What is the European Youth Event?
The European Youth Event is a completely free event. It is held every two years since 2014. The one in 2018 was the third edition. To register you must be between 16 and 30 years old, be a member of the European Union or of European countries, and be part of a group, association, collective of at least, 10 members. The goal of EYE is to involve young people from different backgrounds. Whether they are in school or university, whether they are members of a youth organization or a group of friends, participation in the event will be of great value.
It is an event organized by everyone. If you have any proposal for an activity you want to do, from a dance show, circus, to a workshop on any topic that may be interesting to a number of people, you can apply. Months before, on autumn, they usually open a registration period where they accept all ideas. Stay tuned to their official website and social media channels. They usually announce it. The EYE invites thinkers, politicians and innovators, mostly inspiring young people, from the fields of business, research, culture and civil society.
Awards and Contests
In addition to meeting Faces2Hearts bloggers, I participated in some of the contests that were there during those days:
One was organized by European Solidarity Corps, you had to take a picture with someone in the European Solidarity Corps t-shirt, ask them about their story and tell them the word the t-shirt was missing, take the photo with the person and share it with the text on Twitter. I won a backpack and some powerful headphones.
This was not the best prize. I participated in another competition. This required a little more effort. They asked to make a video, with subtitles in English, regardless of whether it was in English or not. It had to be recorded during the event and you had to get the young people to share the reasons why they think it is important to vote in the European elections, which are next year. I did it. You can see it here youtube.com/watch?v=QNsO_tATD2g
I was one of the 3 winning people with Florine Hénault and Ervin K. Kurti. Congratulations, comrades!
The prize is to attend the EYE Hearings in the fall of this year in the European Parliament in Brussels. So we can check that what happened in EYE, did not just stay there. If not, it is really analyzed and taken into account to improve.
As it was the first time I went, I felt a little lost the day before. I knew that my main mission was to participate in the activities of Faces2Hearts. On the way, during flights and waiting, I downloaded the event app to see the whole program and the details of what was and with whom. I could not believe it! So many activities simultaneously. I'm interested in everything!
I want to talk about education but also about refugees, equality, globalization. I want to know more about the G8 in 2030, and the Sustainable Development Goals. I want to put myself in the shoes of an MEP, Member of the European Parliament, to do yoga. I want to discuss about the budget of the European Union, relations with Turkey, how is Erasmus + going to be from 2020. I want to talk about the work in the era of digitalization, learn more about the next steps in the digital revolution, responsible consumers and how to get less plastic in our lives.
What I do not want? I want everything that supposes to obtain greater knowledge about the place where I live. I want to celebrate the 10 years of European capitals of youth, to make a battle of ideas about humans against machines, another of humans against nature. I want to see sport without corruption, the business ideas of young people ... And I wanted to see all the other exhibitions and shows! Very interesting but everything is impossible.
After the first day, when I had met people and felt almost at home, I stopped at any point to ask something and talk to someone. Look, I've been to events and that has not happened to me. In EYE it seemed to me that everyone had something interesting to tell, another opinion, another point of view to contribute. I would have stopped to talk to everyone. The excuse to make the video for the competition of the campaign “This time I'm voting”, was good, although that made me miss several sessions I wanted to attend.
What I did not miss was the meeting of instagramers, where we enter corners of the building that are not usually open to visits, private rooms like the officially called "Hall of Honor". In this meeting of instagramers (instameet) I coincided with the winners and influencers that participated in another photography contest. This was organized by the European Parliament. So I got to meet @reinolda, @marcorama, @alexmazilu, @helena_georgiou_photography, @parislovetrash and @andyhendrata See how they approach, the passion they have for photography, the energy they transmit and spread.
After this first experience in the European Youth Event, although I was excited by so many new experiences and impulses that I received in 48 hours without stopping, almost, what I most wanted was to sleep! :)
I am aware that not everything is perfect in Europe. Not everything that happens in each country or the European Union or Europe is positive. Not all governments, despite being called democratic, realize a real democracy. We can not be proud as Europeans of what is happening with the refugees, of the number of people drowned in the Mediterranean. There are reasons to be proud of being European and others to be ashamed of. When we look at other continents and share experiences with people from other parts of the world, I think, we can feel fortunate to have been born in the old continent and the smallest, speaking in terms of geographical spread. Neither better nor worse. Grateful.
I am not an expert politician but I know what I like and what I do not, what I see and I live and that is what I want to share in this post. I lived during this event, the most democratic and peaceful I have attended. This was only the third edition, so, it can be said that it is a young event with things to improve, possibly, but also that other events can learn a lot.
EYE is a festival. It's art. Its music. It's a circus. Dance. Gastronomy. Culture. Cinema. Photography. History. Friendship. Debates Opinions Concerns Good atmosphere. Architecture. Security. Creativity. Imagination. Freedom. Citizen activation. Opportunities Education. Volunteering. Job. Contests Awards. Concerns Refugees. Immigration. Vagrants. Environment. Climate change. Media. Social networks. Internet. Innovation. Technology. Equality. Share. Respect. Tolerance.
It is an event that is achieved, if it goes well, that young people feel more European, at least, more involved in the decisions of the place where they live, something that seems not only very important, if not essential. With this event, it is demonstrated that there is an interest in creating a better future and that the opinions and concerns of young people matter, are valued, and evaluated, in order to carry out what is considered most appropriate.
Thanks and I hope to see you in the next European Youth Event!