MeetEU – getting in touch with fellow Europeans

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Recent years have seen a slow increase in Euroscepticism and mistrust in EU institutions. Except for policymakers themselves and political science students, Brussels politics often seems too complicated and dry to understand. Anti-EU and pro-nationalist parties are on the rise again and are in particular targeting the people that feel disconnected and far away. Does that leave any hope for the future of the EU?

Yes, says Tina Löhr, founder and member of MeetEU. After the last European elections in 2019, she decided it was time for change: ‘Our goal is to bring Europeans closer to EU politics and to create a European public’, she says. Her way of doing that: organizing weekly virtual events on the social network Discord, which connect citizens from all of Europe with policy-makers and experts. What started off as a mere discussion forum for citizens from different European countries soon gained visibility and policymakers and experts joined to engage with the people of Europe. 

From THISTIMEIAMVOTING.eu …

After the 2019 European elections, former volunteers of the campaign “thistimeiamvoting.eu” (now together.eu) have joined forces to further promote pan-European exchange. Around 900 people are in the MeetEU Discord forum, and their 60 events so far have seen some 1,500 participants from 30 different countries. Particularly when the chosen topic for an event relates to issues reaching beyond the EU, interest is also high among non-Europeans, and Tina welcomes this development. In order to enhance the impact of the events and make them even more accessible, they are also uploaded to the platform of the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe, the EU’s very own tool to engage with its citizens.

But Tina is not doing the job alone. Together, with Moritz Wille, she coordinates the whole project. A team of seven people are further helping to organize the events, with one coordinator per event. One who stands out is . Moritz has initiated the campaign Make the Voice of European Students heard. ‘I was frustrated when I saw that only 10.5% on the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe Platform were young people between 16-25’ he says. 

… To meetEU …

So, the team started thinking about how young people could be encouraged to participate in shaping the future of Europe. His campaign targets students in schools and universities; with a template letter now available in 24 different languages, students can email their teachers and professors to ask to participate in A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe events. Raising awareness about the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe itself could then also trigger discussions in schools and universities about Europe’s future. 

… To international school projects

The campaign has also had an international influence, and a project to connect French and German school kids through shared class events is in the pipes. Schools from South Tyrol and Austria have also shown interest in the idea already, so the exchange of national perspectives to create transnational ones seems to be popular. 

‘We see ourselves as the link between teachers in order to connect school classes; the actual design of the lesson is left to the teachers’, Tina explains, who also helps out in MeetEU. Either way, the school projects, like the MeetEU campaign and the together.eu events, are all furthering the goal of increasing democratic participation and strengthening a European public.

Visions for the Future

In the future and after the end of the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe, their focus will lie on organizing events to further work towards that goal. Moritz hopes, however, that the A year-long series of events and fora to discuss the future of the EU involving civil society, local, regional and national authorities, as well as policymakers. Concluded in May 2022. Conference on the Future of Europe will exist beyond its planned conclusion in spring this year. For the future, he hopes that more Europeans will be engaged in shaping the EU, particularly with a stronger focus on young people. Tina would like to see a more transnational European perspective present in schools and media and more exchange between people with different perspectives. For that, she also expects EU institutions and agencies like the Commission’s representations in The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States to help.

Get more infos on MeetEU and Make the Voice of European Students heard

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