“Grand Europrean Express”



PRAXIS participate in this European youth exchange founded by EU, that wants to raise awareness for the European project, for environmental sustainability and to the European values of tolerance, inclusion, respect for Human Rights, democracy and multicultural dialogue. The coordinator Organisation was EXPERIMENTACULO ASSOCIACAO CULTURAL, and the participants countries are PORTUGAL, ICELAND, SERBIA, NORTH MACEDONIA, BULGARIA, GREECE.

“Grand European Express” is an itinerant youth exchange that passed through 4 European
countries in 11 days, gathering youngsters from 6 different countries – Portugal, Greece,
Serbia, North Macedonia, Iceland and Bulgaria.

The main objectives of the project are:

– To promote the train and the railroad system as an ecological, safe and efficient way
of transport;
– To raise awareness to European citizenship, to European values
– To promote the European values of tolerance, solidarity, inclusion, respect for Human Rights, democracy and multicultural dialogue;
– To promote climate actions in a more active way;
– To promote non-formal education as a tool for empowerment and acquisition of competencies and skills;
– To promote and raise visibility of Erasmus+ program.

Especially in Serres/Greece, we had the opportunity to better analyze and discuss with the
general secretary of the Serres Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Giorgos Tairis, the current
situation in Serres and in Greece in terms of movements/transports, regarding ecological
means of transport people, goods and products, as well as the proposals and requests of
local entrepreneurship such as upgrading the railway network.

At the same time, the purpose of this meeting was to promote and increase the visibility of
Erasmus+ for environmental sustainability and the European values of tolerance, inclusion,
respect for human rights, democracy and multicultural dialogue.

This open meeting between the Serres Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBES) and the young people of the city and representatives of the Youth of the European & Balkan countries, had the title, “Grand European Express- Green Transportation” ERASMUS + youth”.

In the afternoon of the same day, PRAXIS ESC volunteers organized a choreographic flash
mob in central parts of the city of Serres, in order to make our request for green
transportation more visible.

Participants describe their experiences below:


I participated in an Erasmus+ youth exchange called Grand European Express, which was
about sustainable travel in Europe and about promoting train travel as a clean mode of
transport. This youth exchange was unique, since we were travelling as a group passing
through a total of four countries: Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. The project also had participants from Portugal and Iceland.
During the project I had the opportunity to meet people from such diverse parts of Europe, talk about the similarities and the differences of our cultures, but above all connect on a deep level. Even though a lot of the participants’ countries traditionally don’t get along well, we managed to overcome all the stereotypes and we all returned home with close friends from all over the continent.
This project also taught me that many of the countries of Europe are not well connected with each other, at least by train. The train infrastructure in the Balkan region is inferior to the standards the rest of the continent enjoys, something that made our travels more difficult. Another thing I had the opportunity to do in this youth exchange is to cooperate with local volunteers in each country. This gave me a different perspective on the issues we were discussing and gave me a deeper understanding of it.

 Dimitris Fotopoulos


My participation in the “Grand European Express” Erasmus program was a unique
experience. I didn’t know what to expect because it was the first time I participated in an
erasmus + program and I was a bit nervous at first. From the first few days we played
“getting to know each other” games, had conversations and the whole atmosphere quickly
became intimate and friendly.
We did a lot of activities in this program as we visited four different places (Belgrade, Kumanovo, Serres and Pazardjik) but I will write down some of them that will remain
unforgettable to me.
In Belgrade we split into five groups and played a treasure hunt and in one afternoon we
visited many basic parts of the city. The intercultural night where we had a presentation of
each country with food, music, dances was one of my favorite moments.
In Kumanovo we visited a park with a river next to it and had a picnic, it was a very calm and
relaxing afternoon.
In Serres we visited a museum of modern art which had really interesting and unique
Also, in Pazarchik, we played movement games and after there was a presentation about the Erasmus + days at a cultural center for the local people to be informed. Then we split into groups with them and went to ten key sites in the area.
The whole experience ended with a fun party combined with karaoke where we all danced,
laughed and sang.

I am already looking forward for the next Erasmus + experience!

Despoina Papadimitriou


This October started off with a very special way. On the 3rd of October started the projects
“Grand European Express”. We explored 4 beautiful balkan cities: Belgrade, Kumanovo,
Serres and Pazardzhik.
In Belgrade we started some “get-to-know-each-other” activities. We instantly became friends. We came closer through exploring the city and sharing our culture during the intercultural night.
In Kumanovo we met the local authorities. We discussed about the importance of free
transportation means. We also did a clean up and then had a nice picnic in a beautiful park.
In Serres we explored the city’s culture and got around interesting museums and had also a great tour. We danced a bit in public to promote green traveling.
Pazardzhik was our last stop. We spoke more about green traveling. We played a nice game
to help us learn more about the city. On October 13 was our last session. It was hard seeing
everyone leave back to their city. It was an amazing project that taught us the importance of promoting green traveling and created friendships.

Alexandra Charizani

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