Asked about their identity young people responded that they feel Parisian at the first place, then European and then French. Generally we can already say that most people politically don´t think in European terms, the first is always the national perspective. In London we experienced the same. And it appears that here the capital city is an island more connected to Europe than to France itself. Should Ile-de-France change its name to Ile-d`Europe?!
Paris is giving home to thousands of international students with conflicting views on the future of Europe depending on whom you are asking; law students of the Sorbonne, free-lancer art students or fellow AEGEEans during their weekly meeting. Everyone seems to be aware of their country’s major influence on EU foreign policies, but still they do not always feel included in the democratic processes. The question rises; is this the matter of educational background or cultural heritage?
AEGEE-Paris is a small but active local, with many fresh, as well as international members – who were eager to share their ideas. Consequently as diverse as their personal situations are the perspectives of youngsters. Some were innovative to think outside the box when offering solutions to the problems the young generation is facing.
“One of the best characteristics of young people is that, normally, they do not think by the rules or by the book and, therefore, they are more psychologically available to have new ideas, new concepts“ – says Mario (26), a member of AEGEE-Paris. Continuing this thread of thought and concluding the discussions, some straightforward ideas came up; youth guarantees for freshly graduates to ease the transition period until entering the job market, a common framework to ensure the recognition of non-formal educational methods, better cooperation with national governments regarding youth issues.
“This is the Europe we want for 2020” – many of them kept saying.