Juss-Buss: Road trip for democracy

P1090657Juss-Buss is a pro-bono law organisation that provides legal aid for free. The organisation was founded by law students in 1971 when they decided to do a research about the need for legal aid and drove around Norway with a bus – this is also where the name “Juss-Buss“ comes from. Even though they do not have the bus anymore and have settled in Oslo it is still law students who run the organisation. Around 30 students do research on law issues and inform clients mostly on a voluntary basis alongside their studies. P1090661Our interview partner Hedda Larsen Borgan is the managing director and the only one working there as a full-time job. She took one and a half years off stu-dying to try to make a difference for the people. Primarily the students support people who are less fortunate and do not have the means to get a lawyer. Continue reading

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Really the 4th power? The role of media in Norway

The National library in Oslo

The National library in Oslo

Today we went and met Havlar Tjønn who has been a journalist for 30 years. He is an interesting character and very knowledgeable about the the history os Oslo and the surrounding areas. Halvar was keen to show us around the national library and explain the history behind the building and took us on a little tour. The tour ended in the new area of the library where we sat and began our interview.

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Interviewing Havlar Tjønn

We started with the ice breaker questions we had prepared back at the hotel, hearing the answers was really interesting about how each day of a writer varies as he has to meet different people everyday, how far he would go to get a good story and what was his most interesting d´so far. As one of the members of the group i found the question “what is your biggest story you wrote” the most interesting thing was when he explained about his time in Russia as he spent 10 years in Moscow. In the time he spent in Moscow the fall of the Soviet union happened and he watched and reported live from Moscow to the newspaper back in Norway as the wars broke out across the country. Continue reading

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Knowledge is Power or What does climate change have to do with democracy?

What does climate change have to do with democracy? This question was the first that came to our minds when we were given our institution, CICERO (Centre for international climate and environmental research). After, first group brain storming and researching we managed to discover links between climate change within democracy. Having prepared a set of questions to ask our interviewee we made our way to the metro.IMG_7065

After numerous false tries we succeeded in finding the correct entrance for the metro station where we caught our train to the university. Here we were friendlily greeted by Solveig Aamodt and Lan Marie Nguyen Berg. After we were offered refreshments we began questioning them. We found out that CICERO is financed by the fuel industries income of the Norwegian state but they try to work as independent as possible. The institution creates different scenarios through their research to allow the politicians to base their political decisions on founded information. This is the main link between the work of CICERO and the government of Norway. Continue reading

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Day 1: Exploring the dimensions of institutional work in Norway

This whole day was dedicated to interviewing different kinds of people. We started off by interviewing each other aka getting to know each other a little better. After the whole group had been properly introduced including the midnight peers, we got our first assignment! We needed to visit 7 different institutions and ask about their role in the Norwegian democracy – which was not always an easy task! Some went to Gyldendal (publishing house), some to Cicero (climate research) and others to LO (the labor union).

The person we were going to interview should also tell us 3 words that he/she associated with democracy – this was harder than expected, some had to think really hard.

After some hours of research the groups could go to their destination on their own. We were all able to follow the maps, but some had trouble finding their way back to the hotel. Another challenge on the way back was to ask 10 random people to name their 3 associations with democracy too. This was not easy, as some people suddenly got very busy! You can find these associations summed up in an tag cloud soon!

Luckily everyone returned safely with a lot of footage and information. We spend hours preparing our presentations with all the information that we had collected – doing our best to impress Tina, Karsten, and Jørgen – but of course as well also the other peers and to answer the leading question about the role of that institution for Norwegian democracy. That resulted in some very detailed presentations, so everyone is exhausted now and almost asleep.. zzzzzz… Presentations from that visits are up on the blog next.

Kristine (Denmark), Gregor (Germany), Mette (Belgium)

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Big arrival! History Camp in Oslo about to start

Wednesday – Arrival day All excited to go to Norway, we finally arrived. At dinner we were almost all represented, apart from 4 people, who had a very late flight. We all looked at each other with curiosity and we talked on and on and on… We found out that even though German participants had the biggest sub-group, there were also a lot of other interesting nationalities. After dinner we got to know each other better, while playing some FUN games. From this point on we were not only 23 young people from Europe, we were Lady Gaga, Queen Elisabeth and Mr. Bean, just to name a few. After laughing a lot and not feeling as shy anymore, we finally went to bed after a long day with travelling and meeting new people! The (unlucky) last ones arrived around midnight and shortly said ‘hey’ to their sleepy roommates. Everyone arrived and only one piece of luggage got lost!

Kristine (Denmark), Gregor (Germany), Mette (Belgium)

Participants in front of Oslo's famous Opera house

Participants in front of Oslo’s famous Opera house


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The voices of Young Europeans

Additionally to the posts we are publishing here, we started a new forum where we give young Europeans a space to write about debates in their countries and to discuss current European issues.

Check it out: SchriftzugYHFrotalt700

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“The relations between ordinary people matter more than political decisions.” Anna from Russia about what makes her feel European

IMG_6184 KopieName: Anna Ryzhkova

Age: 17

Hometown: Novocherkassk, Rostov Region Country: Russia

EUSTORY experiences: Youth Academy – Ljubljana (Slovenia), 2013, “The End of Empires: New Borders, New States, New Loyalties?”

Actual occupation/studies: Last-year student of secondary school

Eustory is not the ordinary type of project. What distinguishes its Academies from other seminars and history forums is the strong bond they create among participants from all ages and origins. Eustory is not only a place to learn history facts, but it also gives the opportunity to establish long-standing friendly relationships. This might seems to sound a little naive or idealistic, but… In 21st century still exist those types of people we call idealists: Meet Anna Ryzhkova from Russia!

She is a hopeless dreamer with a poetic soul. She has high morals and high goals. She is definitely an Arts person. Music has marked her life for good since childhood. In her veins runs the blood of the new European – not the geographical sense of belonging, but the one based on the common beliefs and values. Because she is from Russia; her nationality and origin seem to play an important role for shaping her personality: she listens to Rachmaninoff, reads Bulgakov and loves the city of St. Petersburg. However, she is a citizen of the world – her interests expand far beyond the national borders; her talent cannot be restricted within one country; her principles and values are universal…

Interviewer and Interviewee: Martin from Bulgaria and Anna from Russia

Interviewer and Interviewee: Martin from Bulgaria and Anna from Russia

Thanks to the Eustory Youth Academy in Slovenia (2013) I met 22 unique bright individuals, each one with incredible talents and profound knowledge. Anna Ryzhkova was one of them. I can still recall my initial impression of her during the get-to-know games at the Academy. At first she comes across as a shy reticent girl, but when you get to know her you see a well-educated intelligent young lady with many talents and fascinating interests. Continue reading

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