Dear friends, today, the eyes of Europe are on Romania like they were 30 years ago. In ’89, it was a year, we can say, a year of hope. A year that defined my generation. It was the year the Iron curtain collapsed and the Berlin wall fell down, and Romanian revolution was the last great political turnover of that year. It started around Christmas, there was no Internet yet or social media. We watched events unfold on our TV sets. I remembered demonstrations waiving the Romanian flag with a hole in it. People had cut the communist symbol from their national flag. And we heard people shouting TIMISOARA because Romanian revolution started in the city of TIMISOARA. It became a call to freedom. The journey that started in 1989 in TIMISOARA leads straight to SIBIU. In 1989 Romania was in our hearts and now Romania is in the heart of Europe, shaping the future of Europe.

(Marianne Thyssen – Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility)

The European Commission is organising a Citizens’ Dialogue with young people to discuss the Future of Europe. The event brings together around 300 young Europeans from all over Europe today, 8 May, in Sibiu, Romania. Between March 5-11, 2019, an open call was launched (Here you may find our promotion) for young EU citizens, aged between 18 and 25 to take part in this event.

Participants will take part in several thematic workshops on: Democracy, Society, Fairness in the EU, Digital Europe and Fighting climate change. At the end of the day, all participants will converge to discuss their ideas during a Citizens’ Dialogue with the political leaders of the European Commission.

During the event participants will discover a large exhibition space and learn more about what the EU does for them.

Agenda of the event:

Opening: (watch HERE)

  •  Sixtine Bouygues – Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Communication,
  • Marianne Thyssen – Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
  • Tibor Navracsics Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Parallel working groups:

  • “Democracy and me: engaging in the European democratic life.”
  • “Society and me: how do I want to get involved and build communities?”
  • “Fairness in the EU: illusion, reality or unfinished business?”
  • “Digital Europe and me: will our lives and jobs change for the better?”
  • “Fighting climate change: what difference can Europe and its young people make?”

Presentation of results: to Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and to Commissioner Marianne Thyssen

Award ceremony:

  • My European Solidarity Corps moment (photos of the month) with Commissioner Tibor Navracsics
  • #MySocialEurope (photo competition) with Commissioner Marianne Thyssen

Citizens’s Dialogue: (watch HERE – min.1:00:50)

  • Jean-Claude Junker (President of the European Commission)
  • Klaus Iohannis (President of Romania)

In presence of: Commissioner Tibor Navracsics

Introduction: Directore-General Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, Directorate-General for Communication

Moderator: Dan Carbunaru

Welcome: by the Mayor of Sibiu, Astrid Fodor.

Short description of Workshops:

Democracy and me: engaging in the European democratic life.

You and your peers should have a key role in the debate on the future of Europe. According to Eurobarometer surveys, young people today feel more European than any other generation and show an interest in politics, even if they are less involved in traditional ways, such as being members of political parties. They have very clear opinions, and are eager to share them, but they are looking for new ways to engage such as new media. Let’s understand the needs of the younger generations, how they want to be involved and how they identify and combat disinformation.

Related questions:

  • How to create conditions for young people’s voices to be heard at the European level?
  • How to improve the dialogue between young people and EU institutions and through which channels?
  • Are new media channels an opportunity for youth to shape the future of Europe?
  • Where do you get your facts from, how do you understand something is ‘true’ and what could you do to fight disinformation?
  • How you and your friends could engage more in public debates? Should it be you to organise the debates or others?

Inspirational Speaker: Charles de Marcilly (EPSC)

Facilitators: Stien Michels and Nora Ganescu

Download all related documents HERE.

Fairness in the EU: illusion, reality or unfinished business?

For many decades the EU has worked to enhance economic prosperity, to promote solidarity and to end discrimination. At national level, welfare systems have been providing protection for those in need. Yet, how successful has this been? Have we really made any progress in fighting exclusion, inequalities, sexism and racism? Is there a backlash? And what role will technology play? Arguably, many injustices remain and new challenges arise: gig economy and an uncertain future of work, steady population ageing, increase of dependency and disability, growing wealth and income inequalities, etc. So how do we combat social exclusion and discrimination, and promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations, economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among Member States? How do we keep or even improve our social standards? Help us think how the EU role can be improved.

Related questions:

  • Precarious jobs and poverty – how do we ensure fair conditions in the workplace?
  • Social protection for the 21st century – what would you include and how would you finance it?
  • Solidarity within the EU: do we need a European unemployment scheme? What forms of solidarity are viable within the EU?
  • Work and care: ensuring better and fairer sharing between women and men
  • How do we end discrimination on the basis of belief, age, disability, race, gender and sexual orientation?

Inspirational Speaker: Ana Carla Pereira (EMPL)

Facilitators: Alice Priori and Dimitrios Stratakos

Download all related documents HERE.

Digital Europe and me: will our lives and jobs change for the better?

For most of you, digital is part of everyday life. The digital transformation of our society is happening right here, right now, yet so seamlessly and rapidly that it is almost imperceptible. We all take for granted the algorithms that help us choose what to buy or where to visit, the mobile apps that helps us order food or transport, the websites and services that keep us informed and entertained. But behind all of this is a complex network of rules and regulations that protect our data, save us from abuse and keep us connected. In such as fast-moving field, what are the challenges ahead of us? How do you see Europe’s digital future?

The digital transformation is also affecting our working lives. Non-standard forms of employment such as platform work, solo self-employment, temporary and part-time contracts have become more common. According to different studies, robots and machines could take over between 37% and 69% of today’s tasks (depending on the Member State) in the future. Nevertheless, technological development may hold some exciting opportunities, including prospects for a more inclusive labour market. In this context, how will your future working life change from that of previous generations? What impact will technological change have on the way you will work in the future?

Related questions:

  • Fairness in the digital society – how to make sure everyone has access to digital technology and services? Do you use any digital public services?
  • Digital technology at the service of society – how can technology help make society more sustainable? What is a connected city for you?
  • Keeping us safe online and our personal data protected – tackling disinformation and abuse online and protecting personal data.
  • Adapting to a digital world – as our jobs and lives become increasingly digital, can the rules keep pace? Can workplaces keep pace? Will there be new forms of work?
  • Do you have the right skills to benefit from the digital world and prepare yourselves for the new world of work? What do you learn in school, university? What would you like to learn?

Inspirational Speakers: Mattia Braida/Jakub Kajtman (CNECT) and Kathrin Riedler (EMPL)

Facilitators: Anton Valkov and Benedicte Rousseau

Download all related documents HERE.

Fighting Climate Change: What difference can Europe and its young people make?

Climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing our world today. The EU has already put in place many policies and measures to fight climate change and is actively working with other countries and regions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. But more needs to be done. How do you see Europe’s role in fighting climate change? How will climate change impact your life and future? What can young people do to make a difference?

Related questions:

  • How is climate change impacting your daily life? Is climate change in your mind when you think about your future?
  • How do you see the role and contribution of the EU, national governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations and citizens in tackling climate change?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities societies face in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy?
  • How can we foster the right shifts in consumption patterns and has the youth a role to play in becoming an agent of change in climate issues?
  • How do you learn about climate issues? Do you have any suggestion on how climate change should be addressed in education?

Inspirational Speaker: Yvon Slingenberg (CLIMA)

Facilitators: Melinda Varfi and Mira Bangel

Download all related documents HERE.

Society and me: how do I want to get involved and build communities?

It is vital that all young people have the means and opportunities to engage in their own communities and in the decisionmaking that affects you and shapes the future we are building together. Many young people have experienced and shown interest in EU youth initiatives like Discover EU, Erasmus+ or the European Solidarity Corps, which enable them to support others and become active members of their communities. The EU is committed to boost its investment in youth even further, with the aim of reaching young people from all parts of society and creating more opportunities for them to engage.

Related questions:

  • How can we make sure that more young people benefit from the opportunities offered to them by the EU?
  • How can we develop successful EU initiatives such as the European Solidarity Corps to ensure that more young people can contribute to building a cohesive, resilient Europe?
  • How do we bring people from all backgrounds into a debate with policy-makers at all levels, for instance through the new EU Youth Dialogue, to better enable them to shape the decisions that affect them?
  • What should we do to help provide young people with the competences they need to play an active role in society?
  • How can we build successful models of citizenship education?

Inspirational Speaker: Kate Moriarty (EAC)

Facilitators: Holger Heller and Maria Scordialos

Download all related documents HERE.