For months, 30 European youth institutions have been preparing for it, and now it’s getting practical: this weekend, the first international youth encounter within the framework of Generation Europe will begin in Valencia. Nine more encounters will follow this autumn: In Brno (Czech Republic), Minsk (Belarus), Florence (Italy), Sofiko (Greece) as well as in Munich, Groß Thurow, Oberhausen and Bochum (Germany).
Until October 16th, young people from the Steinfurt district (Germany), Telsiai (Lithuania), and the Valencia region (Spain) will meet in Valencia. The ambitious plan: they want to work together over a period of three years, identify local problems and draw up action plans which they implement with the support of their European partners. The purpose of the international meetings is to prepare themselves for this task, to learn from each other and to collectively find a European perspective on local challenges.
“We are excited and happy that we are finally getting started,” says Katharina Teiting, who coordinates the Generation Europe programme for the International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.). “The experts of the participating youth institutions have intensively prepared themselves at international meetings. In this way we have created the conditions to fill the idea of Generation Europe with life: A strong European network that inspires young people to work locally for democracy, human rights and participation. My best wishes go to all participants for success and great experiences!”
When the first Youth Encounter ends in Valencia on October 16th, Generation Europe will continue 1,500 kilometres further north: On the same day, young people from Estonia, Romania and Germany will meet in Oberhausen to fill their own project partnership with life. The last of the ten youth meetings this year will take place in December near Corinth in Greece.