18 Jan Young Europe Ambassadors discuss the future of Europe with European ministers
When it comes to the future of Europe, the youth’s voice matters. The Young Europe Ambassadors project proved as much: 27 young people from 24 European countries between the ages of 18 and 26 were invited to discuss their visions for the Future of Europe with the 27 Ministers of European Affairs of the EU Member States in an online event. In the context of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the planned Conference on the Future of Europe, a major initiative fostering citizens’ participation, the project Young Europe Ambassadors aimed at enabling an open and inclusive debate about Europe’s future.
One of the Young Europe Ambassadors, Norbert Szépvölgy (Hungary, 23), expressed his enthusiasm about the project: “The Young Europe Ambassador programme was excellent! I could know brilliant persons and we touched together on serious issues in relation to the European Union’s policies. Moreover, we had the opportunity to present our work and make arguments with the ministers of the European Union. I really hope, the ministers will discuss our work and we will see our work in practice. Last but not least, I wish every young European to have the same chance!”
The ministers were happy to hear about their work. Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office said about the encounter: “Fresh and courageous ideas of young people from all parts of Europe – we need exactly that in the EU. This is why I am delighted that we, the Ministers of European Affairs of the EU Member States, today get the chance to discuss the future of our Union with the Young Europe Ambassadors!”
Here is a short and creative summary of the meeting that took place on the 1st of December 2020:
A look at the Behind the Scenes video below shows that the group of Young Europe Ambassadors also represented a wide range of European nationalities that together shaped the European youth’s opinions on the future of important policies.
Young Europe Ambassador Ifigenia Moumtzi (Greece, 21) stressed the importance of presenting the youth’s opinions to EU ministers: “As young people, we not only have the privilege to dream of a better world, but we also have an imperative to change it. Cooperating with Ministers for European Affairs means setting solid foundations today to build a stronger EU tomorrow. By hearing our demands, the ministers will allow us to pave the way towards a more equal and just society. We imagine a better future for Europe because we are the future of Europe.”
Through digital discussion formats between October 2020 and November 2020 in the framework of “Future of Europe Labs” the participants developed joint positions on various aspects of Europe’s future in fields such as future of climate and energy, asylum policy, EU democracy, digitalisation and health. The group was moderated by Franziska Maier, EYP Alumna and PhD Candidate in Social Sciences.
These Future of Europe Labs resulted not only in a spirited exchange with European ministers, their outcomes were gathered as well in a Policy Recommendations Booklet and summarised in a video, which you can see below.