Students from 33 different countries will travel to Brussels in March 2020 to take part in a European Youth Summit on Climate. The event is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), and will follow the model of a United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP). Students will be asked to represent a sector, industry or bloc of countries and negotiate with each other, in order to come up with recommendations for combatting climate change.
Young people from all around the globe are speaking up to save the planet, and the EESC has listened. The Committee's flagship event for young people, Your Europe, Your Say! (YEYS), will take place on 19 and 20 March 2020, and students from 33 secondary schools all over Europe will come together to discuss the best ways to protect the environment, using the slogan "Our climate, our future!" The list of participating schools is available here.
The 33 schools selected to participate in this initiative were chosen using an electronic name selection tool, in a draw that took place on 27 November in Brussels. One school was selected from each of the 28 EU Member States and five candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). Three 16-18 year old students, accompanied by a teacher, will represent each school. Almost 800 schools have already applied for next year's edition.
The aim of the event is to listen to students' bright ideas for dealing with the current climate crisis and to come closer to achieving our goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. Under the supervision and guidance of the young moderators, students will discuss their proposals following the model of a Conference of the Parties (COP) from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Students will meet representatives from international youth organisations, who will help them translate their ideas and proposals into concrete recommendations. These recommendations will be submitted by the EESC to international environmental policy-makers and discussed at conferences around Europe throughout the year.
In preparation for the debates, a member of the EESC will visit each participating school to talk about the EU and EESC and the work they are doing for young people, as well as to explain the structure of the event and what will be expected from the school.
"Your Europe, Your Say!" (YEYS) is an event organised by the European Economic and Social Committee, the voice of civil society in Europe. YEYS is the Committee's flagship event for young people, and started in 2010 with the aim of connecting Europe's youngest citizens with the European Union.
Every year, 16-18 year old students from all EU Member States and candidate countries come to Brussels for two days and work together to draw up resolutions, which are then passed on to the EU institutions. These resolutions contain the students' ideas, proposals, and hopes for their future as European citizens.
All secondary schools in Europe can apply to send three students to participate in YEYS. Through this initiative, the EESC hopes to ensure that the views, experiences, and ideas of Europe's younger generations are taken on board in the EU policymaking process.