On June 26-27 history was made at the European Commission. A first General Assembly co-created and co-chaired with European children and teenagers to discuss and work on child participation at EU-level.
Bravo to our Children’s Panel, who worked so hard to make the meeting a success!
Having our say, being heard!
We worked and played together over two days, and came up with ideas to help EU decision-makers adapt their laws and plans, in line with children's needs.
This General Assembly meeting was a big step in making children's voices heard within the European Union. The work that children did will now be fed into the Platform's work plan, and there will be new activities and chances for more children to have their say.
What we discussed
During these historic two days at the heart of the European Union's capital, the atmosphere was both fun and quite serious too.
We had discussions about important topics such as children's rights, making Europe greener, safety from harm, ending child poverty, and having a say in decisions, all with support from EU leaders.
In this gallery, you can see the things we talked about, and the people we met.
What we think
Based on the children's thematic workshops, here are some recommendations for the Platform to consider:
- Lower voting age:16 and 17-year-olds should be able to vote, to strengthen democracy. Encourage discussions with lawmakers to make this a reality, as it is important for young people to have a say in decisions that impact their lives.
- Address mental health stigma: more open communication and awareness about mental health. Working with adults and children to help remove the stigma around it and make sure children can get the help they need.
- Child-friendly climate consultations: develop child-friendly consultations and materials related to climate change. Involve children in decision-making processes regarding environmental policies that affect their future.
- Child violence: raise awareness about various forms of violence against children, including bullying and abuse. Special attention should be given to vulnerable groups, such as immigrants and those living in poverty.
- Child poverty: in Europe, 1/4 of children are at risk of poverty. All children need to be able to go to good schools, have healthy food, proper homes to live in and should not be discriminated against.
- Integration initiatives: promote integration among children from different backgrounds, including migrants and those in institutions. Create events to foster interaction and understanding.
- Peer networking: use the Platform to make connections between children, experts, and national children and youth advisory boards to share experiences and best practices.
- Consultations and chat rooms: establish online and offline consultations to gather children's views and involve them in developing solutions. Create chat rooms for children to discuss Platform-related issues.
What happens next
Stay tuned for the next steps as we continue the Platform journey together:
Advisory Board meeting: the Advisory Board consists of experts and children, who meet twice a year to provide guidance and share their expertise. The next meeting will focus on approving the Platform's work plan, which includes input from the children's work during the General Assembly.
Child safety: we are finishing collecting your thoughts through the online survey and consultation, and will then be busy examining the results, all thanks to your helpful feedback!
New activities: get ready for exciting activities in 2024! There will be more discussions, chances to share your thoughts in surveys, and to join special events. Your voice matters!