by Lucia Sobeková
Easter atmosphere awaited us in Udine! City centre full of people and families was a great spot to talk to young people and ask them what Europe means to them. The answers were quite colorful too. Many youngsters consider Europe as a world of possibilities and diversity. On the other hand, crisis and borders is what Europe represents to young generation in Udine.
“Young people lost the trust in politicians,” started Francesco. “Personally, I think the ballot turnout in the upcoming European elections will not be high among young Italians. Europe is even more distance to them that their national representatives. They seen the decisions taken by the European Union as something happening behind the door in Brussels, having no direct impact on their lives.”
First step to defend the interest of young people should be their active engagement in youth or students´ associations. Even though they might not always seen the impact of their opinions on European level, these organisations are the direct channel to decision makers to transmit them.
Majority of young people, however, do not take this first important step to influencing current society. “They simply do not care. When I mention AEGEE to my classmates it is hard for them to understand why I want to be involved in European students´ organisation as they have other interests,” confessed Azzura. “For me, Europe means otherness in shared identity. It is a task for every young person to contribute to creation of Europe we want for tomorrow.”
The crisis that Europe is suffering from for several years has changed diametrically its character. It is not yet economical crisis what makes us incapable to create a well-being and have a possibility of self- realisation. The European crisis became a crisis of society and our mindsets.
“Young people should be involved in politics” said Clementina. “Their creative thinking and ideas can bring a new light to the current political spectrum.”
The current crisis should be seen rather than opportunity than the obstacle. Young people should become the leaders of this change and contribute to society we are striving for tomorrow. According to young people in Udine, governments should support this fight and create more opportunities for mobility, participation and employment to re- organise our communities and diminish inter-generational social exclusion. Education about European citizenship as well as education in other than native languages are the first steps to sustainable growth of our society. Even though it is not easy task to do, youth must be high of political agenda of European leaders. Investing in our future and future generation is the way out the present discontent.
With this message we are leaving Udine as our last stop in Italy. Slovenia, Europe on Track is on the way!