What can the EU do for young people? We livestreamed from the European Parliament at 18.00 CET on Tuesday 19 March. The debate looked at how the EU can stay relevant, relatable and connected to Europe’s youth.

Our panelists included:

Elly Schlein, MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats;
Andrea Gerosa, Chief Thinker and Founder, ThinkYoung;
Katrina Koppel, Vice President, ESU – European Students’ Union;
Aurélien Pommier, President, European Student Think Tank.

Watch the livestream above, or on our Facebook page!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) BigStock – tinx
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32 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    In Italia few people really think about Europe as they don’t know how it works. Education first!

  2. avatar

    if they are over 18, they have the right to vote.
    Otherwise – grow up.

  3. avatar

    Could start by inviting a few non-leftists to debate with.

  4. avatar

    Make their live’s as easy as possible. Take measures to reduce joblessness etc.

  5. avatar

    Increase Erasmus, Comenius and similar programs’ budgets.

  6. avatar

    Erase all debt of all EU member states, collectively protect all its land and sea borders from external threats including Cyprus and the Aegean, stop immigration and create prosperity within the union even if that means getting the Deutsche bank in trouble

    • avatar
      bert van santen

      Good GOD!!! Do You have ANY idea about how much money You`re talking? The EU and euro should `ve been started in the first place! Nothing but trouble!!!

  7. avatar
    EU Awareness Project

    Europe has a big obligation to prevent other member states from leaving the European Union and following in the footsteps of the UK. Look at our page to see the common myths surrounding the EU and to see how EU laws positively affect our day to day lives.

  8. avatar

    “Nobody speaks of mobility”??? Really?? I had the impression the Eurosceptics/populists speak of it all the time, and always about limiting it.

  9. avatar

    Isn’t the main reason young people do not participate in typical politics because it is actually a job? You need to stay in office. Have meetings with party members whom you often don’t particularly personally like. Conspire, backstab, then conspire some more. Reply emails. Devise policies, campaigns and strategies. Start calling people (phone marketing). Raise funds. Go out chase voters and trying to sell them your policies and ideas.

    Now street protest sounds so much more fun. You go out with your buddies, shout out a little or a lot, get emotion, maybe even find someone to get laid with, and then go back to your life with the feeling you…..made a difference……accomplished something.

  10. avatar

    How can you expect people to participate in something they do not have a voice in? Unlike our glorious rulers, the average person is not being paid to be involved in politics and so their voice is the only motivation they have. Yet at every turn it seems that it matters very little, nothing more than the rabble of the commoners.
    We haven’t evolved our governing system, we just use different names for it.

    Coincidentally Articles 13 and 11 passed today, despite great online opposition, if not outrage.

  11. avatar

    🤦🏻‍♂️ I thought i will hear serious solutions, it’s just theory and lecture in one minute
    How can i take back my valuable one minute of my life 🤦🏻‍♂️?

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Hi Wasim, what would you do to motivate young people to participate in politics?

    • avatar

      Even demonstrating means participating in the political life of a country and / or of Europe. But if, despite the demonstrations, politicians turn a deaf ear, the only alternative would be to become politicians themselves, which is not easy.

      We saw it today with the EU Copyright Directive, months of protests in the streets and on the web, appeals by leading experts on the subject, to get what? Nothing.

      To make young people participate in political life, we must first of all give importance to their participation, listen to what they have to say, otherwise we can talk about days, if not months, but they would just be words in the wind.

      Sorry for any mistake.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Marco thanks for your feedback.

    • avatar

      Sorry to replay too late
      I Just have seen it, honestly

      I don’t believe in one straight forward answer but let’s say, the young European met (which are not only from Germany but also from east Europe) believe the politics brought nothing but corruption and it helps nothing in there success
      Therefore the first step to encourage those young people into politics is to let them ALL and individually make change in their surroundings, by engaging them to participate in different NGO or even simplest small Initiative, this is something so special in Europe, on every university or even city there is those kind,, once they are in thry will see by their own eye they are really can make change, a change their city needs, then they will motivate by them self to gi bigger to be political or even they will take their votes seriously because they will jad hug network who believes in them and who have huge mistakes and want follow them
      However as far as i see, i can say with pretty sure, that the young European generation is feeling down , that’s why their dream and first target to study abroad although Germany is one of the best education system, and go maybe to Brazil or USA which i fail to understand why USA is more preferable than Germany which is not smaller and lovelier
      I think the young generation believes right now their votes will only support someone to be bad corrupted same version of the current one but different face, therefore it’s a bkt urgent that European need to get those young generation into front line policies just like Canada and his trudeaus,
      That’s my opinion, i could be wrong no one is perfect

  12. avatar

    EU can only stay relevant when its policy and promotion can reflect the reality of this new era and development of the global political economy, and re-establish the core values and pursuance of mankind, peace, prosperity and sustainable development…free from constraint of the Cold War bipolar world of the last century.

  13. avatar

    The UN says we have 12 years to limit a climate change catastrophe. So, young people don’t have time to wait until they are older. They need to be given a political voice now.

  14. avatar

    by standing up to homophobia, alt right nonsense, xenophobia and cheap populism. the young generation is fed up of religious rubbish and backwards thinking.
    also do better with internet legislation, don’t let dinosuars with no clue come up with article 13 rubbish

  15. avatar

    Aren’t people more-supportive of the EU the younger they are anyway? That was the case in the UK for the Brexit referendum

  16. avatar

    Go on with Erasmus and extend it to technical college

  17. avatar

    An EU Corps that is mandatory would create a way for Europe’s youth to be connected to the EU, to the idea of Europe and to each other. And it could do some good in the world at the same time.

  18. avatar

    State exchangeable summer camps for children under 18 y.o. based on what EU enlargement/integration does and learning the different nation’s history and culture in the EU? Thus making friendly ties and good memories throughout the entire EU. The other good thing about such a scheme that it would mean states with large population and economy send a lot of children to the not so large states(both in population and economy) thus it can be used to aid their economy in the regions that do not benefit from summer tourism.

  19. avatar

    The EU should be less clunky about understanding new technology. That doesn’t just mean in the social media campaign department, but having technology-savvy legislators. The widespread perception among young people with things like Article 13 and its effect on memes (as originally drafted) or YouTube channels is that EU politicians are ignorant of the things they mean to legislate, so the legislation is bound to be a disaster. Legislators can explain copyright law but cannot speak in terms of effects on different media because they don’t seem familiar with those media or all the ways they are legitimately used, and so their understanding is essentially limited to whatever skewed story their favourite lobbyist is telling them.
    Another case in point was the bizarre antitrust action against Microsoft in the nineties, focused, of all things, on it bundling its browser with its operating system, rather than any number of other anticompetitive practices Microsoft is known for, many of which related to the way it codes compatibility with its software, something legislators at the time were wholly unequipped to understand, and probably still are, leaving us saddled with a Windows monopoly for a generation (but a very competitive browser environment 🙄).
    Otherwise I believe the EU is fairly relevant for youth, for better or worse. Although I think for many of them it just means Erasmus or travelling around Europe, this is a problem with ignorance in general, and it’s not limited just to youth.

  20. avatar

    Maybe giving voting right from 16 years of age. Working bit harder on climate, jobs, innovative areas could be the key.

    • avatar

      Martti – giving voting rights to kids? Brilliant 😂 only people who pay tax and contribute to society should be allowed to vote

    • avatar

      I’m not at all convinced 16 year olds have enough experience in life to truly consider the issues they would vote on. This will always be subjective, and of course many adults are far from sensible either, but having the voting age coincide with the age of majority seems like a sound general policy.

  21. avatar

    Youth should be heard and take notice of their demands and ideas but the politicians, and people in general, should see if they are feasible.

  22. avatar

    To be relevant, to relate and to be connect to any one group, one must provide opportunities for those in said group who are willing to put forth extra effort (true interest). 16 year-olds are naive, but their voices/concerns need to be heard/addressed but should not vote. They should be taught civics (how their politics and gov’t works for them or against them). Why not let them vote? Because in most laws they depend on parents or tutors. Legally they are considered as not accountable.

  23. avatar

    According to Samuel Huntington’s research on the late twentieth century democratization, we can see that most newly emerged democracies have difficulties in consolidating their democracy. Many scholars have pointed out that many different forms of “democracy” have developed among newly emerged democracies of the Third Wave, but they are not consistent with that of the advanced democratic states of the West. I have identified some points preventing the healthy development and consolidation of democracy in these newly emerged economies are lacking the sense of community, and lacking the knowledge of democracy at all levels, either and popular ones. Even worse, taking advantage of the transition, people grab political power at the cost of harming and even destroying the polity and democracy all together. What we can see here is that EU is also a newly emerged union. Before the union can grow, before the sense of community can nourish, radicalism, skeptics, national and global politics have all come to grab their narrow self-interests. Europe’s youth are either ignored, insufficiently trained/empowered/enlightened, or sometimes over mobilized by adults. May be, apathy is the reason for low political participation. I personally believe, politics is the least interesting things young people want to participate. Actually, youth energy does not necessarily need to play politics. They can never play better than adult politicians. There are many things the young people can learn before they actually go out and work in the society so that they can have the independent thinking, the confidence, the attitude, the knowledge and the skill to participate in politics as a responsible citizens, so that Europe can grow and prosper together rather than tearing it apart as many are do now.

  24. avatar

    May be EU youth can join regional or global events as a collective. In this way, more places can be made available at national levels. As we have seen the 2018 Winter Olympics, the two Koreas participated as a collective in some sports. This is an innovative ideas to promote peace and the sense of community too.

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