Summeruniversity 2019 in Caorle

Summer, Sun, Populism

Nowadays populism is one of the important topics if you talk about Europe. The FPÖ in Austria, Rassemblement National in France and the AFD in Germany. There is a long list of parties like this. Some people have knowledge about populism. But not all!

Near the beach

The Summer University of the network “Young Caritas in Europe” faced the task of dealing with the important issue of populism. It took place from 03 September 2019 to 08 September 2019 in the north of Italy in Caorle. Around 80 young adults from seven different countries (Germany, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, and Czech Republic) came together in accommodation near the beach.

The Summeruniversity started with a small introduction of the topic by the journalist and author Nina Horaczek. She is the chief reporter of a newspaper from Vienna and specialized in the last years on populism in Europe. She stayed with us for two days.

Nina Horaczek is explaining how populism works

The word “populism” comes from Latin and means folk. It is defined as a way how you can make politics. Populism splits the public into two different groups. On the one hand, there is the “in-group” to which the populists themselves belong and on the other hand, the “out-group” who are responsible for all the suffering and abuses in their own country. The composition of the group is not fixed. It changes with every political attitude.

In the afternoon we reviewed the topics in smaller groups to go more deep in.
One day the participants had the task: “Create a populist”. They had to devise a party with a program, slogan and a candidate for our following election. Each presentation of the candidates was so much fun!

Groupwork in the afternoon

On the fourth day, we went on a trip to Venedig to see some Italian culture.  This day was the „Young Caritas in Europe“- Day. Therefore, we made an action for solidarity and world openness. We modified negative, discriminating parols by populist parties to solidary, positive ones and posted it on the social networks with following hashtags. (#makelovegreatagain #youngcaritasineurope #dontgetfooled). Search it, if you want!

A big topic during the end of the university was: “How and what we can do against populism?” The participants thought about ways and methods how to prevent populism. Maybe the youngcaritas will use some of them in the future? We will see!

Group presentation

This year the Summeruniversity was for young adults a great possibility to treat with the currently pulsing topic of populism. They received a good overview of this big topic and learned why it is so important to talk about.

We are excited for the next one!


A report by Valentin Ham