On 1st March 2017, the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, presented a “White Paper on the Future of Europe: Reflections and Scenarios for the EU27” with the aim of creating a strategic vision for the European Union for the next decade. In short, Juncker identified 5 scenarios to be drawn up by 2025, namely:
1. “Continue”, the EU continues its development at the current pace;
2. ‘Nothing but the single market’, Member States readjust their attention to the single market, while giving more ambition for increased cooperation;
3. “Those who want more do more”, some member states deepen their cooperation in specific fields, while others move away;
4. “Do less efficiently”, cooperation would be intensified in some areas of EU policy, but reduced in others, considered of lesser interest; and
5. “Do much more together”, all Member States agreeing to step up their collective will in all EU policy areas.
Following this presentation, on 25th March, along with the celebrations of the EU’s 60th anniversary held in Rome, a public debate was launched planning several activities extended until the elections to the European Parliament in 2019.
It is within this European framework that the E(u)lections´19: THINK, DECIDE, CHANGE! project arises, recognizing both the need to engage in a wider debate on the future of Europe and to discuss the European citizenship challenges faced by European citizens.
The aim of the project is to make young people THINK (why vote in the European elections? Who represents me in the European Parliament?) DECIDE (why it is important to vote?) and CHANGE (How can I exercise my European citizenship?) regarding the European Union and its future.
The E(u)lections’19 project will be promoted by CEI-IUL, based in Lisbon, in partnership with the European Association of Young Educators (Portugal), Stichting CAAT Projects (The Netherlands) and Fondazione Flaminia (Italy).
The project intends to reach 800 participants through a decentralized Roadshow on the Future of Europe, where sessions for young people will be held in partnership with universities and civil society organizations, using non-formal education methods and techniques.
Each participant country will organize training sessions (Portugal will host 4 events, Netherlands 3 events and Italy other 3 events), pretending to promote discussions amongst youngsters on the EU´s future scenario for 2025. Through these sessions a set of policy-oriented recommendations to the newcomers on the European parliament, representing the voice of the European youth, will be identify.
As baseline and a kick off to the discussions, the project partners will also produce background information documents in digital open access and a reflection paper that will allow participants of the training sessions to gain knowledge about European Union and to discuss what kind of Europe they wish.
All these outputs will be produced by and for young people without any kind of mandatory supervision of the organisations involved, thus guaranteeing that will be ”their” voices to be heard!