We arrived to Valladolid on the third day in the afternoon, and went straight to Plaza Cantarranes where the members of AEGEE Valladolid had organised a street action followed by an open-air debate, with candidates to the European Parliament. The entire organisation of the debate was strategic: firstly, because of the place chosen, as Plaza Cantarranes was the host of many social movements which marked important changes in Valladolid; and secondly, because of the symbolic dimension of an open-air debate: that of politics coming back to the street, where many people believe it belongs, primarily.
The topics chosen fell into two categories: youth participation and youth unemployment, and the debate couldn’t have come out better. Firstly, because we had the opportunity of reading out loud and discussing the recommendations on youth participation and youth unemployment resulted after two of the previous Y Vote conventions. It was a particularly good opportunity to promote the results of our work to the Spanish citizens and the EP candidates and understand how they perceive our vision. In broad lines, they agreed with the necessity of offering more support to youth not only in terms of adopting more measures, but also using the available resources more effectively. Secondly -and very importantly- the open-air organisation of the debate, allowed Spanish citizens to join freely the discussion and become informed on the European elections and European issues that affect us daily. Their attitude was quite receptive and the discussions revealed Spaniards’ support for the smaller, reformist parties, against the backdrop of their disillusionment with the Spanish political management.
Last but not least, in the late evening, we had the opportunity to go on an active city tour and we combined fun and work, by exploring the city and stopping to approach people in different corners of Valladolid. It was again a challenging undergoing, given the late hour, but people responded well, since they were sitting for a drink and were more relaxed and open to discussions. It was yet another long day, at the end of which we were very tired but also satisfied with our outcomes. Tomorrow would be another day.
Simona Sokolovska, AEGEE Skopje – participant