On the 7th of November, IVY Volunteer Caterina participated to the European Youth Hearing event, in Brusseles.
We asked Caterina to share the experience with us:
As a follow up to 2023’s European Youth Event (EYE2023), young people presented and discussed with MEPs the EYE2023 ideas that gained the most support during the European Youth Hearing that took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 7th of November 2023.
The European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola, opened the hearing with speech, and, after that, ten young “EYEdea boosters”, presented the “Youth Ideas Report” with MEPs.
The Report is available here: YOUTH IDEAS REPORT 2023 (europa.eu)
The report contains the result of a collective efforts and exchanges of young people presented at the EYH, a platform for dialogue and collaboration between young people and MEPs to discuss concerns with policymakers. These “EYEdea boosters” presented topics such as funded traineeships, establishing a European common foreign policy, making Erasmus+ programme available in all countries, digital transformation of society, teaching about the EU and about climate change in schools, climate change, sustainability, and Environmental Protection, stopping food waste while helping vulnerable people, disinformation as a threat to democracy, AI and innovative projects, the repercussions that climate change has on our health, digital environmental transformation, and raw materials and energy transition.
After the discussion between the young people presenting the ideas and the MEPs, we were invited to join the workshops: there was one for each idea included in the report, to discuss how to develop and promote these issues.
Firstly, I joined the Workshop on a Common foreign policy for the European Union. The idea was to place the EU as a global player. We discussed how to get the EU more involved in the process, also envisioning a future probable Treaty reform. The idea presented by the young “EYEdea Booster” was to organize small events at the regional and municipal level for the youth to speak out on these ideas. The meetings/events would take place following common guidelines, in order to then have a report that will be sent to the European Parliament. Some of the topics that were discussed included the role of the European Parliament, the topics of Foreign Policy that would be covered, and opportunities to host and fund the events.
Secondly, I joined the workshop focused on how to stop food waste. The idea was to contact the OKAN departments in different Flemish schools in Belgium, since their programme includes having a communal kitchen at school; the anti-food waste project would provide them with fridges so that families and students can give food that would be otherwise thrown away or wasted and make the food accessible to students in the OKAN department. We discussed other projects that help combat food waste, food sharing initiatives, the climate impact of meals, and how to support people in need at the same time.
Participating in this event was a very interesting and insightful opportunity; I had the chance to learn what kind of ideas are developed during the EYE events, but also how those ideas are brough forward into some, hopefully successful pilot projects. I was also happy to meet some interesting young people based both in Brussels and in other European countries!
– Photos and article by IVY Volunteer Caterina M.