At an international meeting in Berlin this weekend, I have been learning about Europeers, a dynamic network of young people first established by the German National Agency “Jugend fur Europa”, and now, with the endorsement of the European Commission, going international. A total of nine countries have joined so far, with more set to follow; but, as yet, the UK has not signed up. We hope to change that.
Europeers are young people who have first hand experience of the European Voluntary Service or other international projects and want to encourage and help others to access the same amazing opportunities.
Their activities include information presentations and training workshops about Europe for schools, universities and youth groups; attendance at education fairs and local events; personal support and mentoring for other young people; dialogue with policy makers; and various youth initiative projects. As well as giving information and opportunity to others, they themselves benefit from further participation and responsibility within a supportive network, and develop leadership and communication skills which make them more employable.
The wider educational, social and political benefits are also significant. At a time when the public discourse about Britain’s place in Europe is characterised more by emotion and prejudice than knowledge and engagement, we really need young people like this to take a lead.
With the support and advice of many of the young people I have met here in Berlin, Momentum World will now work with the UK National Agency to set up a Europeers network in the UK.
So watch out – Europeers are coming! If you want to join or support this initiative, please get in touch.