Deadline: 21 October 2018
Open to: applicants from EU countries only between 18-35 years old
Venue: Sofia from 11 to 18 November 2018
The European elections in 2019 are of crucial importance for the future of the EU. Taking place in a different and unique context because of Brexit, they are a big challenge for the politicians to show a new vision and an excellent opportunity to further engage the citizens and youth in particular in the construction of a stronger political union. That there is a need to educate young people to take part in elections is not an issue. However, the turnout is lower than that in national elections and there’s an overall perception that voting in European Parliament elections “doesn’t change anything”. Total voter turnout at the last European elections in 2014 was 43,2 % just 0,2 % over the historic low in 2009. Of that, youth turnout has fallen the most, sliding to 27,8 % in 2014 from 29% in 2009. In fact, as young people hold more positive attitudes towards the EU than older generations, their absence at the polling stations actually rewards parties that are more critical of EU integration. One thing is certain: the EU needs its youth back – its opinions, ideas and energy, in order to stay strong.
The educational seminar “Fostering Youth Participation in the European Elections“ to be held in Sofia from 11 to 19 November 2018 will meet the need to inform the new European generation how the EU works and the rights and obligations the EU citizenship brings in order to encourage them to vote in the European elections and contribute to boost the turnout.
The political, social, economic and cultural aspects that the course addresses will contribute to shape a vision how to strengthen European democracy and counteract the rise of nationalist and eurosceptic movements who deny the concept of European citizenship and are against further European integration.
Participants will gain practical knowledge how to communicate the EU tо the young citizens and build capacity for organization of information events and discussion forums during the election campaign. The ideas and knowledge generated during the seminar can be used by every participant and be implemented at local level.
The project will involve governmental officials, elected representatives, as well as scholars, journalists, activists of civil society organizations and, most importantly, the participants them selves in a series of debates.
The rich social program will enable the participants to explore the night life in Sofia, enjoy a horse ride in Vitosha mountain (optional) and visit the Rila Monastery, one of the most significant and picturesque monuments on the Balkans, part of the UNESCO book of world heritage.
Eligible Countries: EU Member states only
Travel Reimbursement: Travel expenses of the participants to Sofia and the way back to a maximum of 275.
Accommodation: Double rooms in a hotel in the city centre provided by the organizers.
Food: 3 meals/day provided by the organisers.
Participation Fee: 75 EUR/Person.
How to apply?