Europe through the eyes of young people from Silesia
Mikolow, Slaskie (PL), 27 November 2007
The success of the AER Citizens’ Forum is growing! Today, over 180 people gathered in Mikolow, Slaskie (PL) to answer this question: “Youth and the Future of Europe: What does Europe mean to you?”. Young people from Silesia discussed their perception of Europe and focused particularly on how they could benefit from the EU’s youth programmes.
After the Citizens’ Forum in Strasbourg last week, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and the Region of Slaskie invited students aged between 14 and 18 from regional high schools to express their feelings about Europe and to give them a better understanding of the European Union. “Young people came in high numbers today: this definitely illustrates the expectations and hopes they have of Europe. It is the duty of all stakeholders, including political representatives both at regional and European level, teachers and youth organisations to listen carefully to young people’s ideas. The future of Europe absolutely depends on the involvement of young Europeans” said Janusz Moszynski, Marshal of Silesia Region.
A young participant from the high school in Mikolow concluded the Forum by saying: “Europe is a great opportunity for us young people. But not everyone understands Europe and what it can do for them. It is great that European youth programmes allow us to travel and study in Europe, work abroad, meet other young people and realise that we are the same, even though we are different. This is what Europe is all about!”
A special focus was placed upon disabled young people. The disabled students were represented during the Forum and the participants discussed the difficulties of integration of the disabled young people in schools and in the job market. Together, they underlined that there is no difference between disabled young people and the others.
The next AER Citizens’ Forum will be held on Friday, 30th November 2007 in Iasi County-RO, on the topic “One year of Romanian Membership of the EU: opportunities for Romanian citizens”.
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