European Youth Event '21
On 8 and 9 October, thousands of young Europeans were present at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to participate in the European Youth Event!
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© Joel Cardoso
More than 4500 young people from the various countries of the European Union were present in Strasbourg to discuss and share ideas about the future of Europe, in the third edition of the EYE. This event had particular importance this year, as it is part of the youth consultation process for the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). Over the two days of the face-to-face event, many ideas were discussed and explored in different talks and workshops. The themes covered various areas, such as climate change, sustainability or human rights and democracy. In the end, the ideas were voted on and the top 20 were consolidated into a report presented and discussed in the political debate of the Conference.
The location of the event is special by itself, and having a lot of young people from all over Europe to discuss its future gave it huge potential. The attempt to bring the European youth closer to the decision-making area, is indeed commendable, because we are the future, and it's necessary to hear our voices now, to bring a better future for everyone. We all live in different realities, acting up in different environments and communities. All this gives us important value, both locally and globally. We all start from different problems and perspectives, but each of us knows our own reality and the challenges that face it. Being able to bring all these visions together, in the common space of European debate was, without a doubt, an added value, making this event highly enriching. Furthermore, this event showed that we all have an active voice; that beyond being active in the local community, it is important to be involved in something global, such as the future of our continent. Despite all this, the representation of political decision-makers left much to be desired, falling well short of expectations.
Nevertheless, it was a good experience, showing the desire of the European institutions to do things differently. It was also an excellent opportunity to meet new people and ideas and to build a wider and more knowledgeable perspective of Europe as a Union of countries; this extraordinary asset, which most of us take for granted, but which increasingly has to make us proud of what it is achieving.