EU Enlargement & Neighbourhood

Eastern Partnership: Young European Ambassadors kick off 10th anniversary celebrations

14/02/2019 - 16:41
News stories

One hundred Young European Ambassadors from the European Union and its six Eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) have gathered on 14-15 February in Brussels to celebrate the achievements of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) in 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 for Neighbourhood East in 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 the 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, that are joined by a number of social media influencers from across the six countries, have met the EU officials to discuss the achievements of the Partnership and its future goals. They also participated in a large flash mob at the heart of the EU quarter in Brussels which featured national dances and costumes.

Geno Kutashvili, Young European Ambassador from Georgia said: “I can boldly say that the Eastern Partnership totally changed my life and 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 ten years ago. We are stronger together!”

Close to five hundred young people from the EU and its eastern neighbourhood currently act as ‘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.

A series of other events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. Launched in 2009 as a joint policy initiative, it aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours. Since then, collective efforts have brought considerable benefits to the citizens of these countries including more trade, mobility, increased economic development and better quality of life.