A festival inspiring youth participation in the EU elections 2024

On 21st of April at the Home for Cooperation, in the middle of the dividing lines in Cyprus, the Cyprus Youth Council hosted the Democracy Festival for the upcoming EU Elections 2024.

The festival served as platform where more than 100 participants engaged in panel discussions, participated in the NGO fair featuring workshops and activities, and in the live podcasting session by HistoriCon. It commenced with welcoming remarks from our distinguished guests, including the Minister of Education, Sport and Youth, Dr Athena Michaelidou, the European Parliament Official, Mr George Stylianou, the Secretary General of the General Secretariat of European Affairs, Ambassador Charis Christodoulidou, and our President Constantinos Loizou.

Focussing on promoting youth participation, we hosted four MEP candidates, who discussed two important EU issues. The first debate was on the EU foreign policy and Defence/Security, featuring Mr. Oz Karahan (Cyprus Green Party – Citizens’ Cooperation) and Mr. Andros Karayiannis (AKEL). The second debate was on the European Union Youth Strategy, with Ms Maria Kola (Cyprus Green Party – Citizens’ Cooperation), Mr Andros Karayiannis (AKEL), and Ms Christiana Xenofontos (DISY).

We would like to thank our four moderators: Mikis Maximos Savvopoulos, our Public Relations Secretary, and Oguz Ufuk Haksever, Changemaker of Morein24 for moderating the 1st debate, and to our President, Constantinos Loizou, and Stelios Christodoulou, Changemaker of Morein24 for moderating the 2nd debate.

In addition, we acknowledge the efforts of each one of our Member Organizations for contributing to the festival with their activities. These include the “EU Crash Course” by European Youth Parliament Cyprus, “Pitch for Change” by Youth for Exchange & Understanding Cyprus, “Participatory Democracy: Tools for Participation in the Policy-Making Process in Cyprus” by Oxygen for Democracy, and “We care, we vote: An active citizen’s profile” by Erasmus Student Network Nicosia, “Voice your Vote” by Youth Dynamics.

Last but not least, we concluded with HistoriCon live podcasting session about the life of Makarios III, the first president of Cyprus!

“European Union is a big family for us in Education. It is a Forum for Youth to enjoy the rights that the EU offers. We are trying to transfer to our Youth all the benefits of being members of the European family, and enhance their will on mobility, exchanges and experiences by participating in projects. We are optimistic that Cyprus will continue being an active member of the EU.” – Dr. Athena Michaelidou, Minister of Education, Sport, and Youth

The Democracy Festival was organised within the framework of the MEET project (‘Mobilise Europe – Engaging Together’), funded by the European Union.