At the weekend of the 26th and 27th of January 2019, about 20 young people did not sleep in, but showed commitment to Europe. They were part of the first expert workshop organized by the TUI Foundation in cooperation with the think tank iRights.Lab as part of the project Young Europe . At Young Europe, young people aged 16 to 26 had the opportunity to describe their vision of Europe and the EU of the future. From the submissions and these workshops arise on the one hand, the Charter of Young Europe, which summarizes the wishes and expectations of the young Europeans, and on the other hand, a graphic novel, a kind of comic book that holds the visions figuratively in a story.
For the young Europeans who had traveled from all over Germany, Saturday began with lectures and discussions by experts from politics and the media. Niklas Nieter of the Junge Union started and outlined the most important questions regarding the European elections. Afterwards Malte Steuber, Federal Chairman of the Young European Federalists asked where Europe should go. He was followed by Ole Reißmann, deputy chief editor of the youth magazine Bento, who discussed the participants’ suggestions on the most important topics for the European elections. Finally, speechwriter from the Foreign Ministry, Claudia Zentgraf stressed that Europe also has a communication problem.
The second day consisted of a reflection of the previous day and a supplement to the input from the expert contributions. The young people were able to prioritize the topics for the charter. Above all, the participants identified the topics of participation, economy, work, environmental protection, digitization and human rights as particularly relevant to Europe’s future. After identifying the key issues, the youth focused on specific aspects and worked together to develop ideas for the charter in group work.
The Charter of Young Europe will be further developed and finalized in similar workshops.