European Youth Event 2020: giving a voice to young people to influence EU policy

youth EU

(Yingchou Han, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


The European Youth Event (EYE) goes online to engage young people with high-level politicians, experts and influencers and discuss EU role in the COVID-19 crisis.

‘EYE online’, following the postponement of EYE2020 due to the pandemic, goes into its final week and offers young people from the EU and beyond an opportunity to virtually meet and exchange views with experts, decision-makers, activists and influencers. It will address youth concerns about the role of the EU in the context of COVID-19 crisis, as part of the #EuropeansAgainstCovid19 campaign.

During the final week, participants will be able to debate with high-level speakers such as EP President Sassoli, EP Vice-presidents Katarina Barley and Othmar Karas, ECB President Christine Lagarde as well as several EU Commissioners and MEPs.

EP President David Sassoli, who will close the event on Friday 29 May, said: “We strive to find opportunities even in difficult times. The EYE online is taking the European Youth Event to the next level by allowing even more young people from Europe and beyond to engage in the democratic debate and voice their ideas for the future of Europe. The EYE has become even more accessible and inclusive for all”.

The programme of EYE online kicked off on April 7 after it became clear that the biennial event in Strasbourg could not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its last week, from Monday 25 to Friday 29, includes several interactive sessions such as, inter alia, a debate with key EU policy makers, understanding what it is like to be an MEP or an interpreter, and to join several panels on a variety of topics.

President Sassoli will participate in the closing session entitled “In the shoes of the EP President”, to present his daily work, particularly in these challenging times, and Parliament’s response to Covid-19 and the way forward after this crisis.

EP Vice-Presidents for Communication, Katarina Barley and Othmar Karas, will open the final week, on Monday, replying to questions from participants on the EU response to the crisis.

The European Central Bank’s President, Christine Lagarde, is also among the several guest speakers, as she will discuss the response to the coronavirus pandemic and, particularly, how it affects people, businesses and banks.

Participants will also be able to share views on how young people can contribute to shaping policies in the aftermath of the COVID-19 without leaving their home. Other sessions cover the impact of COVID-19 on youth mobility, particularly Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes, and the job market, inequalities in health and health care, as well as the climate emergency.

Find here the full programme and more info on EYE online

This online edition aims to respond to the expectations of more than 13.000 young people who had registered for the event in May, but also enables the participation of a wider audience. So far, the activities have received more than 500.000 views. Activities are streamed on the EYE Facebook page.

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