January 23, 2020, Brussels, Belgium – World Youth Alliance staff members and interns attended the final conference of the EURYKA project, a three year (2017-2020) cross-national research funded through the European Union´s Horizon 2020 program, involving ten partners from countries all over Europe.
The event was held to discuss the subject of “Youth Doing Politics”. For that purpose, the EURYKA´s programme offered the possibility of joining an exhibition, three panel discussions and documentary screening, where the audience was invited to participate and express their opinion regarding this matter.
The event agenda was originally planned in order to stimulate and keep challenging the attendants’ thinking. After a brief presentation on the project, Mr. Niccolò Milanese, representative of European Alternatives, introduced the policy recommendations resulting from the project, which suggested novel democratic models to help re-imagine a more inclusive European politics. Next, with the aim of providing systematic and practice-related knowledge, the first panel discussion “Youth Political Representation” was moderated in order to integrate the audience in the debate. The dialogue resulted in some common ideas as “youth should be included in the political agenda”, “the political agenda should be more connected to reality” or “women can be a good role model in order to promote young people implication in politics”.
The documentary screening “Political Youth”, by European Alternatives, emphasizes events in the last decade in Europe, which have been characterized by young active people unified for social and political changes in the name of , justice and a sustainable future. The second panel addressed the issue of “youth and inequalities”, to which a common line demanded “giving young people more responsibility” and highlighted “the importance of building bridges”. Finally, the third panel also struck a careful balance related to youth political participation, facing subjects as how inequalities mediate youth political participation and the importance of understanding how young people understand politics. Supported by data collected along the project, the conference gave closure with a positive message, stating that young people are increasingly active.
The EURYKA project, besides being a great host, is good food for thought and ideas related to the European democratic life, some of which can be found in the document below.