The final event of the ‘Why Europe Matters‘ campaign took place on 21 March at the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The occasion – held under the patronage of the Bulgarian EU Presidency – was designed to foster the dialogue between young Europeans, policy-makers and business representatives.
Tio student Lotte is the only student representative who is one of the official speakers. She opened the second day of the event, alongside Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions and Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions:“Young people have a central place in the debate about Europe.”
The discussion was based on the findings of an online survey including 4500 respondents from 31 countries. Questions covered the issues presented in the Rome Declaration and its main results include key priorities identified by young people for the future of Europe: quality education, youth employment and a safer Europe. Key conclusions to be drawn from the survey include: young people feel their voice not heard (82%); they identify the most important benefits from the EU as peace and mobility; young people with entrepreneurship education experience have a – higher knowledge of the EU and are more optimistic about the future.
After the presentation of the survey results to a wide audience, six teams of young Europeans from nine different countries presented their concrete proposals for a better Europe.
For instance, young people came up with some innovative solutions on how to develop mentoring schemes for young people, to establish a European foundation to support start ups, to implement specific workshops to integrate migrants, to embed entrepreneurship education programmes in schools and universities as well as to create an educational cybersecurity team within ENISA to raise citizens’ and companies’ awareness.
The team pitches were enriched by numerous interventions from policy-makers and business representatives.
The event closed with the intervention of the Commissioner for Youth, Sport and Culture, Tibor Navracsics. “I’m working to help boost youth participation in civic & political life, such as in the upcoming European elections in 2019. I count on young people to make the most of this!” he concluded.
In March young people from nine countries will come closer to the decision makers to exchange ideas on Why Europe Matters. Only four Dutch students are selected to participate in this event and two of them are Tio students! Business students Joey van der Weijden and Lotte van Rijen will represent The Netherlands.
From each national workshop, the ideas and suggestions of Why Europe Matters will be brought forward in the final innovation workshop in Brussels. Four participants from each national workshop will bring all the ideas to a final summarizing workshop in Brussels. Based on knowledge and content developed in all workshops, the Brussels workshop will be a “channel” for all young participants towards decision makers at the European and national level.
- 36 young people representing the nine national workshops.
- Members of European Parliament from each nine countries.
- Top-level EU representatives. Invitation to Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of European Commission.
- Top level representatives from the European Council Invitation to Donald Tusk, President of European Council.
- Current and next presidency of EU. Invitation to the prime minister of Estonia and Bulgaria.
- CEOs and volunteers from ERT member companies.