This publication was created within the framework of “Young Opinions on the Future of Europe”, a project run by European Youth Parliament (EYP) with the support of the European Parliament. The “Young Opinions on the Future of Europe” project aims to amplify youth voices and opinions on the future of Europe, as well as to connect young European citizens by involving them in the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe. The forging of meaningful connection across different European nations and the discussion of political and social issues that the European youth, as a whole, find relevant are especially important aspects of this project, which will culminate in the planned Conference on the Future of Europe in 2022.
25 young people from 20 European countries between the age of 17 and 25 were selected to be Young Ambassadors on the Future of Europe. The group of Ambassadors represents the EU’s diversity and includes young people with a migratory background, people belonging to minorities in their country as well as participants with various educational levels. It should be noted that during the process the Ambassadors also observed that both they – and to a similar extent the respondents to the Youth Poll – displayed a greater-than-average likelihood of living in an urban area, a less-than-average likelihood of belonging to a racial or ethnic minority, and a far greater-than-average likelihood of identifying themselves as belonging to a minority sexual orientation, though some of this can also be explained by the age-group.
The Young Ambassadors on the Future of Europe had already taken part in EYP events specifically related to the Future of Europe project, which took place across Europe in spring and summer 2021, where they discussed their ideas with hundreds of other young people in multi-day events2 . Amongst others, the ideas discussed within the framework of EYP’s Power Shifts – Reflecting Europe’s energy project events and the Franco-German Youth Conference #Ensemble form part of this paper. The group was moderated by Sophie Scannell, EYP alumnus and industrial mathematician. The Visions paper produced by young people was presented and discussed with multiple stakeholders and decision-makers of the European Union.