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EU Youth Summit in Aalborg
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In light of the gap between young people and formal institutions (in particular EU institutions), the participation of young people in democratic, civic and political life continues to be a challenge. As such there is a continued need for initiatives that promote objectives such as participation in democratic, civic and political life. This project aims to raise awareness of youth politics and youth policy from a European, national and local perspective with a particular focus on furthering young people’s democratic participation, civic competences and common European consciousness – also amongst decision-makers who have a direct influence at a policy level. The central activity of this project is a youth summit which will take place from 1-7 November 2015. Approximately 40 young people ages 16-23 from across Europe will meet in Aalborg. The participants have different areas of expertise and interests. A central premise being that a diverse pool of participants is surely an excellent environment for producing multiple and different perspectives on the issues at hand. The Summit will focus on youth policy issues in a local, national and common European perspective. The particular issues that the summit will focus on are “Foreign and Defense Policy in Europe”, “Youth and Democratic Participation and Civic Competences”, “Youth and Education” and also “EU’s Effect on Me – My Impact on EU”. The program activities will consist of expert speaker (lectures), excursions, workshops and plenary sessions at Aalborg City Council Chamber with the involvement of politicians from the local, national and transnational level. With that being said, the underlying theme throughout will be what the participants can do to engage themselves in their civic responsibilities and how can they promote the idea of civic involvement in their home countries. All workshops will be developed, implemented by Aalborg Youth School under the consultative guidance of a relevant expert on the given theme. The excursions will be coordinated in collaboration with the relevant organizations. The plenary sessions will be presided over by politicians. However, the structure of these plenary sessions will be developed by the preparatory team and the outcome of the plenary sessions will be determined by the young participants. The participants will throughout the activity period (and in preparation for the summit) be encouraged to actively participate, create and initiate. A central thesis of this project is that it is essential that the young people be as involved as possible. That also means that they should be involved in the preparations (and the entire project), which is why the preparatory team also includes young people. This will help ensure that the engaging methods are relevant and appropriate for each young participant and for a group of young people as a whole. Although Aalborg Youth School has the main responsibility of ensuring quality learning outcomes, good administration and overall delivery of the project, it is also imperative that the partner organizations as well participants from these organizations are involved in shaping this project. Therefore a final draft program will be sent to all partner organizations and participants, allowing these stakeholders to share their comments with the preparatory team. This will allow the preparatory team to alter/modify the program accordingly. Following the end of the summit Aalborg Youth School will disseminate a poster based on the 3 MoUs that the participants compiled during the plenary sessions. This poster will be sent to all participating organizations, politicians and expert speakers (and others). The poster will also be available through the Youth School homepage. The expected outcomes of the participants’ active involvement and participation in the project are to strengthen their knowledge of how to influence policy and society and their rights and responsibilities; to give their skills a boost in terms of their ability to influence policy and society and their intercultural competences; and also further reinforce their attitudes in terms of the responsibility and openness to involve themselves and others as young active citizen in a local, national and European context. It is also envisaged that as a result of the acquired competences of participants’ participation, these participants will improve the level of civic engagement in the partner organizations in their home countries. We hope that the partner organizations will be inspired by the results of the project in terms of youth policy and how to encourage young people to engage in their civic responsibilities. Moreover, this project intends to raise awareness amongst relevant policy makers on three central issues; youth and democratic participation and civic competences, youth and education and on the impact of EU on the lives of young people (and vice versa).
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