4 ways the EU and you(th) make our planet healthier

Our planet is facing serious environmental challenges. That is why we have the European Green Deal.

Would you like to join the fight against the climate emergency, for example by contributing to nature conservation or helping reduce pollution? Here are four European Union programmes that you can join to help with the transition to a healthier planet.

DiscoverEU participants ©European Union, 2020
  1. Volunteer with the European Solidarity Corps

Do you have a passion for nature and would like to help make our planet healthier? So would the European Union. That’s why we are offering volunteering opportunities to young people. With the European Solidarity Corps, young people aged 18 to 30 can take part in environmental projects like protecting biodiversity or teaching kids about waste and plastic management.

If you see a need in your region and have an idea to protect the environment better, you can even set up your own group of volunteers of up to five people with a Solidarity Project. You can Register for the European Solidarity Corps on the European Youth Portal.

2. Explore Europe with DiscoverEU

This trip showed me a lot of nature that I want to protect’, said Laura after her trip with DiscoverEU, which brought her from her native Germany to Sweden and Denmark.

DiscoverEU participants ©European Union, 2021

To fight climate change, we must change our habits and embrace greener ways of travelling. Trains are a sustainable means of transport, which is why with DiscoverEU, young people travel mainly by rail. Some of the young travellers even unleashed their inner filmmaker by documenting their trip with videos!

On 12 October 2021, a new round of applications will open on the European Youth Portal. If you are a young European, have a go at winning one of the 60,000 available travel passes to discover Europe. As of 2021, DiscoverEU is part of the Erasmus+ programme.

3. Take part in a changing world with Participation Activities

Do you want to make your voice heard on climate issues? Then consider joining Participation Activities under the Erasmus+ programme. These projects outside of formal education encourage young people’s participation in Europe’s democratic life at the local, regional, national and European levels.

Participation activities under the Erasmus+ programme ©European Union, 2021

Projects can take place in your country or abroad, and can be run by informal groups of young people (so you could set up your own!) or by youth organisations.

A good example is the project ‘Youth Climate Transition Dialogue’, where 45 young participants aged 13–14, from state schools in Malmö and Copenhagen, were named Climate Transition Agents (CTA). After six days of preparation, the participants joined a final dialogue with decision makers, who were selected based on their willingness to enter into a constructive exchange with young people to develop new policies or implement climate solutions in their regions.

Interested in joining a Participation Activity? Contact the Erasmus+ National Agency in your country to learn more.

4. Become a trainee at the European Commission

‘An experience I will surely tell my grandchildren about when they are (hopefully) living in an environment-friendly Europe’, said Pietro from Italy, who participated in the design phase of the European Green Deal during his traineeship.

Pietro, trainee who participated in the design phase of the European Green Deal ©European Union, 2021

Our traineeship programme allows young graduates to feel the heartbeat of the European Union. Trainees get to contribute to a greener Europe in many ways. Some work on designing policies that will shape our future, while others work on a more operational level.

Inspiring, challenging, demanding and entertaining were the key words that Pietro used to describe his time as a trainee. If you want to get involved, check out the Traineeship Office website to learn how and when to apply.

More info:

· European Green Deal

· European Youth Portal

· Erasmus Plus

· Traineeship Office

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