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European Citizens´ Initiative Forum

Young Italians Test the European Citizens Initiative as a Tool to Mobilise for the Climate

Updated on: 14/06/2022

On 30 April 2022, 55 young people met in Rome to learn from each other’s experience in climate activism and explore how the European Citizens’ Initiative could be an efficient tool to help prevent climate change. The event was a  part of the #TheGreenTrack campaign, launched in 2022 by the European Commission to amplify youth voices and youth participation in relation to environmental issues, and organised by Young European Ambassadors.

The workshop “Get active! Youth Participation & European Citizens’ Initiative to counteract Climate change” was organised by the Young European Ambassadors in Italy. Young European Ambassadors (YEA) is a non-political and voluntary communication network connecting and building bridges of friendship among young people from the EU Member States, the United Kingdom and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

YEAs work on many topics, among which youth participation and climate change are priority concerns.

The workshop in Rome tackled both topics, exploring tools and programmes to create impactful projects for local communities that can be used by and useful for youth groups and youth organisations.


Caption: Youth organisers sharing experiences and discussing ideas on how to tackle climate change 

Photo credit: YEAsxRome 


During the first half of the event, thirteen youth organisations shared their experience in organising actions to counteract the effects of climate change. Examples of the activities presented are clean-ups, educational programmes, school visits, campaigns and much more.

During the second part of the event, participants had the opportunity to learn about the European Citizens’ Initiative and how it can be used to change environmental policies and to give a voice to citizens.

After a first cooperative exercise to learn the different steps in the development of an Initiative, Lorenzo Mineo, an activist for the (finished) citizens' initiative, shared his experience in organising the collection of signatures, preparing the communication campaign, and connecting to different organisations with similar objectives and values. He also recounted  how the pandemic negatively impacted their work: the impossibility of doing advocacy actions in the street, the difficulties with marketing their ideas online and in motivating team members. He also highlighted some positive consequences, such as the opportunity of having more time to gather signatures and to easily coordinate with colleagues from other countries.

After a conversation with him, the participants were divided in teams and had the assignment of developing a new idea of an ECI, including of a strategy to gather signatures and promote their ideas. Five mini projects were developed, with the topics ranging from the introduction of mandatory outdoor activities for schools to the protection of pollinators, with a focus on renewable energies and a ban on polluting products.


Caption: Presentation on strategies to promote ideas and gather signatures 

Photo credit: YEAsxRome 


Are you interested in examples of European citizens’ initiatives that have successfully gathered support for environmental initiatives? Read more here:


Young European Ambassadors:

The Green Track:



Photo of the author Maria


Maria Pia Napoletano

Maria Pia Napoletano is a youth professional, coordinator of the Young European Ambassadors Initiative in the EU and UK for the EU NEIGHBOURS east project. She’s passionate about youth work, democratic participation and equality.

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