Gaisce Gold participants took part in an online discussion today with Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe initiative.
Twenty-one young people from all over Ireland took part in the online event as part of their Residential Project week while working towards the highest level of Gaisce award.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is intended to promote greater citizen involvement and interest in the Union and its future direction. As part of their online residential, Gaisce participants met with Minister Byrne so that he can hear their views on the EU which will help form part of Ireland’s input into the Conference.
Speaking at the Gaisce event, Minister Byrne praised those taking part saying it was vital that all voices in Europe are heard.
Minister Byrne said: “It’s been a difficult year for all of you but the fact that you have persisted with your Giasce journey will stand in enormous credit to you, not just in the next few months but throughout your lifetime.
”During the online event participants discussed a variety of topics including the environment and climate change, European Democracy and education, culture, youth and sport.
Among topics raised by Gaisce participants included tackling single use plastics and introducing public water fountains into major Irish cities, carbon capturing, CAP, LGBTI rights, access to special supports in education and wider access to Erasmus programmes.
The online Residential Project, which runs from June 28 to July 2, allows Gold Award participants an opportunity to complete the top Gaisce award during the Covid-19 period while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
At the heart of the Residential Project is the undertaking of a purposeful experience with people who are not the participant’s usual companions, working towards a common goal. The theme of the week is Global Citizenship with participants meeting to take part in discussions, team building exercises and workshops and build meaningful relationships and networks.