11. May 2022

Assemblies of Solidarity

As part of Citizens Take Over Europe, we organised several participation formats for young people in 2021 and 2022, the Assemblies of Solidarity. They have resulted in two declarations on European environmental and social policies.

Participants of the Assemblies of Solidarity in Palermo

As part of the civil society collective Citizens Take Over Europe, we were able to organise five participation formats in schools in four countries of our network. These formats took place within the framework of the Future of Europe Conference, which ended at this year’s Europe Day on 9th May. With the aim of bringing young people’s perspectives into the conference process, our youth organisations in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Portugal held so-called Assemblies of Solidarity.

The Assemblies of Solidarity

At the assemblies, school students from these countries were able to formulate their priorities for the future of Europe in three fields: democracy & human rights; environment & climate; and health policy. They then presented their priorities to members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

MEP Daniel Freund from Germany, MEP Sandra Pereira and Vice-President of the European Parliament Pedro Silva Pereira from Portugal, among others, took part in the formats. After the Assemblies of Solidarity, the students‘ proposals were uploaded to the conference’s digital online platform. On this platform, all EU citizens were able to submit proposals or demands, which were then examined by the EU institutions.

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Video: Ane Cenecorta

Assemblies in Palermo und Porto

In October 2021, students from each of our five assemblies and our project manager Lena Strehmann had the chance to meet and exchange with participants from the other 15 Assemblies of Solidarity (organised by other members of Citizens Take Over Europe) in Palermo, Sicily. As a result of this exchange, they wrote a strong manifesto for the future of European climate policy entitled “Avoding Climate Catastrophe”.

In April 2022, Lena Strehmann, two students from Pordenone (Italy) and three students from Bochum (Germany) took part in the Transnational Assembly on Eco-Social Justice in Porto (Portugal) with the aim of further integrating the demands of young people into the Conference on the Future of Europe. Here, the ideas of the participants from the local Assemblies of Solidarity on the topic of fundamental rights and social justice were discussed with a broader group and fed into a further declaration: “Decolonise, Decarbonise, Democratise”.

We are happy to have played a small part with the Assemblies of Solidarity in making the conference on the future of Europe a bit younger, more diverse and more inclusive. Here, you can find our critique of the conference.