Young people in Europe are often not heard about their concerns such as climate change, sustainable development and youth rights. Also, euro-scepticism, nationalism and cynicism is increasing in the EU and needs to be addressed. Furthermore the Green Deal initiative of the European Commission needs all the attention it can get. Finally, a united Europe and its achievements and values should be celebrated.
A unique way to address all these issues simultaneously is to ask the youth to take charge and to organise massive street festivities in the EU capitals on Europe Day, in which all citizens enjoy each other’s culture, music, dance, etc. and hear about youth issues, Green Deal messages and EU achievements and values. And let’s start celebrating Europe Day as it was intended: a European-wide “national” holiday!
What we wish for?
Start in a few capitals in 2023, for instance in Paris and Berlin, with street processions consisting of floats with famous DJ’s mixed with floats from representatives of youth organisations in the EU, filled with artistic expressions that address topics that concern the youth.
Under the leadership of a project bureau that consists of representatives of the EU Youth programs, international youth organisations, professional event organizers and municipalities, and funded by philanthropist organisations, EU programs, municipalities and sponsors. This concept gives the youth a powerful voice to get heard about their concerns. They can show the world on this day that the youth can take charge, drive change and win the hearts of the EU citizens. It also brings the millions of youth and other EU citizens of different EU countries (most of whom are ignorant about the EU) together and allows them to enjoy each other’s culture and learn about the positives of the EU, that will help win their hearts and minds regarding a united Europe (emotional engagement).
To reach as many people as possible, we plan street festivities consisting of decorated floats (flatbed trailers) driving through the streets at foot-pace, that allows millions of citizens to watch and participate.
To attract the youth, invite radio-stations and famous DJ’s to fill the floats and provide the opportunity to sing and dance. Mix these fun floats (DJ’s) with the informative floats (from youth- and EU organisations and sponsors) in such a way that people want to come, watch and participate.
How do we plan this?
Phase 1: Find a well known sponsor or philanthropist to kick-start the initiative. Thereafter, invite youth organisations around the EU, together with the four EU youth programs (Erasmus, Erasmus+, Youth in Action and the European Solidarity Corps) to get together and establish a project bureau (PB) to set up and manage these festivities. The PB should then invite a large event organiser and more sponsors to join the PB and provide resources.
Phase 2: organise the festivities, starting in 2023 in the streets of Paris and Berlin, the capitals of the two main founding countries of the EU, these would be ideal testing grounds. Then growing to street festivities in all 27 EU capitals!
What do we want to achieve with our actions?
Give the youth a huge platform annually on Europe Day to voice their concerns and be heard
To reach millions of youth (and other citizens) who are ignorant (or negative) about the EU
To celebrate the achievements and values of a united Europe by creating a fun-moment”, thereby:
Tackling euro-scepticism and increasing nationalism and cynicism, and:
To win the hearts and minds of the EU citizens with fun moments (emotional engagement)
To promote the four EU youth programs to the European population, most of whom are EU-ignorant
To promote the Green Deal and other pressing EU matters, such as migration and cross-border solidarity
To start celebrating Europe Day as it was intended: a European-wide “national” holiday
In essence: “to bring Europeanness to the next level”