The project focused in particular on young adults, representatives of Generation Z. The aim was to draw their attention to the future of the EU in view of the 2024 EP elections. Through the workshops and subsequent project activities, we learned about the emotions, concerns of young adults and their ideas for solutions when it comes to the major challenges facing the EU and the world. We gave young people the voice they deserve. On this basis – based on the insights we gathered – we conducted a pro-frequency campaign ahead of the elections. We reached more than 3 million young voters, whom we encouraged to take a stand for Europe.

Participating countries: Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.
Created and run by: Alliance4Europe (Germany), BiPart (Italy), CoGlobal (Spain), Inter Alia (Greece), The Good Lobby (Italy) and  the project leader – Fundacja Geremka (Poland).

Project has received funding from the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) programme, Grant Agreement n. 101081706.


2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the EU’s big-bang enlargement, and the first generation of citizens born in 2004 from the 10 new member states became adults. This milestone highlights the need for a special focus on young peoples views from across the continent; particularly regarding the future of European Democracy.

The Born in EU project aims to research and understand the views of the young generations of Europeans. The next generation of EU citizens, those born after the 2004 EU enlargement, will play a vital role in shaping the European political landscape. They are those who grew up within the European project and whose voice should matter on how this project moves forward. In general, this young generation tends to be more progressive on Europe-wide issues and global ones alike. Their involvement is critical in addressing the current-day challenges. The Born in EU project aims to coagulate these voices, the political views of the young EU citizens, and to make it clear for policymakers.

Main activities

The project started with proper research to develop an effective methodology, and then 25 workshops with young Europeans (24 national and 1 in Brussels with the most active national participants, combined with a meeting with EU decision-makers). Through the workshops, we directed the attention of more than 700 participants to the future of the EU in view of the 2024 EP elections.

Participants were trained and then encouraged to create (individual or group) their policy proposals for change in the EU. 32 of these proposals were recorded and published on the project platform.. This was followed by national competitions to find participants for the final event in Brussels.

For all 32 proposals, a total of 784 votes were cast in the national competitions, which were attended by more than 500 people (the number of people who registered on the platform to vote). Of these, the Greek team’s proposal received the most votes (136).

The final closing event took place on 20th and 21st March 2024 in Brussels, attended by 25 people – the most active participants from the 5 partner countries involved in the project: Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.

In addition to the integration and cultural exchange dimension, the event was also strictly content-based. Participants shared their ideas for change in the EU and then worked in groups on these solutions to prepare for a meeting with EU decision makers on the second day of the event. This meeting was held in the European Parliament. It was attended by a representative of the European Commission, a member of the European Parliament, policy advisors from parliamentary committees and a representative of the EACEA.

The project culminated in a pro-frequency social media campaign, targeting the youngest EU voters. The campaign was prepared by a marketing agency in cooperation with the project leader, on the basis of the knowledge and materials gathered during all the project events. In total, the campaign achieved 3.3 million reach and 4.8 impressions (combined result for all 5 countries).


Indirectly, the project has brought the debate about the future of the European Union closer to citizens in smaller communities. It also gave young people the opportunity to use their voice – both by preparing and presenting policy proposals for change in the EU through the project platform, and (for the most active participants) by communicating their ideas to decision-makers in the European Union.

The social media campaign, which ran two months before the 2024 European Parliament elections, was designed to make young people aware of when they can vote. And in countries where the voting age for European elections is below 18 (Greece, Germany), to let some citizens know that they can vote at all.

In addition, the partner organisations gained knowledge and skills from this project that will bear fruit in their future activities. In this way, a mutual education took place: the young participants learned more about the European Union and the project consortium gained an unquantifiable insight into the needs, fears and dreams of the young EU citizens. The result was the development and testing of narratives on how to communicate about the European Union to a generation of young adults – people born in (the) EU.

The project showed that young Europeans have a lot to say, but they need to be given the opportunity – they need to be asked, given space to speak and listened to. The participants were highly engaged in the project. This was achieved, among other things, by treating them subjectively.

National workshops


The workshops, aimed at young people who are interested in social and political issues, were an opportunity to talk openly about people born and raised in the European Union, about their hopes and fears for the future. About the future they dream of. And about what the European Union can do to make those dreams come true.

In this workshop, participants learned about the tools used by marketing companies to create election campaigns, and then looked for innovative and out-of-the-box solutions.

An exploratory workshop was held in Krakow on 24 June 2023, and a follow-up workshop was held in Warsaw on 9 September 2023. Another workshop was held on 27 September 2023 in Starachowice. During the exercises, we addressed the following topics, among others:

  • Are young women interested in politics because politics is interested in them?
  • Do young men take part in elections?
  • And do politicians care about young people at all?

You can read the reports and see the photos from these workshops (in Polish and in English) by clicking here.

In October and November 2023, we continued to run 'Young People and Politics’ workshops for young people entering adulthood. During the workshops we explored young people’s attitudes towards politics, community involvement and voting. Both workshops took place in Minsk Mazowiecki.

We talked about the parliamentary elections in Poland and the record turnout of young voters. Together we considered what motivated young people to vote and what we can do to maintain this level of participation in the next elections – local government and the European Parliament.

We also talked about the participation of different age groups and the fact that in Poland there are fewer people aged 18-29 than other age groups who are more motivated to participate in elections. So the future of young people is often decided by people who are much older than them and who have little awareness of what is important to young people.

The main finding was that there is a group of young people who are interested in politics but are so disgusted by it that they do not vote. Young people associate politics with arguments, scandals and aggression. Following the political world can be stressful. On the other hand, keeping up with what is happening in politics can be like following a TV series, which is exacerbated by the medialisation of politics on social media and the strong presence of political issues in the memosphere.

You can read the reports and see the photos from these workshops (in Polish and in English) by clicking here.


The workshops in Italy took place in five cities: Turin, Bologna, Padua, Rome and Naples. The workshop discussed the functioning of the European institutions, the reasons for the gap that has been observed in recent years between the participation of different age groups in elections at different levels, the tools and strategies that citizens can use to make their voices heard by decision-makers, and how to build a grassroots lobbying campaign.

Some specific conclusions have emerged from the discussions among the participants. The structural reasons that lead young people to abstain from voting seem to be a lack of interest in politics and political processes. Lack of interest may be due to lack of information: the government and the mass media are seen as responsible for filling the information gap; another important structural reason is the general feeling that voting does not matter and does not lead to change. This is accompanied by a distrust of politicians and politics.

What’s more, participants pointed out that there is a fundamental distinction to be made between the national and European levels, as the reasons that lead to abstentionism are different in the two dimensions. Specifically, the complexity of the Italian party landscape discourages voters in national elections, while the perceived „distance” from European power dynamics discourages voters in European elections. The Italian education system provides little civic education at all levels. In particular, there is a lack of information on the functioning and role of the EU.

Proposals and solutions put forward by participants included:

  • A collaboration of different media (online newspapers, social media accounts and influencers) that would create infographics and content explaining some key mechanisms of the European elections (including electoral law, candidates, key points of the political agenda, etc.).
  • In order to increase the participation of young people, it’s a good idea to create a small TV series telling about the commendable actions of young people and their achievements. By seeing how their generation young people would be inspired to become more involved in political processes.
  • Actions taken directly by politicians can also be useful to increase youth participation. Through their social media accounts or dedicated platforms, politicians should involve young people in in deciding what their political agenda will look like. This would close the representation gap and likely to increase youth participation.


The workshops in Spain aimed to promote shared values and knowledge of fundamental rights, empower citizens and support the development of civic engagement on European issues. Through joint policy-making exercises, the workshop meetings contributed to the development of young people’s social capital, enabling them to play an active role in European democratic life, in line with the Lisbon Treaty.

In terms of the results obtained, the main reasons identified by the participants for not voting were: indifference, laziness and lack of information and interest. The majority agreed that young citizens receive very little (or no) information about current European affairs and even less about electoral processes at this level, which makes them disinterested in these issues. Furthermore, they pointed out that the environment in which they live is crucial for obtaining information: if their community does not have enough information either, discussions about the EU will not be promoted and their mobilisation will not be stimulated.

As strategies for mobilising young people to vote in the European elections, they considered it very important to inform young people about what the EU is, what its functions and powers are and, above all, what the benefits of being a member of the EU are for young people and how European policies affect their lives. This was because they that young people live from day to day and have little (or no) interest in their future or that of society.

Another idea for an effective campaign is to prioritise social networks and work with influencers. In this case, the idea of creating posts where fashion influencers present the MEP candidates stands out, so that young people see them as something attractive.


In a commitment to fostering active citizenship and shaping the future of Europe, the transformative workshop series was launched across different cities in Greece. From the capital (Athens) to the culturally rich environment of Volos, the industrial landscape of Tripoli and the important regional centre of Kilkis, each workshop aimed to engage and empower young people. Each workshop began with a presentation of the students’ dreams and concerns, and then delved into the challenges young people face when voting. Working in groups, students made a collective effort to link ideas to their vision for the EU.

Participants went to the heart of the matter, sharing personal stories and experiences of the EU. By identifying similarities and differences, they uncovered what the EU means to them and selected key issues to address within its framework. After this initial collective exploration, the students embarked on a journey of analysis to dissect selected issues that affect young people’s lives and that they would like to see addressed through the work and procedures of the European Parliament. They tackled their key issues, which focused on future employability, technological advances within the EU, green practices and sustainability, educational developments in relation to contemporary needs and lifestyles, and much more.

One of the topics discussed was why young people do not vote. The general conclusion was that they feel indifferent, which is reinforced by their families who also do not vote because they think nothing will change. However, this situation does not represent the majority of young people in Greece and – according to the participants – it’s better to address and discuss pressing socio-economic issues than to focus on the minority who don’t vote.

Another important issue discussed was the Greek education system, which participants felt was dysfunctional and inadequate. Participants discussed possible solutions to this problem. One of the solutions discussed was to increase European economic funding to create new infrastructure and develop innovative and student-centred learning tools.

Participants in one of the Greek workshops suggested the twist to the videos they were to create – they collectively decided that they would prefer their videos to present a snapshot of their imagined future by playing themselves as MEPs 30 years from now. This was a really enlightening aspect of the workshop, the participants really enjoyed the process and ultimately the workshop became a transformative experience, navigating the complexities of EU relations and harnessing the power of storytelling to shape a better future together.


A series of workshops in schools across Germany focused on youth participation in politics. The workshops aimed to emphasise the importance of voting to students, while demonstrating their potential influence on election results. In addition, we aimed to equip participants with tools to become active participants in democracy, emphasising key campaigning and brand strategy skills.

Workshops were held in four major German cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and Munich. Initial attitudes to voting were similarly mixed, with some groups of students saying they hadn’t been keen to get involved in previous elections, and several mentioning that they knew people who didn’t vote. This was in stark contrast to other groups – particularly our second workshop in Hamburg – where participants said they were already politically active and were excited by the prospect of voting.

Most groups participated attentively, contributing and reflecting on insightful content. These discussions focused on the target demographics of political campaigns, inviting students to consider the behaviours and motivations that might influence audience response to campaign strategy. In the process, communication tactics that would resonate with these groups became apparent to participants, allowing an understanding of their own motivations to surface. Therefore, in exploring the factors that influence youth voter turnout, students became aware of their own personal relationship with the electoral system.

Within the workshops, separate working groups formed distinct and diverse identities, suggesting that these young people had clear and unique opinions that they wanted to express. The interactive workshop concept also seemed to be suited to the content being discussed; through active participation in the workshop format, openness to active participation in elections became more prevalent. Across the board, it was clear that students really wanted to express their views and had been given the skills and, most importantly, the opportunity to do so.


Born in EU has received funding under Grant Agreement n. 101081706, from the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) programme. Project is implemented in 5 countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain).

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