the division “Empowering Civil Society“ at Citizens For Europe, and Martin Wilhelm, Director of Citizens For Europe, try to answer these questions, using the example of the Alliance “Wahlrecht für Alle – Voting Rights for All” that was initiated by Citizens For Europe in 2011 in Berlin.
February 26, 2020
CHIEF Podcast Advocacy for social and political change

CHIEF-Podcast: Advocacy for change

Podcast: Advocacy for social and political change

How can you attract political decision-makers to support your cause? How can you build pressure so that they take responsibility and get engaged? How can you design a policy recommendation and advocate for change? To answer these questions, Martin Wilhelm, Director of Citizens For Europe, interviews Sergius Seebohm, an expert with more than 15 years’ experience in advocacy and political communication. This podcast was produced in the frame of the CHIEF project, an international research project that strives for a more inclusive cultural education for young people across Europe by producing policy recommendations and advocating for them an in inclusive process.
February 3, 2020
EDN Activists’ Meeting Paris

EDN Activists’ Meeting Paris

Reflecting on struggles and social movements in Europe and beyond

Networking with representatives of social movements and civil society organizations from France, Latin American and Caribbean countries, sharing activist success stories, learning about fundraising opportunities and philanthropy for democracy-related projects in Europe, civic-sightseeing in the footsteps of revolutionary women and looking for constructive responses to the problem of shrinking civic spaces – the weekend between 24th-27th January in Paris was full of valuable encounters, reflections and discussions for activists from the European Democracy Network (EDN). Listen, watch, read about all these topics in this blogpost.
December 17, 2019

Action Fund ViRaL – End of Pilot Phase

More than 50,000 people reached at the local level

The pilot phase of our ViRaL action fund has come to an end and we are reviewing it. We got to know so many great activists* who are committed to diversity and against racism, and we had the opportunity to fund and support them with ViRaL. So much was set in motion and initiated by ViRaL on the ground! ViRaL has reached over 250,000 people online. With their local projects, the selected groups and associations, had a reach of approx. 50,000 people at the local level.
October 14, 2019
Group photo European Democracy Network

EDN Activists’ Meeting Budapest

Empowering and connecting activists in Budapest, October 2019

Community organising and campaigning; mobile video activism; the situation and discrimination of Roma Community, media propaganda and shrinking of civic spaces in Hungary; psychological support to prevent burn out and strengthen resilience – the third activists' meeting of our European Democracy Network that took place in Budapest from 4-7 October 2019 was full of intensive training sessions, inspiring keynotes, city civic sightseeing, artistic vibes and networking opportunities.
July 3, 2019
Group photo Activists and Partners European Democracy Network

EDN Activists’ Meeting Berlin

Living Transnational Solidarity - Berlin June 2019

White Privileges, Digital Security, Positive Psychology, Right-wing Populism and Shrinking Civic Space in Germany – the activists of the European Democracy Network project took part in various training sessions during our Networking Meeting in Werkstatt der Kulturen between 28 June to 1st of July. We also organised a “Transnational Inspirations dinner” to give the participants the opportunity to meet local and diaspora activists living in Berlin as well as to share inspiring activists stories and best practices to create change.
May 23, 2019
Street activist in Poland

EDN-Vox Pop: Activist Stories #Poland

Being an opposition activist in Poland

How is the populist right-wing and national-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party ruling Poland and how does it affect street opposition? Polish activists tell how the PiS politics is eroding the democratic standards and values in Poland, taking over the public media, threatening fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as shrinking the civic space. Civil society is under pressure. Listen to our vox pop with Polish activists : "Being an opposition activist in Poland in 2019". Stories of street actions, violence, intimidation and threats...
May 7, 2019
#ViRaL-Webinar in German: Fundraising for small organisations

#ViRaL-Webinar: Fundraising for small organisations

#ViRaL-Webinar: Fundraising for small organisations

A great project idea does not automatically make a good project proposal. It is a challenge to present an idea in an application in such a way that it is easy for the sponsor to understand and to be convinced about it. The first #ViRaL-Webinar takes a look at the application process from the analysis of the call for proposals to the submission of the application: What does an application need? What methods are there to highlight the needs of the project? How do you formulate good project objectives? What should be taken into account when the organisation presents itself? And what does a good cost plan look like?
May 2, 2019
Activists and Partners of the European Democracy Network

European Democracy Network Activists

Meet the activists of our European Democracy Network

Our partnership "European Democracy Network" currently supports, empowers and networks activists who stand against the erosion of democracy, the rise of nationalism and white supremacy, as well as the shrinking of civic spaces where civil society is under pressure. The selected activists are from Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Syria, Ukraine and Turkey.
April 17, 2019
Klementyna Suchanow, Polish author and political activist

European Democracy Network Talk – Warsaw

The network of neo-conservative movements in Europe

The talk with Klementyna Suchanow, Polish author and political activist, presents the neo-conservative movement and the backlash on human rights it brings. The so called Agenda Europe which started in 2013 is a plan of reduction and withdrow of the human rights. It is an organized agenda realized in all the countries in different ways, according to local laws, with the same points: anti-abortion, anti-lgbt, anti-contraceptives, no divorce and at the end anti-democracy.
April 4, 2019
EDN Activists and Partners

EDN Activists Meeting Warsaw

Together for democracy: First EDN Activists Meeting

Our European Democracy Network (EDN) brings together a dozen of activists fighting against the erosion of democracy, the rise of nationalism and white supremacy, as well as the shrinking of civic space. They met for the first time in Warsaw (Poland) at the end of March together with the EDN partners. During the four days meeting, they got to know each other, exchange about their experiences as activists in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Turkey, Slovakia, Denmark and Germany. And the participants co-designed the future of the network, its activities and how do they want it to empower them.
March 14, 2019
Feature Image #ViRaLfonds Podcast Finance and Funding

#ViRaL Podcast “Finance and Funding”

Our first #ViRaL Podcast is online!

Especially for informal groups and smaller actors without full-time and professionalised structures, financing their actions and ideas is a special challenge - also because they often lack the capacities and experience to keep up with established organisations or to cope with the complex application processes. Which strategies, sources and support can informal groups and smaller actors draw on to tackle the challenges of financing? This question is answered in our first podcast produced in the context of the accompanying programme of our action fund ViRaL.
February 28, 2019
Vielfalt entscheidet Thuringia

Vielfalt entscheidet Thuringia

Thüringen goes Diversity

Our team “Vielfalt entscheidet – Diversity in Leadership” is currently working with and for the Thuringian state administration to develop Germany's first survey of anti-discrimination and equality data, in which around 20,000 employees can participate. The results of “Vielfalt entscheidet Thüringen” will form the basis for a diversity strategy of the Thuringian state administration. It is the first time in Germany that such a large number of employees are given the opportunity to share their differentiated perspectives on and experiences with diversity and discrimination.