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The European Union is often seen as a maze that no one can navigate. How can normal citizens influence policies in such a maze? Where to start and who to talk to? That is exactly what we looked at during the Common European Event. Selected participants gathered in Maastricht in early June and worked on integrating debating and lobbying skills to learn how to effectively influence the European political process.
The first day consisted of a practical lobbying training. The participants focused their efforts on one particularly important topic for European youth: employment. They learned how to lobby in a European setting on this issue, received practical lobbying advise and analysed this particular issue with each other.
The second day moved to Brussels. The participants visited the European Parliament and saw They discussed the lobbying process with European policy makers and lobbyists in Brussels.
The third day was reserved for a theoretical discussion of the European Union institutions and procedures. In addition, the participants looked at the ways in which they could spread the knowledge and ideas that they had found in this project to a wider audience and how they could engage more youth with the EU or youth employment issues. There was some time for sightseeing too, however, as they took a boat tour on the Meuse river and visited a local chateau for the trainings.
Anne Valkering Programme Manager