Step Up For Europe Road Show: Stop #11
After driving more than 3000 kilometres, crossing twelve European countries and taking one ferry across the sea, we have finally made it to the Dutch island of Texel in the Netherlands!
The Democracy Alive Festival is organized by the European Movement in partnership with the European Parliament to gather decision-makers, organised civil society, business, trade unions, influencers, activists and young active citizens to encourage civic engagement, increase interest in European democracy and promote the upcoming European elections. Next to other civil society organizations like Young European Federalists (JEF), VOLT, European Women's Lobby or the European Students' Union, JCI Europe took part in the festival as co-organizer and hosted discussions and workshops in its own pavilion.
On the first day the festival was opened by the President of the European Movement International Eva Maydell, MEP, the Mayor of Texel, Michiel Uitdehaag and the comedian, Andrew Maxwell, who proved that democracy actually can be funny.
Throughout the next three days, hosts and co-organizers held various event formats in their pavilions, from workshops to debates to comedy performances to song contests and even a rap battle! The main spirit of the festival was to create a common platform of understanding and opportunities to network and meet with political decision-makers, fellow organizations and young active citizens to engage in dialogue about the future of Europe and opportunities for young people to shape it.
As part of our program, we organized an inspiring session about campaigning for the EU elections. Together with Christina Altides from the European Parliament Youth Outreach Unit, and Christopher Glück, President of the Young European Federalists (JEF), our EVP Viktor Ómarsson, discussed the present outcomes of the Step Up For Europe campaign and shared experiences from the road show and stories of the young people he met. Comparing our campaign to the EP's #ThisTimeImVoting campaign and JEF's "I Choose Europe"-campaign we found that we are struggling with similar challenges to reach young people who are not already on our side and that it still takes a lot of hard work and commitment to create a common European identity and self-conception of European citizenship that makes (young) people vote at European elections. However, we agreed that by joining forces and working together by combining our initiatives we can multiply our efforts and bring our messages among the people.
We will not give up to step up for Europe!
Opening performance on the main festival stage
Christina Altides from the EP, Christopher Glück from JEF and Viktor Ómarsson from JCI Europe discussing their European campaigns in the JCI Europe pavilion
Discussion on how to mobilize young people to vote at European elections
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