‘New Narrative for Europe’ closing event held in Brussels
The ‘New Narrative for Europe’ concluding conference was held at the Berlaymont building of the European Commission in Brussels on 31 January. Participants from Universities, youth representations and civil society organisations from several countries across Europe contributed to the closing event. European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Sport and Youth Tibor Navracsics gave the keynote address in which he stressed the importance of youth for the future of the European Project.
“Seeing young people so engaged, and hearing their refreshing ideas fills me with optimism about Europe’s future. I will study the recommendations from the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ with utmost attention. But this is not the end of the process – young people must be at the heart of the debate on the future of Europe, and that is why I would like these reflections to continue,” stated Commissioner Navracsics.
Jens Nymand Christensen, Deputy Director-General of the DG Education and Culture of European Commission, Morten Løkkegaard, Member of the European Parliament and initiator of the ‘New Narrative for Europe’ project, and Paul Dujardin, Artistic Director of BOZAR and Ambassador of the project, also addressed the audience.
The ‘New Narrative for Europe’ project was proposed by the European Parliament and has been implemented by the European Commission since 2013. Europa Nostra and its Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, who was among the Ambassadors of the project, actively contributed to and supported this initiative since its launch.
The project reached as many as 62,000 youth participants through a series of debates taking place Europe-wide. As a result, young people put forward 12 Ideas for the Future of Europe. These 12 concrete ideas will also be published as a toolkit with the intention of being utilised by youth organisations operating in a variety of sectors throughout Europe. The toolkit will be available in the EU’s 24 official languages and will be accompanied with guidance on how to moderate the discussion.
The ‘New Narrative for Europe’ ran for over five years, having begun as a Pilot Project and continued as a Preparatory Action, both supported by the European Parliament. In 2013-2014 the Pilot Project gave a voice to the artistic, cultural, scientific and intellectual communities, so as to help connect the general public with the European integration project via the arts and sciences. From 2015 onwards, it focused on involving young people from diverse backgrounds.