Quality jobs for European youth, the recognition of informally acquired skills and ending the exploitation of interns and forced mobility were some of the goals the participants at the European Youth Event (EYE) set at the end of three days of discussions in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The around 5000 young people also called for uniform EU election rules, better education about EU affairs and the support of digital innovation.
The ideas will be presented to the incoming European Parliament in July.
"We not only want jobs but quality jobs, and no one should be forced to move from one country to another just to find work," said a young rapporteur summarizing the outcome of workshops and discussions on youth unemployment, one of the five main topics of the EYE event.
Another speaker called for European online voting and the introduction of a uniform European election system, that outgoing chair of the EP committee for culture and education Doris Pack (EPP, DE) remarked was an essential first step to take. "Help me to put that first step on the agenda of the incoming Parliament," the MEP said.
"We need uniform education about EU matters so that everyone is on the same page," remarked the youth rapporteur on the topic of the future of Europe. Another speaker called for support of European innovators to compete with American and South Korean digital giants.
The EYE, held between 9 and 11 May, aimed at gathering "Ideas for a better Europe" through over 200 debates and workshops with participants between 16 and 30 expressing their opinions on policy issues close to their hearts. Over half of Europe’s young people feel excluded from its economic and social life, says a recent Eurobarometer poll.
The EYE agenda listed five key issues for young people today: youth unemployment, the digital revolution, the future of the European Union, sustainable development, and European values. Guest speakers included MEPs, journalists, business leaders, decision makers, and European youth organisations.