The meeting, organised by the European Commission together with the European Youth Forum, brought together young Europeans appointed by National Youth Councils and international youth organisations to share their visions and concerns on the future of Europe. Six workshops were organised focusing on: the Constitutional Treaty, the European social and economic model, sustainable development, the Union’s role in the world, building a European democracy and civil society, and on youth and education in the EU.
The clear message from this meeting is that young people want to get involved and are ready to contribute to the process of shaping the future of Europe. Bettina Schwarzmayr, President of the European Youth Forum, said: “the 50 years of the Treaty of Rome is definitely a moment for celebration and we are happy that the peace project ‘Europe’ is 50, but at the same time we are aware we have to go beyond sentimental celebrations and look to the concrete future of the European project. And we want to discuss together what our ideas for the future of Europe would be.”
From the three days’ discussion an early indication showed that the main concerns of young Europeans are education, employment and environment. When asked what the next step is, Bettina replied: "What we expect from the Youth Summit is concrete ideas on what we should do, concrete ideas on how to fight unemployment, how to safeguard environmental protection, how to maintain and ensure a high level of quality for education."
The same expectations and determination are shared by all the participants. One of the participants, Bianca Victoria Nesiu from Romania, explained: “We believe this is an important opportunity to make our voice heard. Moreover, as Romanians, we are looking forward to the phase of national debates as this would be the moment for Romanian young people to reflect on the recently achieved accession to the EU and express our feelings and expectations about joining the EU.”
The floor now goes to national debates. Consultation will be held at local, regional and national level. At the end of this phase, 200 young people will meet in Rome on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome and agree upon ten messages on the future of the EU. The messages will be delivered to the Heads of States and Governments who are meeting in Berlin to agree on a political declaration setting out the values and ambitions of the European Union.
View discussion paper [50 KB] for national debates.
See workshop reports on:
Youth and education [14 KB]
Building democracy and civil society in Europe [53 KB]
EU in a globalised world [22 KB]
Sustainable development [9 KB]
Future of the Constitutional Treaty [9 KB]
Social and economic model [15 KB]
Opening speech [29 KB] by Mrs Odile Quintin, Director General of Directorate General Education and Culture (EAC)
Opening speech [15 KB] by Mr Jochen WEITZEL, Director for Children and Youth Policy, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
Watch a video (04'44") of the meeting