It’s about Europe, it’s about YoUth!
2013 is an exciting year for ‘Your Europe, Your Say!’ – the annual event that brings school pupils and their teachers to the heart of Europe to put their views to European Union decision-makers. Why? Because 2013 is the European Year of Citizens. ‘It’s about Europe, it’s about you’ is the motto for the year. At the European Economic and Social Committee, we believe it must also be about YoUth! On 18-20 April 2013 we are inviting about 100 school students to Brussels to make their voices heard at a simulated plenary session of the Committee.
The 27 lucky schools – one in each Member State – have been picked at random by me and my EESC colleagues Ivan Voleš and Jane Morrice. Three pupils and a teacher from each one will be invited to Brussels. But other schools can still be involved. You can follow all the preparations via Facebook or Twitter, and schools on the reserve list will also be consulted.
Between January and March, EESC members will visit schools in their own countries to explain more about the EU, and find out what students think about it. Early in 2013, you will have the opportunity to tell us how Europe should look. Participating schools will vote on the draft EESC political priorities for 2013-2015, choosing which issues are most important for them, and will be able to add up to three more demands of their own.
In Brussels, students will debate and vote on the EESC's political priorities. The incoming Committee President will take account of their views when setting out the working programme for the EESC for the next two-and-a-half years.
'Your Europe, Your Say!' has proved an unforgettable experience – for us of course, but especially for the young people taking part, who have discovered new friends all over Europe.
We hope you will all follow ‘YEYS’ via our website, and that even if you are not selected to come to Brussels, you will take the opportunity to launch a debate about the EU within your own school, and make contact with other young people around Europe via the Facebook page.
Anna Maria Darmanin,
Former EESC Vice President (for the mandate 2010-2013)
Watch the video on the 2012 edition: