Back to the Level Up: a seminar for committed young people

On October 28 and 29, we had the chance to participate in the Level Up! grand scale seminar event in Brussels. Two intensive days, organised by the European Youth Forum at the European Parliament, on the occasion of the European Year of Youth. The Youth Forum brought together 1,200 young activists around various themes such as: advocacy, democracy, inclusion, mental health and well-being, etc. In this article, we tell you all about this seminar for young people.

Workshops in order to unlock new skills

In total 24 workshops were offered, covering a multitude of subjects likely to interest the young European activists who came especially for the event.

At Youth Express Network, we have followed, mainly workshops on the topic of inclusion.

  • Inclusive communication: how to communicate in an inclusive way? What are our privileges?
  • Inclusive events: how to create an inclusive event? How to take into account the different disabilities when creating projects.

These workshops allowed Y-E-N members to strengthen our vision: to achieve a more fair and inclusive society for young people by offering youth projects targeted at young people with less opportunities.

We had the possibility to attend the plenary on the history of the European Parliament where we learned some interesting facts: Currently, the youngest MEP is 21 years old and out of 705 MEPs 41% are women.

We were also registered of a workshop on mental health. We were asked to list 3 things that are good for our mental health (i.e. sense of belonging, human contact, having a purpose) and 3 things that affect our mental health (mental burden, frustration, too much to do). As an organisation, an office, an employe.e.r and/or a human being, we must take care of our mental health and that of those around us. Very useful advice that we apply at the Office.

Inspiring Youth Talks

This two-day seminar began with a motivating speech by Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, alongside Silja Markkula, President of the European Youth Forum. They both shared, what it is to be female leaders in and for Europe, and how their respective engagement started as a young person. 

We were also present at the conferences called “Youth Talk”:

  • “Rays of Hope – Democracy is Not a Race” presented by Victoria
  • “How to change the global climate trajectory” presented by Jonas Schäfer
  • “Transforming war traumas into empowerment of young Bosnians” by Alen Gudalo
  • “(Re)building trust in politics through participative science” by Cara Doumbe Kingue

The second day ended with a closing plenary session with Sofia Eriksson, Director for Youth, Education & Erasmus+ and Mathis De Clercq, Mayor of Ghent (european youth capital 2024).

It concluded with a party thrown at C12, a nightclub in downtown Brussels, celebrating the LevelUp event! and all the people who contributed to make this event a success. 

The opportunity to (finally) meet the young people of our network

We brought with us a delegation of 27 young people from our member organisations (or future y-e-n member organisations) to participate in the Level Up! event. Coming from seven different European countries (Azerbaijan, France, Georgia, Italy, Ireland, Romania and Serbia), our members exchanged ideas and long-lasting friendship. We thank them very much for coming and we wish to see them again soon around seminars or youth exchanges organised by our network.

Thanks to « Common Sense » Youth OrganisationHOPInstitute for Democratic ChangesNevo ParudimosPoint of View and our Youth Leader Andrea Pantarelli.

We thank the European Youth Forum, the European Commission and the Youth Unit of the European Parliament for this event. We are waiting for you at the next youth event, the EYE2023, which will take place in Strasbourg on June 9 and 10.