Youth 2002 meets Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs

From: Marc-Oliver Pahl (
Date: Mon Jul 01 2002 - 18:32:19 CEST

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    Betreff: Youth 2002 meets Prime Minister and Minist er for European Affairs
    Datum: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 11:50:30 -0100
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    Policy area: General Affairs
    News item: Articles

    On Sunday 30 June, 99 young people between 18 and 25 years of age from the youth project on the EU’s
    future, Youth 2002, met with the Danish Prime Minister Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Prime
    Minister’s residence, Marienborg, north of Copenhagen.
    Here the young people told him about their experiences with the webdialogue about Europe’s future,
    which is a discussion forum for Europe’s future.
    The Prime Minister presented the visions for the Danish EU Presidency and for Europe’s future.

    - The greatest issue on the agenda for the Danish Presidency is the enlargement of the European
    Union. The enlargement goes to the heart of what the European Union is all about: Freedom, peace and
    prosperity. Building a better future for all of us, said Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

    After the meeting at Marienborg, Minster for European Affairs Mr Bertel Haarder addressed 1000 young
    people at Christiansborg Palace Square in Copenhagen on occasion of Youth 2002.

    - Europe's future is the young people's future. Therefore it is very positive that 1000 young people
    have wanted to spend their summer holiday discussing the structure of Europe in the future. We
    should take this as the starting signal for a debate about how to create a Europe based on peace,
    democracy and welfare for generations, Mr Bertel Haarder said.

    Youth 2002 is a European youth project where 1000 young people from 33 countries in Europe meet at
    13 Danish folk high schools to debate Europe’s future. Here they will divide into groups to discuss
    various issues regarding Europe’s future in order to finally prepare a common proposal for a
    European constitution. The proposal will be translated into 25 languages and sent to 30,000 e-mail
    addresses, i.a. to NGOs, think-tanks, political institutions and media. The project will take place
    in the period from 30 June to 13 July. Youth 2002 has been arranged by a number of Danish folk high
    schools and organisations, i.a. Nyt Europa and the Danish Youth Council.
    The project has received much recognition from many quarters.

    The young people’s proposal for a European constitution will also form part of a Youth Convention
    from 9 to 14 July in connection with the Convention on the EU’s Future where 210 young people will
    be debating the EU’s future.

    The Minister for European Affairs, Mr. Ber tel Haarder's Youth 2002 speech at the cas tle square
            of Christiansborg in Copenhagen 30 June.
    Mon, 01 Jul 2002 12:13:51 -0100

    Dear Fellow Europeans

    Youth 2002 is an outstanding initiative. First I will like to thank the organisers for getting
    the idea of gathering all of you here in Denmark and for having the courage asking you to
    discuss what should be the elements in a future European Constitution.

    Europe’s future is your future and your future is Europe’s future. Your participation gives you
    an excellent opportunity to express your visions and wishes for the future of Europe and at the
    same time listen to the visions of your fellow Europeans. What should be the norms and values
    for the way we are living? What should be the overall goals for the cooperation in the European
    Union? What areas should be subject to European cooperation and what areas not?

    How can we best keep our love and devotion to our country and at the same time build up common
    goals, common identity, common framework for common action? How to be – or not to be –
    European; that is the question.

    Whether you are from Member States of the EU, from candidate countries expecting soon to become
    members or from other European countries, you are all part of Europe. And you are now taking
    part in an exiting process, defining the basis for a whole Europe - one Europe. A Europe that
    never must be divided again. What happens in one part of Europe should never be separated from
    what happens in another part.

    Let me take the opportunity to express my visons for our future Europe: It should be a Europe
    free from fear of war. It should be a safe place to be. A place based on democracy and the
    respect for Human Rights. A place where growth and prosperity is developing to the benefit of
    all – including our partners in the third world.

    It should also be a Europe that fulfils its role vis-à-vis the rest of the World. A Europe that
    lives up to its responsibility. A Europe equipped to solve crisis and conflicts where needed. A
    Europe that is in the forefront when it comes to fighting poverty and hunger. A Europe that
    opens its markets, if not its borders.

    Furthermore citizens must know that EU is an element in their daily life. They must know how it
    works. That requires a constant dialogue between citizens and politicians about what is going
    on in the EU. Openness and transparency must be improved. Too few people are aware of what the
    Union is doing. The lack of knowledge leads to frustration and lack of confidence.

    I want a Europe that focuses on essentials, on issues that Member States cannot solve them
    selves. That means to a large extent cross border problems such as foreign and security policy,
    trade, asylum policy, international crime, environment and food safety.

    Member States should maintain as their competence the policy with regard to distribution of
    income and maintaining or improving social welfare benefits. That means a Europe that in some
    areas do less than it does today and in other areas more. Europe should at the same time be
    slimmer and stronger. The principle of subsidiarity should be used to a larger extent than it
    is the case today.

    It should also be clearer what the EU is doing and what the Member States are doing. A lot of
    criticism of the EU stems from the fact that it is very difficult to find out who is doing
    what. This must be improved in the future.

    In two weeks time, the Youth Convention is going to meet in Brussels. The establishment of a
    Youth Convention in parallel to the other Convention is very important. The youth’ s influence
    on the future of Europe must not be gone the day the Youth Convention ends. We have a
    responsibility to assure that that does not happen.

    So, my dear young fellow Europeans,

    Lets not only ask what Europe can do for us and for our country. Ask instead, what Europe can
    do to keep itself peaceful, prosperous and generous with freedom for future generations across
    our continent. Lets make Europe a continent of peaceful competition like the football
    championships. Globalisation is not the problem but the solution. Let our students, scientists,
    experts and artists compete on the same teams like in the Champions League.

    Lets make Europe creative like Zidane, advanced and solid like Nokia, poetic and passionate
    like Shakespeare. Lets make Europe understandable for all young and old, learned and lay, like
    Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. Lets be wise and prudent like Platon. Lets use all our
    national heritages to the benefit of all. Lets be national and European at the same time.

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