October 9, 2017

EYP part of discussions at World Economic Forum

On 28-29 September, Noura Berrouba, a member of the Governing Body, represented the European Youth Parliament at the World Economic Forum’s Reshaping Europe meeting in Milan. Read about her thoughts on youth representation.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organisation, that according to their mission statement is “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas”.

As part of the New Concept for Europe initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Reshaping Europe meeting provided a platform for open dialogue and actionable ideas on future paths for Europe – a Europe that shows leadership, makes the changes needed to strengthen its global position and advance social and economic progress. The initiative will provide concrete recommendations and ideas to be presented to decision-makers at the Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

In June, EYP was invited to a a first meeting with the World Economic Forum in Geneva. This meeting was titled “New concept for Europe: Kick-off meeting of the youth”. The initiative includes two groups: a Europe policy group and a Youth champions group. EYP, together with the European Youth Forum, constitute the only two youth organisations part of the initiative. We see this as a unique opportunity to promote EYP, our values, our participants’ ideas and our work on the European scene and strengthen the role of youth organisations in this forum.

The June Geneva meeting was followed by a Reshaping Europe meeting in Milan in September, this time bringing together both the Europe policy group and the Youth champions group, where EYP was once again invited to work on the New Concept for Europe initiative.

The meeting included working group sessions where participants were divided into smaller thematic groups, tackling the subjects Human-Centric Economy, Security and Defence, Migration and Open Borders, Democracy and Governance, and Energy and Sustainability. In the Energy and Sustainability group, we were able to share the ideas proposed by the Power Shifts steering group and by participants at the Power Shifts sessions.

The meeting also included three panels addressing all participants, where EYP was able to share our work with the entire assembly of participants in the panel “Europe retweeted” moderated by Jon Worth.

In this panel, which followed the opening statement by Ursula von der Leyen, Federal Minister of Defence of Germany, we shared how EYP is working with civic education, and how we empower active citizens around the continent. Addressing a room full of policy and business leaders, we highlighted the importance of well-informed, empowered, tolerant, open-minded active young citizens for society as a whole.

If we’re serious about the future of Europe, we need to be serious about the participation and contribution of young people. And if we’re serious about the participation and contribution of young people, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to support, connect with, recognise and fund youth organisations such as the EYP that foster politically-literate & informed youth. A future to believe in is one you get to shape. Every day, EYP provides young people with the knowledge and tools to take on and shape their societies.

We were also able to share how we’re working with our international strategy, highlighting our work on inclusion, empowerment, contribution, and stability and continuity. We were approached by numerous participants congratulating us on the great work work done by EYP across Europe. This is a reminder of the meaningful, life-changing work EYP does everyday, throughout 40 National Committees, and we hope this can serve as a reminder to all participants, members, volunteers, and National Committee board members across Europe that their work is being appreciated not only by those they work with and directly impact, but by the societies in which they engage.

EYP has a rightful place in the European scene and our impact is not to be underestimated. We look forward to strengthening our role and presence in the European scene, resulting in more partnerships and capacities for our work and channels for our participants’ ideas.

Noura Berrouba, member of EYP’s Governing Body