Rebeka Maršnjak, 27 years old, coming from Slovenia. Political scientist, with a creative and passionate entrepreneurial spirit. Living in Etterbeek for a year now and made me realise that being a young expat in Brussels is not only to be passionate about the career path but also to contribute and be passionate about the place you live in. It is in our hands to shape our future with creative and inclusive vision to make our everyday better and healthier.
Being curious and at the same time concerned about the place I am surrounded with, I started my active political path during the studies in Slovenia. I became the President of the Control Commission and later the International Secretary of the Youth Forum of Social Democrats in Slovenia. Moreover, I was also involved into local NGOs and various advocacy actions. Therefore, by my opinion, it is crucial for young people to be active citizens and to spread their voice, either in political way directly or being involved in a different action groups. All this does not only bring you the experiences, but at the same time we are learning from each other and shaping future together. World needs young, active people with a fresh ideas and progressive minds. Becoming politically active as an expat, gives me the opportunity to better integrate into local environment and actively contribute to the local needs in our community.
Healthy environment merged with active participation of the young citizens of Etterbeek is crucial when making our community inclusive and sustainable. As an expat in Brussels, I was facing with some challenges while adapting to the new environment. Faster integration of a young expats such as raising up the initiatives for a better living costs for young workers, offering support for language barriers and to teach about Belgian culture and the rules of the city itself is of a great importance for better inclusion in society. We have to work on the initiatives to go beyond the cultural aspect with shaping a common cultural place in our commune through cultural exchanges. The next important issue to highlight is support for better transition of the young workers on the labour market, especially to improve living standards of young workers and to fight against unpaid internships, encouraging the projects to support young entrepreneurship and others. Moreover, the tool such as “informational hub” is needed to support the flow of information among students and young workers, which will also help them to maintain active role at the local level.
To make Etterbeek sustainable and environmentally friendly place for our citizens, we have to work on projects towards greener city, encouraging healthy environment with more bicycles spots, less transport in the city, cleaner streets (for example with one additional day for a trash collection and stronger rules on maintaining clean environment). At the same time, we are living in the capital of Europe and with being inclusive we have to work on the initiatives to take care of the homeless and provide them infrastructure to use it when in need and moreover, to give them the opportunity of a better integration into society with a season jobs opportunity.
At that point l would like to hear from you. Express your ideas, concerns that you are facing in everyday life. Now it’s the time to ROCK the vote and have a SAY. Now it is the time to shape our future together.