ECAS staff participated as moderators of two students’ workshops in the event hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the 23 and 24 March 2023, Your Europe, Your Say! (YEYS!).
Created in 2010, every year, this event brings together young students and their teachers to Brussels to hear their voices and engage them to become active citizens so that they see the impact they can have in their communities and shape Europe’s future.
The 14th edition of the YEYS! focused on “Youth Democracy Dialogues” and counted with the participation of 35 school delegations comprised of 105 young students and more than 30 teachers from all 27 EU Member States and the seven candidate countries to bring forward youth empowerment, active participation and young citizens’ involvement in democratic and political processes.
The two workshops were structured in a debate format so students could reach a consensus and understand how agreements are made between people with different views and interests.
@EU2023 – source: EESC
Intending to foster civic education, in the first workshop, students participated in a game to map potential dystopias around the European Parliament Elections 2024 and challenges/threats to democracy in the EU and come up with solutions and actionable ideas to avoid these unwanted scenarios.
In the second workshop, students had to develop a policy proposal that was presented at the closing plenary session. In June 2023, the students’ recommendations will be submitted to the European institutions and high-level EU policymakers.
This exercise took the form of a simulation game based on the European Citizens’ Initiative, the first transnational participatory democracy tool that allows EU citizens to create and/or sign an initiative to the European Commission in a matter they want the EU to take legal action on.
The student recommendations for the European institutions focused on the creation of apps and platforms that could increase engagement between politicians and civil society, for them to have a better understanding of the EU and politicians’ agendas, increase transparency in politics, and improve the quality of civic education and youth engagement in Europe. The students also proposed more EU-funded initiatives led BY young people FOR young people.
Find more information about this event here.
Recordings are available here.