Innovate Youth Involvement 2.0: Insights from Brussels’ EU Elections Event

On May 17, 2024, Connect International and Out of the Box International hosted a vibrant and thought-provoking event titled “Digital Generation Voices in EU Elections – Innovate Youth Involvement 2.0” in Brussels. This gathering brought together the general managers of the two organisations, and European Parliament candidates Ariane Giraneza Birekeraho, Sissel van Run Kvist.

Ariane Giraneza Birekeraho is a candidate for the European Parliament in the 2024 elections, representing the Belgian Green Party, Groen, part of the European Green Party. Sissel van Run Kvist is running with the Danish Social Liberal Party, part of Renew Europe.

During our event, we explored strategies to enhance societal resilience amid rapid technological advancements. A significant point of discussion was the pivotal role of social media in fostering connections during electoral campaigns. The potential of platforms like TikTok or Instagram to bridge communication gaps between young people and politicians was particularly emphasised. This innovative approach could transform political engagement, making relevant political information more accessible and relatable for the digital generation.

We also examined the unique experiences of Europe’s ‘digital generation.’ Both candidates expressed a profound motivation stemming from their upbringing in a unified, free Europe. However, they acknowledged that not all young citizens share this experience. A key topic was the expansion of the Erasmus program to include students from vocational schools, ensuring that opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and education are more inclusive.

Furthermore, we delved into the critical need to develop education, both within traditional school settings and through extracurricular activities, to build more resilient societies in the face of technological innovation. The readiness of educational institutions across Europe varies widely, prompting a debate on the feasibility of harmonising educational standards – perhaps through cohesion funds destined to rural and underserved communities. This discussion highlighted both the potential benefits and the challenges of implementing such measures. 

The Q&A session touched upon the role of the European Parliament in overseeing the implementation of regulation, and it was the opportunity to share desires and concerns on the future of education from teachers. 

The event, part of CONNECT International’s ‘Go Vote Campaign’ and a milestone in its ‘Year of Inclusive Digital Participation’ offered a platform for meaningful connections and in-depth discussions, far from the polarising and incendiary tones of much of the current political debate. It was an opportunity to voice concerns and think of solutions across the political spectrum with people with different backgrounds. CONNECT International and Out of the Box are glad to have positively contributed to the debate leading to the European Elections..

A recording of the event will soon be shared, allowing those who could not attend to benefit from the insights and discussions. Stay tuned to our channels for more updates.If you are a European citizens looking for information on the upcoming elections, please visit:

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European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe

Co-funded by the European Union

Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union

Friedrich Neumann Foundation

SmartCity.Education Initiative

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