After WWII, politicians, artists, philosophers, economists, entrepreneurs, scientists and trade unionists from all over Europe came together in The Hague in May 1948 to discuss the future of the continent. Their final document, “Message to Europeans”, contained the ideas and institutions that made possible the European integration process.
Given Europe’s present challenges, as seen in the rise of populism, economic inequality, voters’ disengagement, and migration crisis, it’s high time for an update. The project produced a final declaration “Message to Europeans 3.0”: it presented the opinions of the involved citizens and recommendations for the relaunch of the European integration via a renewed narrative.
The road to the final message went through six events: Warsaw (27-29 Nov 2017), Budapest (5-7 Mar 2018), The Hague (11-13 April 2018), Ljubljana (11-13 Sept 2018), Rome (25-28 Oct 2018), and Brussels (19-21 Feb 2019).
At these events, young people from more than 12 EU countries, were engaged in several activities spanning from simulations, mock trials, to British Parliamentary debates. This innovative methodology allowed an engaging reflection on the most urgent issues and pressing topics, inspiring young people’s civic engagement.
A team of students selected as “Student Leaders” were the motors of change and ensured participation in the project and followed up activities as civic initiatives.
Go to the project website to get all the narrative and event details: www.messagetoeuropeans.com
6 events have been carried out within this project:
Participation: The event involved 63 citizens, including 21 participants from Poland, 13 from Italy, 3 from Slovenia, 2 from France, 4 from Spain, 2 from Estonia, 6 from Belgium, 2 from Hungary, 1 from Romania, 2 from the Netherlands, 1 from United Kingdom, 1 from Sweden, 2 from Germany, 2 from Ireland and 1 from Finland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Warsaw, Poland, from 27/11/2017 to 29/11/2017
Short description: The aim of the event was to create a core group of student leaders, young people who had a prominent role in the development of the “Message to Europeans 3.0” narrative: they were motors of debate in their local communities, having carried out 50 civic initiatives and ensured the online presence of the project.
Participation: The event involved 62 citizens, including 27 participants from Hungary, 1 from Romania, 3 from Ireland, 2 from Estonia, 4 from Belgium, 3 from the Netherlands, 1 from France, 6 from Italy, 5 from Spain, 3 from Slovenia, 2 from Sweden, 2 from Germany, 1 from Finland, 2 from Poland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Budapest, Hungary, from 05/03/2018 to 07/03/2018
Short description: The event created an intense discussion between students via a mock trial on the current challenges and prospective solutions on the mismanagement of the Migration crisis EU level. The focus of the debate was the quota decision, especially the four institutions with a role in its formation and implementation, the European Council, the Council of the EU, the European Commission, and the Court of Justice of the EU.
Participation: The event involved 57 citizens, including 7 participants from Belgium, 3 from Poland, 16 from Italy, 4 from Germany, 3 from Spain, 1 from United Kingdom, 14 from the Netherlands, 2 from Ireland, 2 from Hungary, 1 from Romania, 2 from Slovenia, 1 from Estonia, 1 from Finland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in The Hague, The Netherlands, from 11/04/2018 to 13/04/2018
Short description: The aim of the event was to update the narrative of the European project following the footsteps of their 1948 predecessors of the Congress of The Hague. Students tried to answer a simple, yet hard question: What values and ideals should hold together European countries in a political project like the EU? A debate on the resolutions prepared by students was organised on the final day under the format of an ideas-lab with three experts: Dr. Margriet Krijtenburg, researcher at The Hague University of Applied Science, Prof. Pier Virgilio Dastoli, President of the Italian Council of the European Movement and Prof. Mendeltje Van Keulen, Lecturer at The Hague University of Applied Science. Their contributions included a reflection on the European founding fathers, and some insights into specific inter-institutional policy-making initiatives.
Participation: The event involved 52 citizens, including 5 participants from Spain, 4 from Hungary, 27 from Slovenia, 7 from Italy, 1 from Romania, 2 from France, 1 from Finland, 4 from Germany, 2 from Ireland, 1 from Belgium, 1 from Poland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 11/09/2018 to 13/09/2018
Short description: The aim of the event was to gather a group of young Europeans to debate the origins and the effects of populist movements in Europe. Each debate took a different perspective on the three most common causes quoted for the rise of populism Euroscepticism in Europe: the lack of vision of political parties from all sides to propose new political ideals, the impunity or lack of accountability of the ruling establishment, and the economic crisis. The debates were live streamed via Facebook. The event kicked off with a panel discussion at the European House during which students had an opportunity to brainstorm with local experts and prepare their arguments for the debate. The panelists were Zoran Stancic, Head of the EU Representation in Slovenia, Paul Jancar, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Ljubljana, and Boštjan Udovič, professor of International relations at Ljubljana University, while Laris Gaiser, president of the Slovenian Pan-European Movement, moderated the lively exchange.
Participation: The event involved 92 citizens, including 60 participants from Italy, 9 from Hungary, 4 from France, 6 from Spain, 1 from Finland, 1 from The Netherlands, 2 from Ireland, 2 from Germany, 2 from Romania, 2 from Slovenia, 2 from Belgium and 1 from Poland.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Rome, Italy, from 24/10/2018 to 26/10/2018
Short description: The aim of the event was to understand via the format of a mock trial the economic crisis, Member States’ competencies and EU responsibilities in dealing with it. The first two days of the event meant preparation: participants were divided into 3 groups, the prosecution, the defense, and the popular jury, and they had to devise their arguments and trial strategy. On the third day, the mock trial started: the participants presented their arguments as prosecution and defense. The participants could also test their arguments by attending expert panels on the “Financial Market Regulation and Supervision”, “European Economic and Monetary Union & EU Governance”, “Social policies, youth unemployment & poverty” carried out by Paola Lucantoni, Professor of Financial Markets Law at Tor Vergata University of Rome; Vincenzo Russo, Professor of Public Finance at Sapienza University of Rome; Efren Moiso, Junior Researcher for the Planning and Research Research Department of the National Public Agency for Microcredit; Benedetto Ippolito, Professor and Researcher in History of Philosophy at University of Roma Tre and Letizia Cesarini Sforza, Project Manager of CILAP-EAPN.
Participation: The event involved 79 citizens, including 25 participants from Italy, 15 from Hungary, 1 from France, 6 from Spain, 1 from Finland, 1 from The Netherlands, 3 from Ireland, 3 from Germany, 3 from Romania, 3 from Slovenia, 5 from Belgium, 2 from United Kingdom, 2 from Poland and 10 from Portugal.
Location / Dates: The event took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 19/02/2019 to 21/02/2019
Short description: The aim of the event was to present the draft resolutions, all participants took part in 3 British Parliamentary debates, a communication workshop on how to explain complex EU policies in 5 minutes, and an intense back-and-forth with experts such as Victoria Martin de la Torre, author, press officer and political adviser at Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director at Wilfred Martens Centre for European Studies, Daniel Kaddik, Executive Director at European Liberal Forum, Riccardo Ribera D’Alcala, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies at European Parliament, László Andor, former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion, Jeroen Lenaers, Member of the European Parliament and Aurélie Maréchal, Director at European Green Foundation.