“My Europe 2100 e.V.” is an international, non-partisan, independent charity that unites students, politicians, business leaders, academics and journalists in workshops all over Europe. It was launched in 2011 by the Frankfurter Zukunftsrat (future think tank) and Viviane Reding, Member of European Parliament . In August 2016, the project “My Europe” became an officially registered charity with the name “My Europe 2100″. The aim of the charity is to give a voice to young people and enable them to shape the future of Europe by fostering awareness, curiosity, critical thinking, and above all, a sense of community and collective responsibility among Europe’s youth around a common future.
The workshops are intended to provide an insight into what Europe is and how politics, academia, culture and business correlate with one another to form an integrative network throughout the continent. An understanding of these processes is a prerequisite for challenging the status quo and affecting policy-making. The “My Europe” Initiative tries to equip Europe’s youth with the tools needed to make its voice heard.
In every country students from different schools are invited to participate in the workshop. The workshops are designed in a simple yet comprehensive way. On the first day, the so-called “Europe Day”, the students get the chance to meet with a range of selected experts from the fields of politics, business and academia to explore the idea of European integration and the forces at work in shaping the continent. They are encouraged to debate with our guest speakers on all kinds of subjects related to Europe and to discover their individual perceptions of what defines Europe. The second day is called “Journalism Day”. Our media partner, usually a well-known national newspaper, invites the students to their editorial offices to give them an insight into what is needed to run a successful media venture. In a second step, the students learn how newspaper articles are written and what is needed for a gripping and engaging story line. In that process they are usually supported by experienced editors of our media partner who share their knowledge of the industry itself and the art of news editing. Both days culminate in a writing contest that challenges the students to conceptualize their vision of Europe in 2030. A jury consisting of the national partners of the workshop chooses the best contributions and awards attractive prizes ranging from non-cash items to internships with national and international organizations.
The winners of the writing competitions as well as particularly committed students are appointed to join the Youth Council for the Future (YCF). The council, a pan-European democratic forum, is the voice of “My Europe”. It actively engages in promoting the interests of young Europeans by providing specific policy advice to decision-makers on national and international level. All recommendations issued by the YCF reflect a common position of its members and therefore truly represent the interests of young people in Europe. In addition, the YCF has committed itself to honour the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). All members are appointed to the council for a term of four years. Every two years all members come together for a general assembly, the so-called Get2Gather. These physical meeting are used to develop and discuss strategies for improvements of the work of the Youth Council for the Future. The YCF is represented by its Board, elected by the members for a two-year term at the Get2Gather. The elected officers dedicate themselves to organizing, executing and promoting the work of the council as well as to function as its voice towards media, partners and the general public. All members, however, are encouraged to take an active role and represent the interests of the European youth on conferences, in debates and during discussions. The main work of the YCF is the publication of its European Youth Manifesto, a set of specific policy recommendations on the most pressing subjects affecting the future of Europe. It is issued on a biennial basis and is developed, written and edited by the members of the YCF without external interference. The first edition was published in November 2013 during the first Get2Gather. The council’s framework and scope of activity is defined in the official charter ratified in April 2014.
The Board of Patrons for European Youth unites all national patrons and additional supporters from business and academia. Its members support the initiative by providing local assistance for the execution of workshops and help shape its future through valuable input. The Board of Patrons is chaired by Viviane Reding, former Vice-President of the European Commission and European patron of “My Europe”. Without their support, the success of “My Europe” would not have been possible.
All students, politicians, business leaders, academics and journalists who have in some form participated in or contributed to a workshop remain connected through the so-called European Excellence Network. It is an interactive, close-knit network that enables students to benefit from the vast knowledge and expertise of the initiative’s partners and prepares them for their professional careers. At the same time business partners, journalists and academics benefit from engaging with young and bright talents from all over Europe who bring fresh ideas to the table. Many students have had the opportunity to participate in interesting projects or enhance their career opportunities through internships due to contacts acquired during the workshops and other “My Europe” events.