Amidst a rapidly evolving world and unprecedented global challenges, the formidable power of young minds emerges as the pivotal force shaping society and propelling transformative change on a global scale. Therefore, it is critically important to engage, empower, and collaborate with youth, tapping into their unique perspectives and capabilities, allowing them to build a greener, ground-breaking, and stronger Europe for themselves and the future generations. One of the ways the European Union unleashes youth potential is by conducting biennial European Youth Event (EYE) that took place on the 9-10th of June this year at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and online bringing thousands of young people from all over the EU and beyond to shape and share their ideas on the future of Europe. This year, over 8,500 participants were involved in the event, including 31 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), 3 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament, and EP President Roberta Metsola. Additionally, there were 400 speakers and moderators who organised more than 300 activities [1].

In addition to initiatives like the European Youth Event (EYE), which gathers young people from across the European Union (EU) to shape the future of Europe, another organisation actively working to empower youth is YouthProAktiv. It is an international coalition of more than 57 national organisations representing more than 23 countries of the European Union and its neighbouring countries. With a clear mission, YouthProAktiv focuses on equipping youth workers and young individuals with practical and inclusive trainings to enhance their essential competencies in today’s rapidly changing world. Through non-formal education processes, YouthProAktiv aims to strengthen employability skills, nurturing a generation of individuals capable of advocating for themselves and others. By offering these training opportunities, the organisation is dedicated to fostering a sense of empowerment among young people, enabling them to navigate the challenges of the modern job market and become effective advocates for their own interests and those of their communities. Another way that YouthProAktiv in its mission of increasing young people’s engagement and facilitating their direct interaction with EU institutions and its decision-makers is such initiatives as ‘MeetYourMeps’ Instagram Talks and a series of webinars dedicated to the 2022 European Year of the Youth [2]. This way, YouthProAktiv aims to provide a platform for dialogue between youth and the individuals working in the EU.

In the context of this event, YouthProAktiv has organised a workshop “Local youth 4 environmental change”, aimed to empower young people to make a positive impact in their communities through innovative projects. Additionally, the workshop shed light on the various opportunities available through EU programs, such as the Erasmus+ funding program, which enable young people to contribute towards fostering positive environmental change. Over the course of these two days, the YouthProAktiv team had the privilege to engage with numerous European policymakers and EYE 2023 participants. Capturing the essence of these interactions, the team recorded valuable testimonials, which are available for viewing on their Instagram page.