The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
Teachers (on behalf of their school) must fill in a registration form. This means that only the school principal or a teacher from the school that wishes to participate can submit the application, on behalf of the school. The deadline for submitting registrations will be published on YEYS's website.
Students may not register their school themselves, nor can they apply individually. Students are advised to ask one of their teachers or their school principal to register the school.
Lots will be drawn among the schools that have registered on the event's website by the stated deadline. Only one school per country will be chosen to participate in the event. This procedure will lead to the random selection of 34 schools in total, corresponding to one school per EU Member State (27), plus one per candidate country (7). One of the Brussels-based European schools will also be invited to participate, for which the selection is made based on a rotation scheme. Each selected school will also receive a visit from an EESC member. The schools taking part will be informed individually and must put forward the name of one supervising teacher and a delegation of three students who will participate in the event.
English will be the working language for the entire event and all scheduled sessions will take place exclusively in English. No certificate or diploma proving a specific level of language knowledge is required. However, the three students selected and their supervising teacher must be able to express themselves confidently and easily in English, so as to facilitate communication and discussions during the event.
Each school is free to set its own selection criteria, which must be clear, fair and non-discriminatory. For gender equality purposes, the students selected should not all be of the same sex (unless they come from single-sex schools). Students with disabilities are welcome to take part.
You can contact the organisers by sending an email to: email@example.com. The organisers will contact the school by email. You must therefore ensure that the email address entered on the registration form is functional and valid and you must check your email regularly.
Unfortunately not. Only one application per school will be accepted. If your school is not selected this year, you are entitled to apply again next year. However, if your school is selected for participation, you will not be able to apply again next year, but you can do so later on, as of the year after.
Profile of the candidates
Students between 16 and 18 years old at the time of application will be considered valid candidates.
In principle, there is no rule against this. However, we usually propose YEYS to students in their penultimate year, mainly because those in their last year might be busy with final exams. Nevertheless, since it all depends on the school system of every country, in specific cases we will still consider the candidacy of students who are not in their penultimate year of secondary school.
Preparations for the event
Following the selection of each school per country, an EESC member will visit the participating school, either online or in person, to explain the role of the EESC as a consultative body for the various European institutions, and its involvement in the decision-making process. He/she will also explain the structure of the event and what will be expected from the school delegation during the event and its working sessions. The EESC member's travel expenses will be paid by the Committee. For the purposes of this visit, a set of files/documents needed for preparation will be sent by email in due time, including a working document aimed at helping the students get ready for the event, education material, information sources, etc. Participating schools will be asked to liaise with the EESC member who will be visiting them and set out a presentation programme. All visits and associated presentations will be conducted in the native language of the school/delegation participants.
The event will last for one and a half days, starting at 4 p.m. Brussels time on 23 March 2023. The students will arrive in Brussels on Thursday 23 March and will have a chance to meet each other that afternoon. The following day they will have to interact and debate in working groups and in plenary sessions. They will return home on Saturday 25 March 2023.
The EESC will pay travel expenses for international flights/train journeys from the participants' home country to Brussels (including connecting flights/long-distance connecting trains if needed), as well as for transport between the airport or train station in Brussels and the hotel. The EESC will also arrange and pay for the accommodation in Brussels for the students and their supervising teachers.
No, the EESC will not organise, pay or reimburse travel expenses between the participants' place of residence and the departure airport/station in the home country. The EESC will only pay for the international connection to/from Brussels (incl. connecting trains and connecting flights if needed).
If you miss your train or flight for any reason other than force majeure, the EESC will not grant any refund and/or compensation and will not cover the costs of purchasing new tickets, rerouting existing tickets or additional accommodation or subsistence. Please make sure you arrive at the train station/airport well in advance of your scheduled departure time.
No, the EESC will contact the selected schools and propose travel and accommodation arrangements. For organisational reasons, all participants, both students and teachers, are expected to stay in the same hotel in Brussels.
The supervising teacher will play a key role, bearing full responsibility for the students while they are travelling to/from and staying in Brussels. The teachers will be asked to be present throughout the event and will take part in most of the activities. It is important that they are able to express themselves confidently and clearly in English. A specific programme to find out more about learning tools will be organised especially for them.
The supervising teacher is the person who will liaise between the EESC and participants. He or she will ensure that all participants receive the necessary information and documentation, and will be responsible for all the preparatory work. Should the teacher fall ill or be unable for any other reason to attend the session, he or she must be replaced by a colleague.
Only the programme's opening and closing plenary sessions will be web-streamed.
There is no special dress code.
The event is being organised in compliance with the current measures, adhering to the health and safety rules imposed by the Belgian authorities and the EESC's services. Therefore, the participants are not obliged to wear a mask or keep a safe distance from others during the event. However, if any of the participants wish to do so, they are welcome to protect themselves as they deem fit, as long as it does not interfere with the event. Participants will be informed of any revisions or changes to the above policy and measures.