Illustration by Daniela Nunes


European Youth Events on a local level

 by Lorena Baric 


The European Youth Event (EYE) is a biannual event organised by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The event brings together thousands of young people from the European Union member states and beyond, to share and shape their ideas on Europe’s future. Local EYEs bring the unique experience of this event to different European cities and regions. They are co-funded and supported by the European Parliament, and they are organised by youth organisations. 

The first local EYE took place in 2021, as a part of the Galway 2020 - European Capital of Culture programme. Originally a 2-day festival, but it took place fully online.

In 2022, the two first phisical local EYEs took place to bring Europe closer to young people, empowering them to become active citizens and to engage with the European Parliament.

These were in Santander, Spain, and Varaždin, Croatia!


 EYE Santander

On 14-16 October 2022, EYE Santander hosted around 700 young people in person and 3000 online. The programme was co-created with young people and contained more that 70 activities from debates, and panels, to culture and leisure. 

The three pillars of the event were:

BUILD EUROPE – The role of young people in building the present and future of the European Union.
hrough various activities such as debates, decision-making simulations, panel discussions, inspiring talks, etc., young people discussed and shared their opinions about climate change, youth participation, European values, Europe in the world, mental health, and well-being. 

SHARE EUROPE – Platform for young people to share European values and commitments to create positive change in society.
The main event was the European Youth Parade to celebrate diversity, followed by an Info market for youth associations to share their work, networking room for exchanging ideas and co-creating projects, and a posters exhibition for youth organisations to showcase their successful community projects.

ENJOY EUROPE – Leisure, cultural and sports events such as yoga and meditation, concerts, surfing, exhibitions etc., to show the best of Santander.

Source: @Europarl_EYE

 EYE Varaždin 

On 25-26 November 2022, EYE Varaždin turned the city into a big hub with more than 30 different activities for young people from all over Europe and the world. The organisers described the event as follows: “What would happen if there were no borders? And by no borders, we mean no visible borders like state lines, or invisible borders like psychological, social, or cultural barriers that hinder us? Recent events and crises around Europe and the world have shown us how brutal it is to close access to freedom, human rights, or a better life for thousands of migrants or refugees, but on the other hand, there are some great examples (the European Union itself!) of how opening the borders can improve the quality of life, the economy or break down prejudices at an individual and global level.“

The goal of this local EYE was to break the barriers between young people and decision makers, politicians, or institutions, and to give them recommendations for policies on environment, migration, democracy and election processes, geopolitics and culture. 

The EYE was structured around three pillars:

À POLITIKÁ - non-formal learning activities by young people for young people, interactive activities, political debates, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, open mike, and networking activities. 

COOLTURA - focusing on youth culture and art, concerts, music awards for young local independent music artists, parties, dance, and movement workshops. 

HENGANJE - entertainment and chill activities to balance the dynamic workday of young participants, including sports, outdoor activities, gaming, chillax zone, etc. 

In 2023, the European Youth Event took place in Strasbourg, with over 8500 young people. In 2024, four local EYEs will take place, learn more about them:  


The EYE Santander and EYE Varaždin were among the 13 000+ organised by youth organisations and stakeholders during the European Year of Youth 2022. Explore the other activities with an interactive map!








 Issue 34

 Young people in the spotlight



Lorena is an editor of Coyote magazine, a writer, and a youth information worker.