The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been hosting the event "Your Europe, Your Say!" (YEYS) since 2010. The YEYS youth event enables secondary school students from the EU Member States, the candidate countries and a Brussels-based European school to come together in Brussels and learn about the EESC and its role, and to exchange views and propose recommendations on a specific subject, which in 2023 will be "Youth Democracy Dialogues".You can find more information on this year's event on our website.
- be a secondary school or a vocational training school with students of 16-18 years of age;
- be located in an EU Member State, or in one of the seven candidate countries, or be one of the Brussels-based European schools;
- be recognised by the education authorities in their country;
- have a computer (to read and print PDF files), with unlimited internet access and an official email address
- choose one teacher and three students who are able to express themselves clearly in English;
- agree with the selection procedure involving a random draw (using an electronic application) from amongst the applicant schools of each country, organised by the EESC;
- agree that the three selected students and one supervising teacher will travel to Brussels to participate in the main event during school time/days, i.e. on the specific dates 23 and 24 March 2023;
- undertake to host one EESC member for an information session, provisionally between January and February (travel and accommodation expenses of the EESC member to be paid by the EESC). The EESC member will visit the selected school and meet the three students and the supervising teacher designated to participate in the event. During the visit, the EESC member will give a presentation on the EU's foundation and institutions and the EESC and on the main event to one or more classes of the selected school (the details of the visit's programme will be arranged in direct communication with the EESC member);
- inform the selected students, their classmates and possibly all students at the school that they can follow the preparations for the event and the event itself on the official dedicated EESC webpage, and/or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the three addresses indicated at the end of this document under "Additional information"
A school wishing to take part is required to complete the online registration form on the EESC's website before the stated deadline, i.e. by 30 November 2022.
Before registration, the school must designate a supervising teacher, who must be able to communicate clearly in English and who is expected to be the only contact person for the EESC once the school is selected, both during the preparatory phase before the event and during the main event itself. The school principal must confirm this choice in the relevant section of the online registration form.
On the registration form, the school must enter its exact full name/title and address, the name and contact details of the school principal and of the supervising teacher, and an email address to which all correspondence with the supervising teacher will be sent. Emails must be checked regularly, as the schools will be contacted only by email.
The participating schools (one per country) will be selected by a random draw organised by the EESC.
The selected schools will undertake to:
- a) choose and register three students able to speak clearly in and to understand English, who will take part in the main event in Brussels, supervised by a teacher who must also be able to express themself clearly in English;
- b) invite/host one EESC member for an information session at the school and assist with promoting the visit;
- c) consider and discuss the information and (any) educational material provided or proposed by the EESC's YEYS team;
- d) agree to the students' and teacher's first and last names and the students' and teacher's pictures taken during the EESC member's visit to the school being used in EESC publications and posted on the EESC website, intranet and related social networks for communication purposes (provided that every participant has given their consent on the registration form – see the section on protection of personal data below);
- e) agree to the students' and teacher's first and last names and the students' and teacher's pictures taken during their participation in the main event in Brussels being used in EESC publications and posted on the EESC website, intranet and related social networks for communication purposes;
- f) provide and share feedback on any news from the local and/or national media relating to the visit of an EESC member to the school or relating to the participation of the school in the event;
- g) promptly inform the organisers at the EESC (YEYS team) of any change (e.g. in the supervising teacher, participating students, email address or other);
- h) ensure the publication/promotion of and facilitate any media coverage and/or follow-up to the event's conclusions, both back at the school and elsewhere (for instance by sharing the adopted recommendations and spreading information about the event in general).
2. Selection of schools
3. Selection of students participating in the main event
In the registration form, the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the student and the school principal attest that:
- the student is granted permission to travel to Brussels for the main event;
- the student's first and last names may be published in EESC publications, on the EESC website and intranet and related social networks with photos of the student and/or video recordings of the session (with consent);
- the student will be supervised by the teacher while participating.
The student may not take part in the event unless the authorisation form is received by the stated deadline.
4. Preparation for the event in the schools
All the key information about the event will be published on the EESC's website. The teachers involved are therefore asked to check our website regularly.
The participating schools will receive background information and/or educational documents to help students and their supervising teachers shape their ideas and prepare for the debates and workshops. The students and teachers are asked to discuss those questions in class, to be ready for the main event.
5. The main event in Brussels
The students will be split into a number of small groups for each workshop.
Opening and closing plenary sessions will take place at the beginning and end of the second day event (these two sessions will be livestreamed).
The supervising teachers will be invited to follow and attend a separate programme, hosted in the EESC premises, run by other EU institutions.
The participating schools and/or the parents/guardians of the participating students must have travel insurance and provide evidence of coverage for the participants (some schools might have insurance covering school trips abroad and/or the students might be covered by a family insurance policy already). The participating teachers should also have travel insurance coverage and provide evidence of this.
The EESC will provide accident, civil responsibility and repatriation insurance during the stay in Brussels. It will not take responsibility for any damage to or theft of personal belongings.
The EESC will arrange and pay for accommodation in Brussels, as well as an international return flight or train journey between the country of residence and Brussels (including connecting flights or long-distance train journeys if necessary) for the selected students and supervising teachers. It will also cover the cost of transport between the airport or train station in Brussels and its premises. However, the EESC will not cover the cost of any internal journeys within the country of residence, i.e. from the place of residence to the departure airport or train station.
All selected schools will be informed well in advance of the exact arrangements made for the event and a practical guide with information details will be distributed prior to or upon their arrival.
All information about the event is available on the YEYS website: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/yeys2023.
You can also send questions to the EESC organisers by email at: youreuropeeesc [dot] europa [dot] eu