Feedback on the European Conference 2015


Feedback on the 2nd European Youth Conference, “Take Care of the Planet”, held in May 2015 at the headquarters of the Committee of Regions and in collaboration with the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.

The European Conference was held from 19 to 23 May 2015 at the headquarters of the Committee of Regions and in collaboration with the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. It brought together 85 young people from 14 European countries: 65 delegates from 13 to 16 years old and 20 facilitators from 18 to 30 years old. There were also representatives of thousands of European young people to investigate, discuss and engage in favor of sustainable societies.

The 13 European countries involved in the LTCP dynamic participated in this event by sending delegations, representing thousands of young people in Europe, to Brussels. A Belgian delegation also participated in the Conference with guest country status.



Training of facilitators:

The training of facilitators and design of youth workshops was conducted in partnership with Cristina Gonzalez Torrents (Sant Oficina de Serveis Ambientals de Feliu de Llobregat - Spain) and Florina Potirniche (APDD-Agenda 21 - Romania).

For the realization, a first coordination meeting was held between Delphine Astier, Cécile Massé, Cristina Gonzalez Torrents and Florina Potirniche in Barcelona from 10 to 13 February 2015. Afterwards, coordination was done by email and regular phone calls. This was an opportunity to involve two important long-term partners and former facilitators in design workshops at the European Conference 2012 and thus strengthen links.

Facilitator training took place two days before the start of the European Conference (18 and 19 May) and was conducted by Florina Potirniche, Cristina Gonzalez Torrents and Cécile Massé of Monde Pluriel. They rehearsed the various workshops that the facilitators were to lead. This simulation allowed them to understand the context in which delegates would find themselves and to think and be aware of their own role. Their training was supplemented by an intervention by Edith Sizoo on the concept of responsibility and a prior visit to the Committee of Regions. The training was highly appreciated by the facilitators.

The delegation of facilitator training to its European partners allowed Monde Pluriel to experience the co-construction of part of its events within the network. This experience revealed the complexity that this represents. If overall the experience was very rewarding, a stronger link between the team at Monde Pluriel and the facilitators would have been desirable, in particular to promote a better understanding of our expectations from them.

Conference Theme: Climate change

This year the central theme of the conference was climate change. The workshops were conceived to encourage young people to have a theme to help them acquire knowledge and responsibility, not just for them, but also for their entourage and policymakers.

Young people had the opportunity to get together and explore inter-dependencies with topics in thematic workshops such as biodiversity and natural resources, solidarity and citizenship, energy and renewable energy, production and consumption and well-being and health. These were held in meetings between young-experts or young-elected people speaking about climate issues and the COP21. A group of twenty young people and teachers did a simulation of climate negotiations led by the association CliMates.

As part of the planned workshops for adults, theoretical training on climate change and the COP21 was proposed. This allowed them to better understand the issues and their students’ questions and have a more complete knowledge to pass on, so to adapt their attitude in the face of socially controversial issues.

The call for co-responsibility, the posters and the video produced during the production workshops reflect climate issues and were valorized at the COP21 and COY11 as well as with other local and international bodies, particularly attentive to these types of product during this year of international negotiations in Paris.

Productions of the European Conference:

The youth produced posters during workshops led by the association And Why Not? A film "10 young voices about Climate Change" was also made in which they speak on the issue of climate change (realized by the association “Ex-Pressure”). A call for co-responsibility was made by Isabelle Durant, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Boris Essender, Member of the secretariat of the Committee of Regions, Annick Delhaye, Vice-President of sustainable Development, environment, climate and energy in the PACA region, and Pierre Calame, Honorary President of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation.

Review of the European Conference:
An extensive review of the European Conference has been conducted with participants in autumn 2015 to assess the impact of the event on youth and adults, which are very positive. Our participants lived a powerful experience.

“Now I have goals, missions, knowledge and motivation to act”

“This Conference has changed my mentality”

“The first thing I will share with my school mate back home is the difference between responsibilities and actions”

“I am able to create, coordinate and conclude and I have enthusiasm for this project”

It is our future which is at risk and I feel like I have to do something”

“The opening ceremony has been important because I think that is the moment where youngsters really become European and consolidate their comitments"  (France)

I did not know our voice could count! “ -  Nathan, delegate from France


Relive the highlights of the European Conference and find all the productions created by young people by following these links:

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