"Your Europe, Your Say!" is the EESC's annual youth event. Every year around 100 students from 33 secondary schools across Europe gather at the EESC to discuss the most important European issues and draw up resolutions addressed to the EU institutions.
Marking its 9th anniversary, this year's YEYS focused on the role of culture in the future of Europe - a hot issue as 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage - as seen from the perspective of young Europeans, and on what they could do to improve it.
This year a total of 585 schools applied, 464 from EU countries and 121 from the five candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). The 33 schools were selected by drawing lots, and they were visited by an EESC member who helped prepare students for the event.
On 15 and 16 March 2018, 99 students (three from each school) and 34 teachers met at the EESC. During the event, the students worked under the guidance of expert moderators in order to prepare 10 tangible recommendations to EU policymakers. The three most appealing proposals were then selected by vote.
The EESC, as the voice of civil society, is keen to ensure that the ideas of Europe's younger generation are heard. The three winning recommendations will be sent to the European Commission and the European Parliament and will also be presented by a delegation of students during the EESC's commemorative plenary for the 60th anniversary of the institution, which will take place on 24 May. More follow-up actions are planned together with the European Commission and Europa Nostra.