Re-cap of eGA session at EMYs conference Your Voice Matters

22.01.2021

Within EMYs conference on January 21, the eGA team organised a session “Joining forces to Enhance Democratic EU Citizenship Rights of EMYs” focused on how to better inform EU mobile youth about EU citizenship rights and engagement opportunities while abroad, and how local civil society organisations could support them more effectively.

 

Screenshot of the session

The panel discussion of the session featured a round of shining and highly professional panellists covering those topics from their perspective and coming out with their additional practical recommendations. For instance, in order to increase EMY’s social engagement in a host-country, one panellist recommended that CSOs and student organizations should organize local events and exchange projects where international students would see and experience smaller places and communities. Additionally, conservative local people might update their existing preconceptions, and international students might come out of their international bubbles. Of course, the recommendation linked to this idea would be that the European Commission should amplify the possibilities to fund local CSO-s for local activities targeting EMY´s local engagement.  

Screenshot of the session

 

The panellists also pointed out the need to improve the quality of EU Citizenship education (digital materials, skills and knowledge of the teachers, etc.) across the EU in order to focus more on civic rights and duties, as our project clearly shows the gaps in knowledge of young citizensA practical idea linked to this recommendation would be to lower the voting age across the Europe, as most panellists agreed that at 16, young people are able and should have at least their say in local elections. At the moment this is only possible in Austria and Estonia.   

The panellists were:  Heiki ViisimaaProject Officer at “Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps, Estonian National Agency Youth Programmes Centre”Anna Stürgkh, Federal Chairwoman at JUNOS (youth wing of Austrian liberal NEOS party)José Ramón Sabogal Hernandez, ESN Austria President; Ines Elisabeth Holzegger, EMY in EstoniaChristine Leitner, CEPA. The panel was moderated by Kristina Reinsalu and administered by Radu Serrano 

The discussion was based on the policy recommendations eGA has proposed, drafted from and based on the mapping activities – focus-groups, studies, etc. conducted in Austria and Estonia.