August 20, 2008
About Y Vote 2009
Y Vote 2009 is a European wide campaign designed to create continuous platform for youth activists to be able to take stands on most important social issues in Europe, exchange and develop them together, effectively spread them by taking active role in democratic processes of different settings and structures with central focus on encouraging and empowering young people in Europe to make informed choices at European Parliament Elections in 2009.
Project activities will include a series of small and large-scale actions in diverse formats and through diverse media, with local, regional, national and European dimension, designed to challenge political ignorance and disinterest among young people by providing them with information, competences and motivation to become informed voters and – beyond that – active citizens in the political discourse of their communities and at the European scale.
The campaign is designed and planned by young people for young people. The issue of European democratic deficit and the political apathy of youngest citizens is of paramount importance for the future of Europe of all generations, but for young people themselves in the first place, and the future of communities they live in and the European society at large.
Policy issues chosen for the campaign are the ones shaping personal and professional realities and prospects for young people (education, employment, mobility, EU social model) but also the political, economic, social, and cultural context they live in and could live in (citizenship, multiculturalism, creativity, EU and the world, migrations). They are also the issues catching the attention of young people when they find themselves close to or inside political debate, the areas where we as youth activist have been contributing the most – therefore we believe that these are the topics that will bring first-time voters on the board of (European) democratic decision making.
Y vote 2009 Campaign will include a series of nation-wide actions taking place from October 2008 to June 2009. There are five integrated campaign components:
• Street Actions, oriented towards general audience
• Campus Actions, oriented towards students
• Arena Actions, connecting the message to sports and popular culture
• Spotlight Actions, spreading the message towards media
• Voice Actions, facilitating dialogue with politicians
Main events of the campaign will be twelve Y Vote 2009 conventions, each one designed to be a big International gathering of young people with 4 thematic streams:
• Main thematic part – bringing young people together with politicians and experts to discuss the main topic of the convention
• Youth Agenda 2009 – collecting youth opinions on other topics from the Youth Agenda 2009 (collection of Y Vote policy topics: Citizenship, Creativity, Education, Employment, EU and the World, EU Social Model, Migration, Mobility, Multilingualism and Regionalism)
• Bright examples of youth democratic participation – from local to European level with strong local flavor
• Finally – Y Vote 2009 – how to encourage first-time voters to go out and make a choice – tools for campaigning, already made results and experiences, new ideas.
Twelve conventions will be organized in 12 cities in 10 EU member states:
• Youth Agenda 2009 – Launching Convention
Vienna, September 14 – 21, 2008
• Y Vote on Citizenship
Groningen, December 6 – 13, 2008
• Y Vote on EU and the World
Poznan, January 9 – 15, 2009
• Y Vote on Jobs and Mobility
Rome, February 6 – 12, 2009
• Y Vote on Creativity
Munich, February 21 – 27, 2009
• Y Vote on Multiculturalism
Ljubljana, March 26 – April 1, 2009
• Y Vote on Education
Budapest, April 6 – 12, 2009
• Y Vote on EU Social Model
Porto, April 20 – 26, 2009
• Y Vote on Migration
Cologne, May 10 – 16, 2009
• Y Vote Sparks of Future
Brussels, May 23 – 27, 2009
• European Youth Choice 2009 – Final Convention
Cagliari, June 2009
Special part of the campaign is dedicated to the United Kingdom. UK Campaign Tour Campaign includes a launching festival-style event in London, UK-wide campaign tour in 26 cities and a closing international youth convention in Edinburgh. This will be supported by an online platform, hard-copy informational material and traditional media coverage.
AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes co-operation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 15.000 members, active in more than 240 university cities in 43 European countries.
AEGEE, which was founded in 1985 in Paris, puts the idea of a unified Europe into practice. A widely spread student network provides the ideal platform where youth workers and young volunteers from 43 European countries can work together on crossborder activities such as conferences, seminars, exchanges, training courses, Summer Universities, Case Study trips and Working Group meetings.
By encouraging traveling and mobility, stimulating discussion and organising common projects AEGEE attempts to overcome national, cultural and ethnic divisions and to create a vision of young people’s Europe. The structure is based on an European level (a European Board of Directors working in Brussels and 4 Commissions, 11 Working Groups and 9 multinational Project Teams) and on a local level (the 240 antennae or local groups, forming the Network).
Association’s main aims are promoting a unified Europe without prejudices, striving for creating an open and tolerant society of today and tomorrow and fostering democracy, human rights, tolerance, cross-boarder cooperation, mobility and European dimension in education.
All the numerous events and projects run by the organization are to be focused on our 4 Fields of Action (Cultural Exchange, Active Citizenship, Higher Education, Peace & Stability) and 5 Focus Areas (Non-formal learning, European Citizenship, Academic Mobility, Intercultural Dialogue, Globalization).
Among AEGEE’s most well-known achievements there are the establishment of the Erasmus Programme, in which AEGEE has been directly involved, and its longest running project, the Summer University, gathering each summer thousands of volunteers who contribute to open a new perspective to the participants over the multicultural dimension of the European continent, providing high-content, high-quality and low-cost summer courses (ranging from language courses to seminars about political, cultural, environmental issues).
AEGEE has participatory status in the activities of the Council of Europe, consultative status at the United Nations, operational status at UNESCO and is at the same time a member of the European Youth Forum. The organisation has also a number of illustrious personalities amongst its general partners: Mikhael Gorbatchev, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic; Eric Froment, former President of the European University Association, Wolfgang Thierse, former President of the Bundestag and Romano Prodi, former prime minister of Italy and President of the European Commission.
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