My Europe My Say: Toward a Better Europe Where every Young Voice Counts
The My Europe, My Say project is an initiative led by the European Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. It aims at fostering youth political participation in the upcoming European Elections in May 2019 and reinforcing a sense of civic engagement among Scouts and non-Scouts.
The rise of political populism in Europe is making it easier for extremist views to enter national parliaments and speak on behalf of an open-minded, outgoing, dynamic and enlightened youth. A stronger youth voice in politics is needed to offer a more positive counter-narrative. Scouts have always been at the forefront of positive change in their communities and it is time to take their civic commitment to a higher level.
The My Europe, My Say project is about to set out with the aim of offering Scouts and non-Scouts a space to communicate their views for a better Europe. It contributes to setting a political agenda that encompasses the aspirations and concerns of youth at large. More specifically, the project aims to foster values of youth’s political participation and leadership. It will set the foundation for a greater and more sustainable civic engagement that goes beyond the framework of the European elections.
Co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme, the project is going to be implemented by a consortium led by WOSM in partnership with AEGEE Europe (Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l’Europe) and a network of 50 national Scout associations and AEGEE local sections.
A transnational campaign that will be launched in late January will mobilise a critical mass of young people across the partners’ network and beyond,to gain awareness of their important role in shaping the future agenda of the European Union through:
• Voting in the May elections
• Organising community-based activities that educate peers about their rights and duties as active citizens and that sensitise them about the importance of having young people gain control of their own agendas
• Holding face-to-face and virtual meetings with running local candidates and recording pledges and promises that are made in favour of youth rights.
Campaign mobilisers will all gather in February in France to join a large scale gathering of 200 Scouts. They will promote the campaign while taking part in a series of debates and interactive workshops centred around the topics of active citizenship, democratic action, the UN global goals and civic engagement.
A social media campaign named “If I Were An MEP For A Day” will attempt to offer young people a mic to voice their dreams of positive change while putting themselves in the shoes of a decision-maker. The campaign will gather the most burning issues that matter to today’s youth and try to channel them to running candidates in search for responses.
Beyond the elections’ framework, the project will produce a resource pack that aims to inspire young people to discuss and debate their civic role in a democracy through games and interactive materials. The pack will draw inspiration from existing toolkits and resources produced on a national or local level and will upscale them to a larger regional and global context.
My Europe, My Say will capitalise on the momentum and dynamics created in the framework of the elections. It will contribute to several advocacy pursuits such as the recognition of non-formal education as a crucial space for the development of civic engagement and the adoption of the next EU Youth Strategy by member states.