Monday, 22 September 2014

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EYE2014: UN joins the EU at the European Youth Event in Strasbourg.

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A partnership for a better Europe.

In the lead up to the European elections, on 25 May, the European Parliament in Strasbourg hosted the European Youth Event 2014 (EYE 2014), a unique opportunity for young Europeans to generate ideas and talk about the future of Europe.
The five key topics of discussion at the EYE2014 were; Youth unemployment, digital revolution, future of the European Union, sustainability and European values.

In a truly festive atmosphere, more than 5000 participants, 200 speakers and dozens of partners and youth associations joined in the hundreds of activities, performances and workshops that were hosted in and around the European Parliament buildings. UNRIC, ILO and UNIDO, from the UN team in Brussels, joined the European Parliament and the European Youth Forum in Strasbourg to inform and engage young Europeans about the work of the UN.

IMG 0479The YO! Fest, the annual youth festival organised by the European Youth Forum outside the Parliament building, featured a number of concerts, cultural and sports activities and other forms of entertainment. Through dance, circus, theatre, street art and graffiti, as well as local delicacies prepared by the young farmers association, the festival created a welcome and informal opportunity for young Europeans to have a taste of the cultural diversity in Europe. At an information stand in the YO!Village, a lively space where YO!Fest-goers found a wide range of interactive activities run by and for young people, including stands, political debates and workshops on the five core themes, UNRIC, in partnership with ILO, provided information to the public about working at the UN and engaged them in the Red Card to Child Labour campaign. As part of this ILO initiative, participants were asked to take a picture holding up the red card to support them in their fight against child labour. The campaign will be launched on 12th June 2014, World Day Against Child Labour and also the day the Football World Cup kicks off.

Under the theme ‘Sustainability. New European Lifestyle – Sustainable business and living’ UNRIC, in partnership with UNIDO, also organised two Cine ONU screenings of the wonderful documentary called The Light Bulb Conspiracy. The movie tackles our current throwaway society and gives insight into the subject of planned obsolescence. After the screening, the young participants engaged in a lively debate with Mr. Juan Úbeda, producer of the movie, and Mr. Florian Iwinjak from UNIDO on how we can adapt our current production and consumption patterns to ensure Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) and through this a sustainable future for all.

The European Youth Press, an umbrella association of 60,000 young journalists in Europe, closely followed the activities, interviewed speakers, took down the main ideas and suggestions, and finally drafted a report which summarises the five key themes of EYE2014. These visions, ideas and suggestions from the event will be presented when the newly elected MEPs convene in July for the first time since the May elections. They will provide the newly elected MEPs with a clear idea about young people's concerns, dreams and future perspectives and will hopefully help shape the agenda for tomorrow’s Europe.

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