100 Young European Ambassadors from the EU and its six Eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) are gathering this week in Brussels to celebrate the achievements of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) over the past decade.
"Young people are at the heart of our cooperation with our partners. The Young European Ambassadors is a unique initiative providing a platform to listen to and discuss ideas, which have a direct impact on the lives of young people across the region," said Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East at the European Commission.
The 10-year-old partnership has resulted in over 30,000 young people participating in Erasmus+ volunteering, exchanges and youth mobility projects, and over 6,000 young people benefiting from the opportunities provided by EU4Youth since 2018. Bright young students from the EaP region now also have the opportunity to attend the first European School outside of EU borders, which officially opened its doors in Tbilisi in September 2018.
The group of Young European Ambassadors, joined by a number of social media influencers from across the six countries, are meeting EU officials to discuss the achievements of the EaP and its future goals. They are also participating in a large flash mob on Thursday 14 February in the heart of the EU quarter in Brussels, which will feature national dances and costumes.
Geno Kutashvili, a Young European Ambassador from Georgia, stated: “I can boldly say that the Eastern Partnership totally changed my life (not only mine, but that of every single Georgian). This joint initiative is the best project ever because it gives me and my country a lot of opportunities. I have a better life now than 10 years ago. We are stronger together!”
Close to 500 young people from the EU and its Eastern Neighbourhood currently act as so-called Young European Ambassadors (YEAs). These ambassadors regularly organise local community events in their countries and participate in international fora to spread the word about the initiative.
The event has been organised by the EU Neighbours East project in collaboration with EU institutions. A series of other events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. Find out more on the dedicated Eastern Partnership website: www.eap10.eu.
Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, the aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the EU, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Over the past ten years, collective efforts have brought considerable benefits to the citizens of these countries including more trade, mobility, increased economic development and better quality of life.
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