Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met over the last two days 700 high school students from all over Belgium, at the occasion of the information and awareness event “Let’s talk about Europe”. The event was taking place for the 7th consecutive year at the Egmont Palace in Brussels.
A whole new concept was developed for this fall’s session thanks to a partnership with the European Youth Parliament Belgium (EYP), with the objective to encourage even more dialogue with the youth through 12 thematic workshops on the European construction, climate, terrorism, migration and development.
Each workshop was animated by a EYP trainer and an expert from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, allowing the participating youth to analyze the nature of issues, to deconstruct preconceptions and – even more importantly – to express their expectations and concerns.
Following the workshops, Didier Reynders spoke with the students on the current major challenges in European policy and answered all the questions of participating schools.
The debates which took place during these two days will contribute to the Belgian report on Citizens’ Consultations. These citizens’ consultations are currently organized throughout Belgium, driven by the same wish to place the citizen at the heart of the debate on the future of the European Union. The conclusions of all these events will be taken up in the report which will be presented and discussed by the Heads of State and government of the Members States of the European Union.
The continuity of the European project rests on the confidence which it benefits from the citizens. It is important to encourage the youth to make its own opinions on Europe, the Europe in which they want to live and flourish.