The European Youth Event (EYE2016) has taken place this weekend at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This second edition of the event has gathered more than 7000 young people from all over Europe, ready to discuss the current and future challenges that the European Union is facing. The debates have been led by relevant figures of European politics and civil society, who – besides sharing their experiences and knowledge on specific topics – have been ready to listen to young population´s points of view.

“Together we can make a change” was the chosen motto for the event. The program started on Friday with the opening ceremony with Sylvie Guillaume and Mairead McGuinness (Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament), Johanna Nyman (President of the European Youth Forum) and Roland Ries (Mayor of Strasbourg). The given message was clear: Young generations are the next performers of European politics, the ones who will shape the future of the European Union. Young people in Europe should not feel excluded, but become active players and be listened on the European Union´s development. There is a huge potential of ideas and innovative solutions to be taken into account.

The YDE group has been represented by delegates from France, Germany, the Basque Country, Slovenia and Slovakia. Once again, we have strongly defended our values and firm commitment to help shape a democratic and strong European Union.

The opening plenary session, celebrated on Friday in the hemicycle, showed an incredible vibrant atmosphere with thousands of young Europeans fully engaged and committed to be part of European politics for a day.

The whole program was organized around five main themes:

  • War and Peace: Perspectives for a Peaceful Planet
  • Apathy or Participation: Agenda for a Vibrant Democracy
  • Exclusion or Access: Crackdown on Youth Unemployment
  • Stagnation or Innovation: Tomorrow’s World of Work
  • Collapse or Success: New Ways for a Sustainable Europe

Between several others, some of the hottest topics were how to deal with the refugee crisis, the controversial TTIP agreement with the U.S.A., tax evasion, entrepreneurship, climate challenge or the importance of democracy.

Political debates, interactive workshops and educational activities, besides music and artistic performances have completed a stimulating weekend in which the European identity has been reinforced. The conclusions reached will be discussed in multiple committees in the European Parliament next autumn.

If this weekend has shown us something, than that despite the difficulties and uncertainties on the way, it is that there is still hope to keep on building a strong European Union. It´s future and success is in our hands and we need to be very clear on the path we want to follow because together we can make a change!

 Irati Oleaga
@oleaga_irati

Thanks to Marielle de Sarnez and Robert Rochefort for having sponsored our groups