The Partium Christian University and University of Debrecen are collaborating in order to create joint programs that have as goals the development of those skills that address intercultural education and education for tolerance in the communities belonging to the multiethnic groups of the cross-border area. As a result of the joint analyses, we have selected 3 localities from Hungary and 3 from Romania. A relatively rich number of ethnic groups live here. Our intention is to establish a strategy on short and long term regarding the valorization of the folkloric values of each ethnic group as well as their educational valorization for all cross-border multiethnic groups. We realized together a joint training of the students in the two universities, because we want to develop those lifelong learning skills that will enable them to use the project's idea in their future.
Our Project is important and useful for modernizing disadvantaged and peripheral communities. As regards the EU’s strategies for rural development, one of the main targets is preserving and encouraging cultural diversity. The regions under our scrutiny are characterized by symptoms of emigration and enclavisation. In addition to direct economic financing and strategic development plans, human resources are as important and necessary in the complex process of reorganizing and developing local cultural identity. The need for revitalizing local customs and traditions has been expressed by the very inhabitants of those settlements. By focusing on such multiethnic regions – jointly inhabited by Romanians, Hungarians, Swabians, and Roma – our Project studies the phenomenon of cultural revival, thus contributing proactively to the development of local communities and their own adjustment to the demands of globalization.
On both sides of the frontier the main features to be noticed among those communities are economic and cultural backwardness, as well as a marked process of ‘aging’. The results of our research programme, involving the students’ contributions, certainly provide clues for decisions to be taken by EU specialists as well as by those residing in the two countries.