includuOn 10 and 11 March 2017 in Nea Smyrni and Piraeus, was held the third and final two-day educational action «IncludU» on the promotion of European values among young people for an open and democratic Europe. The action was organized by the Jean Monnet Chair in European Policies for Education, Training, Research and Innovation of the University of Piraeus, International and European Studies Department in collaboration with the Department of Educational Broadcasting of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs under the European Erasmus+ - Jean Monnet «Include European Union Values» (2016-2018) program. At the heart of the program are lying the fundamental values of the European Union, such as the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, human rights and equality for all people in Europe.

The participants were informed through presentations and interactive training methods about the history and the different periods of European integration and with an open discussion analyzed issues such as the geopolitical importance of Greece, its current challenges, Europe in relation to the rest of the world, and the values on which democracy in Europe must be based. During the colloquium, the students and teachers also had the opportunity to interact with Erasmus+ students and to participate in a series of interactive and experiential workshops organized by students and members of youth organizations AEGEE, JEF, MUN Group, ESN and AISEC.

The participants of the program were students, teachers and staff of secondary education as well as students and teachers of the Department of International and European Studies, University of Piraeus.

Among attendees was the head of the European Parliament office in Greece Mr. Leonidas Antonakopoulos who made a statement on the state of Europe and Greece towards the modern challenges.

«The European Union faces economic, political and institutional challenges that are unprecedented in its history. The point is, the European political class, both at European and national level, to perceive the suggestions of public opinion. There are documented trends in issues such as security, immigration and refugee, we can no longer ignore. Political staff should approach these matters realistically, with a positive disposition and a strong desire», stated Mr. Antonakopoulos, adding that, «politics is the art of the possible rather than the desired». In conclusion, he explained that "we may have difficulties as a country, but under the spectrum of all international relations, Greece is the only credible force in the region of Southeast Europe».

The scientific coordinator of the program and assistant professor of the Department of International and European Studies, University of Piraeus, Dr. Foteini Asderaki, pointed out that «under the EU, the European countries are trying to manage diversity and intra-European competition and also to collectively respond to global challenges», expressing the belief that «no European state can cope alone in a multipolar world with gigantic forces that are emerging in SE Asia». Closing, mrs Asderaki said that "although in many cases it already exists, the debate on the two-speed Europe may create both internally and abroad, wrong impressions. Inside create even more tension while outward, image a disunited Europe and therefore invalid".

The debriefing for the dissemination activities of the schools participating in the program will hold place in September 2017 in Piraeus.