August 5, 2021

Rethinking the Future of Europe at the 94th International Session of the EYP in Ljubljana

In the context of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Ljubljana 2021 International Session of the European Youth Parliament (EYP) is taking place from the 29th of July to the 8th of August 2021.

The project brings together over 150 young people from 35 countries to discuss pressing issues, such as the future of Europe, shifting labour conditions, and democratic backsliding. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, the hybrid event format enables some participants to gather in Ljubljana physically, while others connect from their homes or national hubs all over Europe.

Aligning with the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the project encourages engagement with political actors, industry representatives and academia empowering young people to reshape the future of Europe according to their vision. During the Opening Ceremony, the Slovenian State Secretary Dr Raščan gave a speech highlighting the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. In the first panel discussion, distinguished guests, including the DHM of the German Embassy Eva-Ricarda Willems, the DHM of the French Embassy Samantha Bonbayl, and the Dutch Ambassador to Slovenia, H.E. Johan Verboom exchanged on the Future of Europe. The second debate on active citizenship and youth participation involved former EU Commissioner Violeta Bulc, MEP Dr Klemen Grošelj and activist Nika Kovač.

Quoting Adriaan van Streun, one of the volunteers leading the session: “What makes EYP unique is that it takes you out of your everyday life and puts you in an environment where you are pushed to meet new people and to develop new skills. It is a great first step to get involved with civil society and to learn about all the different ways in which you can make an impact.”

Under the ‘Flowing Beyond Limits’ theme and in cooperation with the general sponsor Google, the International Session focuses on innovation and mobility. In the ‘Theme Event’, participants will explore career options and broaden their horizons by participating in talks with the lawyer and former Information Commissioner of Slovenia Nataša Pirc Musar, the entrepreneur Žiga Vavpotič, and representatives of the Institute of Jožef Stefan.

The International Session will culminate in a discussion of the resolutions on the 6th and 7th of August. The resolutions are the final collection of policy visions that young people have formed as a result of discussion and debate throughout the session and they address the most pertinent issues Europe faces today.