Press Release — March 26, 2019

From East to West: Step Up For Europe Road Show Empowers Young Europeans to Shape the Future of Their Continent

25 March 2019, Berlin—In light of the 2019 European elections, JCI Europe has committed to foster the participation of young European leaders and entrepreneurs in the political decision-making processes and strengthen their position towards political leaders with its pro-European campaign Step Up For Europe. Although Eurobarometer data show that young people are more likely to have a positive view on the European Union, this is not reflected in their political participation at European elections: According to a survey the EU conducted after the EU elections in 2014, the age group of 18–24 had the lowest voter turnout with only 28% going to the polls followed by the age group 25–39 with 35%, and 45% and 51% in the age groups 40–54 and 55+ respectively. This phenomenon is not only limited to European elections, but also reflected in national and local elections, where the voter turnout of young people is also typically lower.

To counteract this trend, promote a united Europe and motivate young people to get involved in political debates and processes, JCI Europe is organizing a pan-European road show with the Step Up For Europe campaign. The road show will hold campaign events in various countries that bring together young people to debate the future of Europe with political decision-makers, raise awareness for and inform about the European elections and ensure the voices of young active citizens in Europe are heard.

To promote a united and open Europe, the road show will also stop in the non-EU countries Turkey, Serbia and Iceland, where campaign events will focus on young people’s role in shaping the future in their countries. Hence, JCI Serbia will host an event in Novi Sad, that was awarded the title European Youth Capital 2019 by the European Youth Forum due to its commitment towards active youth participation, development of local level youth policies linking it with European level processes and fostering European values.

The tour will start on 29 March in Ankara and cross twelve countries in a road show van, visiting various campaign events to foster a pan-European dialogue between young active citizens and political stakeholders and collect their vision for the future of Europe. The campaign activities will be organized and hosted by the local JCI organizations in collaboration with partner organizations and gather young active citizens, civil society representatives, activists, political stakeholders, young entrepreneurs and local media.

The road show team will be led by the 2019 JCI Executive Vice President for Europe Viktor Ómarsson, who stresses the importance of young people’s social and political commitment: “Especially this year, it is essential that young active citizens in Europe stand up for a strong and united Europe that is built on common values like democracy, freedom and equality. I believe that the Step Up For Europe campaign and the road show will create platforms and opportunities to make sure that the younger generation of Europeans is involved in the process of defining the future of Europe.”

As one of the highlights, the road show will visit the Democracy Alive Festival (April 11-13) on the Dutch island of Texel, where European decision-makers, civil society, businesses, activists and citizens will come together to celebrate European democracy. JCI Europe will take part in the festival as co-organizer and host sessions and workshops focused on active citizenship and advocacy in its pavilion.

Learn more about theDemocracy Alive Festival.

Road Show Plan
March 29: Ankara, Turkey
April 1: Sofia, Bulgaria
April 2: Novi Sad, Serbia
April 3: Timișoara, Romania
April 4: Budapest, Hungary
April 5–6: Beli Manastir, Croatia (JCI Balkan Conference)
April 7: Graz, Austria
April 8: Munich, Germany
April 9: Strasbourg, France
April 10: Brussels, Belgium
April 11–13: Texel, Netherlands (Democracy Alive Festival)
April 15: Reykjavík, Iceland

About Step Up For Europe
With the Step Up For Europe campaign, JCI Europe offers a platform by bringing together young active citizens with a European mindset and empower them to participate in decision-making processes, advocate for their interests and create sustainable solutions to Europe’s societal and economic challenges, building a better future for the entire region. More info on Step Up For Europe and Road Show events:

About JCI Europe
JCI Europe is the area representative of JCI (Junior Chamber International), a global nonprofit membership organisation of young active citizens – many of them leaders and entrepreneurs – ages 18 to 40 whose purpose is providing development opportunities that empower young people to take action for positive change. In Europe, JCI is present in 34 countries with over 25,000 members across the region. Engaging in activities focused on sustainable development locally and globally, JCI members take responsibility for their communities while empowering themselves through leadership and action. We believe that collaborative ownership between government, economy and civil society will produce sustainable solutions and impact. More info on JCI:

Media Contact
Magdalena Riedel
JCI Advocacy and PR Manager

JCI Europe
Breite Strasse 29
10178 Berlin, Germany
+49 (0)30 20308 1527

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