Author: Avtandil Svianadze
The opportunity as Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) to represent our countries, European values, and culture at the European Youth Hearing 2023 at the European Parliament in Brussels on 7 November was a dream come true.
During the event, I got to know so many young people striving for a better, safer, and stronger Europe, motivating us as YEAs to contribute to developing the European Union and make it stronger than ever before. We had the opportunity to meet European Parliament President Roberta Metsola during the event, and to hear her opinions regarding the 15 most popular ideas selected by young Europeans as part of the Youth Ideas Report, which were the result of a consultation process started before the European Youth Event 2023, using the platform youthideas.eu. These ideas were voted first on the platform and then during the EYE.
The ideas aim to make the European Union a better, safer and more sustainable place for all its citizens. It is important to motivate other young people in the process of improving the European Union because we see so many challenges and can easily be demotivated.
One of my favourite ideas out of all those selected was to “Introduce sustainability education in schools”, and I attended a workshop dedicated to that because my aim in life is to mainstream sustainability into various aspects of European society, including education. Indeed, I recently represented the YEAs and the EU NEIGHBOURS east programme during the Europamobil project in schools in France, where I contributed to teaching about the European Green Deal, EU institutions, and European values in general. Further discussing the experience was valuable in the context of the review of the current agenda of the EU and what we can do to contribute to the European Green Deal, which outlines the EU’s commitment to becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
It was interesting to hear the idea “Stop Food Waste in the EU and Help the Most Vulnerable,” which aligns closely with the European Union’s sustainability policies. It addresses food waste, supporting the EU’s goals of reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable consumption. It also contributes to social inclusivity. In my opinion, this initiative will encourage engagement in EU green policies, aid in biodiversity conservation, and emphasise ongoing sustainability education on our continent.
The series of meetings concluded on a high note, as we had the privilege of listening to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presenting the recent Enlargement package, in which she recommended to the European Council that Georgia be granted candidate country status and that accession negotiations be opened with Ukraine and Moldova. As Young European Ambassadors representing these countries, we felt a deep sense of pride because we understand the importance of being EU countries, as past enlargements have shown the benefits both for the accession countries and the EU.