Thirty-three schools from across Europe will come to Brussels next March and tell European institutions just what role they see culture playing in Europe's future. They will brainstorm, debate and vote on three proposals which European institutions will factor into their policy making.
The schools were selected to participate in this initiative by means of an electronic name picker in Brussels on 6 December. One school from each of the 28 EU Member States and five candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) will be involved.
Called "Your Europe, Your Say!" (YEYS), the event is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the voice of civil society at European level, and is the Committee's flagship event for young people.
Students from secondary schools will leave their familiar classrooms and come to Brussels on 15 and 16 March to share their views and ideas and work together on "United in diversity: a younger future for European culture". They will tackle issues such as:
- What is European culture: is it just the sum of national traditions or are there common values that make us all Europeans?
- What is the role of culture and cultural exchanges in students' lives?
- What can the European Union do to promote culture (cinema, music, dance, literature, theatre, etc.) and better protect cultural heritage sites?
- What role could culture play in the economic rebirth of Europe's regions and cities?
- How can this rebirth give new opportunities to young people in terms of new jobs?
- What can the EU and Member States do to facilitate this process?
Through this initiative, the EESC is making sure that the views, experiences and ideas of the younger generation are taken on board in EU policy making.