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On 3 and 4 May the European Youth Week took place in Brussels. The members of EFIL’s European Pool of Representatives, Simone Muhlbach (AFS Belgium French), Hannes Verdegem and Lynn Bemus (AFS Belgium Flanders), attended the conference this time on behalf of EFIL. The motto of the event was: “Shape it, move it, be it”.
Participants were invited to celebrate the 30 years of Erasmus+ by hearing inspiring stories of “change-makers” in the field of youth and their projects under Erasmus+. The event showcased stories of former or current participants of the Erasmus+ programme who have made remarkable contributions to Europe’s challenges, including solidarity, inclusion, democracy and active citizenship.
Workshops were held to develop the future pathway of the EU Youth Strategy (EUYS), delivering best practices from different stakeholders and discussions took place on how to best empower people. Young people will have a key opportunity to shape the new EUYS through the structured dialogue process in the next year. Special focus was also being directed at the new ‘personal’ project of Mr. Juncker, the European Solidarity Corps (ESC).
Stakeholders found a common understanding that better links between funding sources for youth have to be secured to keep momentum and diversity. They agreed also on better and effective instruments to spread outcomes from youth policy and dialogue across other policies.
What is truly remarkable and unique at this year’s event was the call of several decision-makers to have more diversity and to involve in such events more young people from various backgrounds that really have ‘a stake’ in the process. We should move away from the middle class white background of most youth delegates and make sure we are engaging and empowering all young Europeans, for the future of their common Europe.
by Hannes Verdegem
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