Why mobility programmes provide the foundations for the future of Europe?
Why more young people should become actors in the European Project?
How can young people get more engaged in the European agenda?
Winner of the European Charlemagne Youth Prize in 2013, Europe on Track – Capture the future of Europe! will be searching for the answers to these questions once again, crossing the European continent by train, interviewing your people from various backgrounds about their vision of Europe. The innovative and bottom-up approach in communicating the European Commission’s 2020 strategy, engaging hundreds of young Europeans in shaping the future of Europe and giving their recommendations on the different topics (Youth Participation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship), has proven to be an effective way of reaching out to the masses and to unveil the real potential of a network of young European activists.
The “Europe on Track” project has been launched to grasp a better future for European youth, to establish direct contact between young people and decision-makers and a bidirectional communication channel where not only young people’s voice will be heard, but also the European yoth can get a better understanding of the European construction. AEGEE-Europe, being the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe, calls out to its members and all like-minded Europeans, to engage them in the decision-making processes and encourage their contribution in constructing the Europe of tomorrow.
“The Europe I want for the future” is not only a topic to trigger lively discussions; it is the clear-set motive for all young people to embark on this journey and work on our future, together. At a time, when European integration is being questioned and young people’s future prospects have become hazy, AEGEE considers it fundamental to hear the voice of the youth in order to take their opinion, their realities and their wishes into account and pave the way towards reaching the goals set for 2020 by the European Union.
The recommendations and ideas collected during the first edition can be found in the official Europe on Track – Results Booklet. Youth unemployment, supporting the work of youth organisations, the recognition of non-formal education, education on sustainability and entrepreneurial thinking were in the focus of discussions all over Europe. Europe on Track has proven that the European youth is more than willing to work on their part in building a better future for themselves. Among many things, one message is clear: young people still want Europe, but a better Europe which meets their expectations towards a secure, stable and happy future life.
In order to cover as many countries, regions and cities as possible, the travellers will be divided into two teams of three people, covering different geographical areas. The project will be launched from Brussels, the home for many European institutions and the initiator of Euroean integration. Both teams will be heading East taking a northern and a southern route, also exploring the elusive border where Europe ends.
AEGEE has always been fostering young people’s leadership skills, broadening their horizons in terms of contributing to the European ideals and encourage them in expressing their views in a constructive way. Candidates for the Europe on Track project from various social and economic backgrounds have expressed their wish to contribute to this project, including even countries such as Russia, Georgia, Belarus – further extending the thematic range of the topics and providing varying, yet valuable insights on each objective of the project.
The second edition of the project is going to promote:
Being young volunteers themselves, the travellers of Europe on Track will discuss the topic of mobility in each city they are visiting and will engage their audience in interactive workshops and sessions where participants can not only learn and understand better the new Erasmus+ programme, but they can also share their ideas and stories .
’What do young people know about mobility programmes in Europe?’ The word ‘Erasmus’ had become a phenomenon immediately
associated with educational exchange programmes. It has allowed millions of young people to experience personal growth to an incredible extent and it has also been playing a key role in bringing Europe – as their home – closer to young people.
Besides its basic focus areas (education, training, youth and sport) the Erasmus+ programme also puts a strong emphasis on remedying the topic of youth unemployment and the greater recognition of non-formal education which are both integral parts of AEGEE’s mission to provide its members with the necessary skills for their later success, by being a learning platform for young people.
To achieve young people’s vision of Europe in 2020, constant involvement in the democratic processes of the European Union is necessary and determining. “How can the european youth become actors in the construction of the Europe they want?”
Aligned with the core of AEGEE’s mission to ”empower young people in Europe to take an active role in society”, the Europe on Track events will be of utmost value for advocacy work both on the national and on european level. Since the European Parliamentary Elections in May is milestone on the road towards 2020, Europe on Track will also take the opportunity to encourage the youth in embracing their rights and responsibilities as active citizens and voters.
“What would be the youth’s political agenda?
What are their worries, demands and proposals for the future leaders?”
Since social media tools are undoubtedly among the main information channels in today’s society, the Europe on Track travelers will be recording every detail of their trip via blogs, photographs and viral videos posted on multiple websites. While recording is their share of the project, the later analysis of the impact will be concluded as an informative research about the situation and role of youth media in Europe. Thus communications expertise and creativity are essential attributes and core elements of this project.
The travellers’ online footprints will be of use to further embed the impact of the project’s mission through asking questions to their followers, providing thorough analyses on their results along with constantly communicating their challenges, feelings, sensations, discoveries and the whole experience of exploring Europe in its literal sense; showing thousands of people all over Europe.
Europe on Track aims to bring together young people from all over the continent to share their views, generate new ideas and initiatives. Young people will have their say on the European sphere – presented in the short documentary and the publications of Europe on Track that not only aim to improve visibility of the struggles of this generation, but also to propose new approaches, to present the youth point of view – and to construct the Europe we want for 2020.