- Objective: fostering civic engagement among young Europeans
- Target group: young European citizens aged 15-30
- How: creating an online platform featuring interviews with young European activists, paired with ‘how-to’ articles on civic activism
- Where: Finland, Germany, Cyprus, Romania, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, France, The Netherlands
Concerned about young people’s decreasing levels of political participation, European Heroes aims to inspire young people to take action at a local, national and European level by providing them with role models and hands-on advice on how to make their voices heard. The team will interview young European activists who carried out various successful initiatives and produce videos and ‘how-to’ articles on the different ways to become civically engaged, such as how to start a petition or a movement. The videos will feature young Europeans and therefore highly relatable role models. They will be shot in Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern European countries, in both urban and rural areas, to show that young people everywhere can take action to improve their local communities.
Compared to other age groups, young people participate less in political processes – especially party-mediated ones. This does not mean that young people are not interested in politics. Data collected by the “Generation What” study (2017) revealed that the majority of young people are interested in participating in society: 61% state they have an interest in becoming active in an NGO, and over 30% said they would like to engage themselves in political organisations. Young people, in fact, do participate in alternative forms of political engagement more than other age groups, namely in street demonstrations, volunteering, or signing petitions. However, they can often feel overwhelmed and disoriented as to how they can play a more prominent role. European Heroes aims to address both these aspects by providing young people with highly relatable role models that made a difference thanks to their civic activism and by creating an online platform containing information on how to make a change.
The team interviewed young activists from across Europe, producing videos and articles. Each video featured a young role model who has been active in his/her community. The videos are paired with articles in which the Heroes describe their experiences and provide a rough guideline on how to undertake similar activities. Both the videos and the articles were used to create an online portfolio of useful tools and inspirational examples that have been published on the project´s website. The team also launched the #FindYourLocalHero campaign through which they invited young people from across Europe to nominate civic actors from their communities in order to help them receive the exposure they deserve.
The project has been shortlisted for the European Youth Award as one of the top 5 active citizenship initiatives in Europe, it received a grant from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and was selected to participate in the Nantes Creative Generations Forum for the chance to pitch the project in order to receive further funding.
- David Timis (Targu Mures, Romania)
- Alin Gramescu (Costesti, Romania)
- Anna Saraste (Helsinki, Finland)
From left to right: David, Anna, Alin
Calendar of activities
For more information about the project, please contact David Timis: