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An Era of Uncertainty: Fake News In A Pandemic World

Agenda 2030 and the SDG: A Discussion on Progress and Challenges in Greece and North Macedonia

Youth Discussion on common challenges between North Macedonia’s and Greek youth

Europe house Strumnica

On the 30th of July, 2021, under the Cooperation for a Common Future initiative, SEE in Action, and Youth Alliance Krusevo co-hosted an event concerning the “pandemic” of fake news.

Key speakers Bojan Kordalov, Communicologist-PR, and Social Media Specialist, and Alexandra Voudouri, Foreign & EU affairs editor/ analyst & special advisor for SA European Service Network (ESN), responded on hot topics related to disinformation concerning the vaccines, on how the EU reacted to the pandemic and the role of social media in the trim trail of information and consolidation.

Both key speakers and young attendees contributed to an alluring conversation moderated by Aigli Sakelari, leading to further issues and remarks. Some of them were the rise of social media and declension of mainstream media because of the mistrust in journalists and reporters, and that social media “do not generate original content” rather than represent “mirrors of the society”. How can mainstream and social media be combined to provoke positive dialogue and discussion rather than hate speech and disinformation? How can the civil sector be included in the mainstream media and result in positive changes? How can the phenomenon of disinformation and misinformation be tackled? All those crucial topics were thoroughly answered in the panel.

On Thursday 13/5/2021 at 20:00 (GMT+3), members of SEE in Action (Aigli Sakellari, Giorgos Koukos, Nikos Bakirtzis) and Youth Alliance – Krushevo co-hosted the event “Agenda 2030 and the SDG: A Discussion on Progress and Challenges in Greece and North Macedonia” as part of their common initiative Cooperation for a Common Future. The aim of the event was to disseminate information on the progress and challenges facing Greece and North Macedonia towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as to engage people in a dialogue on the potential role that youth can play in that regard. 

The talks were based on data from the Sustainable Development Report 2020, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Bertelsmann Stiftung. The discussion focused on 10 out of 17 SDGs and the speakers analyzed the progress that the two countries have achieved so far, but also the challenges they still face on the respective indicators. More specifically, the Goals under scrutiny were: No Hunger (Goal 2), Quality Education (Goal 4), Gender Equality (Goal 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (Goal 9), Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10), Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11), Climate Action (Goal 13), Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Goal 16) and Partnerships for the Goals (Goal 17). 

The event was held virtually, via Zoom and live streamed from the Cooperation for a Common Future Facebook page. In total, 23 people attended the event, including members of youth organizations, civil society and academia. The speakers were Nikos Bakirtzis, Giorgos Koukos and Aigli Sakellari from SEE in Action and Nina Jovanovska from YAK. The presentations were followed by an active and fruitful dialogue among the participants. 

Our researcher and Partnership Development Manager Alexandros Pavlou and our researcher and Youth Office Manager Vasdoka Eleni met virtually with young people from Europe House Strumica , North Macedonia, to discuss the topic “Youth Discussion on common challenges between North Macedonia’s and Greek youth”. They pointed out sensitive issues like prejudice, stereotypes, unemployment and human rights’ respect deficits, which exist in both countries, as well as in the wider South-East Europe region. In a warm and friendly atmosphere, they elaborated on the reasons why young people choose to move abroad and presented their ideas on how to achieve a brain gain in our countries, by giving the same opportunities and incentives as abroad.