#EngagEUrCouncil — Youth exchange and youth participation in the upcoming Trio EU Council Presidency

Photo: Inga Kjer/IEP

Young agenda-setters for Europe

Protests against climate change and attacks on the freedom of expression in the age of digiti­zation, or the promotion of the EU project countering rising populism and nation­alism – young EU citizens increas­ingly set the agenda with political demands that are relevant to the broad spectrum of society. In the framework of the project, young citizens from Germany, Slovenia, and Portugal are invited to jointly formulate political demands based on knowledge and infor­mation they gain during the project. At the occasion of key political events, partic­i­pants have the unique oppor­tunity to present their demands to decision-makers of the Trio EU Council Presi­dency of Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia in 2020 and 2021, and to the public.

#EngagEUr­Council: Youth partic­i­pation in virtual think tank

Europe-wide discus­sions in times of contact barriers, border controls and travel warnings?
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have not passed on #EngagEUr­Council. But the pandemic is just another reason to think about innov­ative European solutions based on knowledge. In 2020, #EngagEUr­Council is thus hosting a virtual think tank, in which the young partic­i­pants will jointly develop demands for the German and the Portuguese Council Presi­dency through inter­active debates and webinars. The project team is counting on being able to organise the process of idea devel­opment in face to face events in 2021.

Germany, Slovenia, and Portugal – an innov­ative triangle

The upcoming Trio EU Council Presi­dency is geograph­i­cally, histor­i­cally, and socio-econom­i­cally highly diverse and is likely to induce multi­layered, constructive and critical debates about EU policy. This will lead to the devel­opment of new (young) ideas for the Future of Europe in the framework of the #EngagEUr­Council project to integrate a constructive and sustainable youth dimension into the Trio EU Council Presidency.

The project is imple­mented by IEP in close cooper­ation with Instituto Português de Relações Inter­na­cionais, Lisbon, and Centre of Inter­na­tional Relations, Ljubljana. The project partners also cooperate with the Trans European Policy Studies Associ­ation (TEPSA) in Brussels within the framework of the so-called TEPSA Pre-Presi­dency Confer­ences in order to ensure a Europe-wide coverage of the project and its activities.

Set the agenda with youth demands based on infor­mation and knowledge

#EngagEUr­Council is based on a holistic proven and tested youth partic­i­pation concept which builds on three inter­linked method­ological components.

In 2020, the concept is applied as follows:

#YoungCitizens’FutureLabs that aim at sharing knowledge on the European Union and at identi­fying first demands. The #YoungCitizens’FutureLabs take place in a virtual think tank.
#Young­Ex­pert­sLabs that aim at deepening the content of the demands developed. The #Young­Ex­pertsLab take place in a virtual think tank.
#YoungIdea­s­Panel at TEPSA Pre-Presi­dency Confer­ences aimed at presenting the developed youth demands to political decision-makers.
These method­ological compo­nents altogether establish a 6‑month cycle of youth empow­erment and agenda-setting. This cycle is imple­mented for the German, the Portuguese, and the Slovenian Presi­dency respectively.



#EngagEUr­Council builds on the European youth partic­i­pation project #EngagEU, co-funded by the “Europe for Citizens” program of the European Commission. In the framework of the project, over 850 partic­i­pants from more than 51 countries were empowered to partic­ipate in political decision-making processes on a European level. The partic­i­pants discussed and developed their visions and demands for the Future of Europe in several “YoungCitizens’FutureLabs”. These ideas were summarised in a multi-lingual Manifesto “Young ideas for the Future of Europe” and addressed to the decision-makers.


Follow #EngagEUr­Council on Twitter and Facebook:

Twitter Logo @EngagEU


Project term:

1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021

Project team:

Dr. Funda Tekin (Project Leader)
Jana Schubert (Project Manager)
Sara Kibler (Project Assistant)
York Albrecht (Project Assistant)

Languages of the project:

English, French, Portuguese and Slovenian

Youth Ideas:

Youth Ideas for Europe – Setting the Scene for the German EU Council Presidency

Youth Ideas for Europe – Setting the Scene for the Portuguese EU Council Presidency

Youth Ideas for Europe – Setting the Scene for the Slovenian EU Council Presidency

Project reports:

Final report on the first project cycle (March 2020 — June 2020)

Final report on the second project cycle (September 2020 — November 2020)

Final report on the third project cycle (April 2021 — June 2021)

TEPSA Pre-Presi­dency Conference:

Videos of the rappor­teurs’ presen­ta­tions during the Pre-Presi­dency Conference on 25 June 2020 are available here.

The project #EngagEUr­Council: Youth exchange and youth partic­i­pation is funded by Stiftung Mercator – with the kind support of the Federal Foreign Office for individual project activ­ities on the German Council Presidency.