Round table on the EU project in Split

The second round table on “The quality of life and employability of young people on the Dalmatian islands” held on November 7th in Split. The round table on this topic is one in a series of project activities implemented through the project “Promoting the employability of young people on geographically isolated islands”. After the welcome speech given by the representatives of the association SVIMA, from the island of Vis, Ms Ana Peric, Mr. Renato Jerončić from CES regional office in Split, presented statistics of the labor market in the Split-Dalmatia County. As in the far south, regarding the employability of young people, it is mostly a seasonal employment. Unfortunately, that kind of employment leads to an inability to design some more secure future and also creates long-term dissatisfaction with life on the island, evidence for this data were based on a survey which was conducted on 16 Dalmatian inhabited islands in 4 counties. The great interest in this subject was shown by numerous participants, who, in spite of strong south wind, came from Vis, Brač, Hvar and Korčula, and quite rightly asked the question “where are the regional authorities?” In addition to the many young people and associations from these islands, the round table was attended by the representatives of the Lag Škoji, numerous students from Split, representatives of the Centre for Social Welfare from Brač and Vis, media from Split and different associations from the City of Split.

The islands are part of the Croatia and the Split-Dalmatia county, not only in the summer tourist season when the budgets are filled, but also when it is not worth – claimed the young people at the round table. Such a systematic policy of neglection of young people on the islands leads to secure depopulation. Besides that, the other topics were discussed, such as the need for decentralization of the island, the need for revision of restrictive environmental policies, in order to balance their goal in a way that the center of interest is a man who lives on the island, rather than threaten his survival on the island with the environmental policy.

During the discussions on the ways how to manage the islands, the young people expressed great dissatisfaction with management. When making development strategies of some island communities, and if they are brought, in most cases the public is omitted from public debates, i.e. the residents of these island communities, but already brought strategies have been presented to them. This raises questions about for whom this strategy was done and who has prepared it? Besides that, the big problem is the lack of lifelong education on the islands, and there is the need to focus attention on innovative models of education with a focus on sustainable energy and networking with European island communities in the use of the ideas that they have already been implemented to address similar problems.

For the development and survival on the islands, which represent a sort of micro communities with valuable cultural and social capital, it is necessary to network among organizations and between sectors, the message from the Split roundtable was “just because we live on the islands, if we want to survive and preserve the islands, we should not be an island “