Together for Europe

Youth Together for Europe - from cross-border participation to concrete actions led by young people for a Europe at the scale of the citizen

Together for Europe

Youth Together for Europe - from cross-border participation to concrete actions led by young people for a Europe at the scale of the citizen

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Based on the priorities of 15,000 young people in Bavaria and the Czech Republic, Bavarian-Czech youth dialogues for a stronger and more sustainable Europe have been used to come up with ideas for concrete projects and to implement them. A look back at the conclusions of the "Youth Together for Europe" project.

At the end of 2022 - the European Year of Youth - and in the context of the Czech EU Presidency,, Initiative für Offene Gesellschaft and eKairos launched an unprecedented cross-border project that started with a broad online consultation among young people from the border regions of the Czech Republic and Germany (Bavaria). The consultation engaged almost 15,000 participants who expressed their priorities for a stronger and more sustainable Europe and shared ideas about the role that cross-border projects can play in strengthening Europe.

👉 Find out the final report of the “Youth Together for Europe” consultation

Bavarian-Czech Youth Dialogue: 3 days of discussion to build a manifesto for Europe

In October, 15 young people from Bavaria and the Czech Republic met and shared challenges, wishes and ideas for their region and the future of Europe.

This Bavarian-Czech Youth Dialogue has led to the drafting of a manifesto for a stronger Europe, based on three pillars: 

  • Establish a social and local EUconomy
  • Strengthen European democracy
  • a Europe that improves people‘s daily lives

The manifesto converges around the idea of a Europe on the scale of its citizens and in line with their expectations.

Moving into action: imagine concrete project ideas and implement them 

The Bavarian-Czech Youth Dialogue was also an opportunity to use the results of the consultation and the recommendations of the manifesto to come up with ideas for projects that would address these priorities and expectations.

They thus advanced project ideas that can be implemented directly by themselves. 5 project ideas have been developed:

  • Fusion for Public - An app to support and educate about fusion energy
  • Bicycles in the city - A project to promote cross-border cycling infrastructure
  • Just Stop Livestock - For a transformation to plant-based nutrition and agriculture
  • The Truth Wins - A platform that checks and validates politicians' statements - for more integrity, transparency and against disinformation
  • Europe: One unity, many faces - With festivals, local products and broad public participation
👉 Find out the manifesto for a stronger Europe and of the details of the concrete project ideas for implementation

Among these 5 project ideas, "Fusion for Public" and "Just Stop Livestock" have received financial support and coaching to enable the young people who came up with the ideas for the actions to implement them.

Sebastián Bořík, a participant from the Czech Republic, emphasises why his project "Fusion for Public" is so important:
"We live in a time when almost everyone has access to the same information, but there is still some misleading or inaccurate information in the world. But why? When everyone has the same access to the same level of knowledge? I think it's because the information is spread across many different websites and no one knows which one is correct or which one can be trusted. I hope I can change that. At least for nuclear fusion, I can set up a website where all the information is in one place with common documentation."

He has particularly fond memories of his experience during the youth dialogue and is convinced that citizen participation has had a positive and lasting impact on his life:

"The experience was amazing and I still have fond memories of it with my friend who was there with me. It was a great opportunity to try something new and meet lots of great people who respected each other. It was an experience of a lifetime, especially for teenagers!"

Bavaria's Youth Minister Ulrike Scharf is also positive about the youth dialogue and the project: "I am thrilled by the tremendous demand and enthusiastic participation! We need a culture of youth participation. The project is a successful example of cross-border youth work. With their manifesto, the young people have highlighted their visions and wishes for Europe. Participation and dialogue with our young people are particularly important to me - they are our future!"

The initiators of the project have their say 

"Youth Together for Europe" is also the result of a year of teamwork and cooperation between the 3 initiators of the initiative:, Initiative für Offene Gesellschaft and eKairos.

Hannah Göppert, Managing Director of Initiative Offene Gesellschaft: "The special thing about the project is the mix of digital consultation and local youth exchange. This enabled us to reach a broad cross-section of young people and ask them about their opinions, as well as creating intensive binational encounters. A starting point for new ideas, projects and friendships. It was particularly important for us to focus on the Bavarian-Czech border region, as young people in rural areas in particular lack prospects and opportunities to make their voices heard."
Sarah Delahaye, Managing Director of Germany "With the 'Youth Together for Europe' project, we wanted to use a new format for cross-border youth participation to make it accessible and tangible for young people from the border regions between Germany and the Czech Republic. It was important to us that this digital and open participation was tailored to the young people. We are particularly pleased that, together with our project partners, we were able to bring together people who had never taken part in such a process before. We are impressed by the work of the young people, their results and the commitment they have shown and are looking forward to the projects they will now implement. We hope that this project will inspire other stakeholders and that together we will strengthen cross-border cooperation and democracy in Europe.

This project took place under the umbrella of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Year of Youth, and was funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Family Affairs, Labour and Social Affairs through the Bavarian Youth Ring and is part of the Bavarian Youth Action Plan.