Coppieters Academy 2020: Youth participation in a changing Europe

14-16 July 2020

Events / Tue 14 Jul 2020 09:30

The Coppieters Academy is an annual summer school organised by the Coppieters Foundation in Brussels.

What are the goals of Coppieters Academy 2020?

  • To look back at how youth political participation and activism have shaped Europe, and how youth movements continue to shape it today;
  • To brainstorm collectively on what efficient, inclusive and impactful youth participation looks like;
  • To provide you with knowledge and understanding of European institutions and policymaking on issues of youth rights, democratic participation and youth activism;
  • To experience the city of Brussels and the European political dimension;
  • To improve campaigning, collective organising and advocacy skills;
  • To connect young activists and researchers with each other and strengthen their impact through collaboration.

Do you want to gain a better understanding of the European Union and its efforts in engaging the youth? Do you want to learn how to collectively advocate for youth participation and influence policymakers to adopt effective and just policies? Do you want to get (more) involved in shaping Europe’s future?

Who can apply?

  • Individuals with an interest in youth activism, political participation, democracy, human and youth rights, social justice, citizen mobilisation and other related topics;
  • Students, researchers, young professionals and activists between 18 and 30 years of age;
  • Individuals living in the European Union or with the ability to travel to the EU.

A good level of English is required as all sessions will be taking place in this language.

We particularly encourage applications from women and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of minority nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, functional diversity, origin or religion.

How to apply?

To apply as a participant, please fill out the form here by 8th of April 2020.

Please note that the programme below is still subject to change.


14th of July - Youth mobilisation for social change

10:00 - 11:00
Introduction & icebreakers
11:00 - 12:00
European youth: making history
  • Presentation and discussion with Dr Kostis Kornetis, Visiting Lecturer in Modern European History at the History Department of Sheffield University

This session looks back at various social movements of the past decades in Europe and especially at youth’s role in these movements: how they got organised, how they created impact, how they made their voices heard and became actors of social change.

12:00 - 13:00
  • Speaker TBC


14:00 - 16:00
Discussion around youth coordination: challenges and good practices

World café discussion with:

Participants will be divided into four groups and asked to sit around four tables with an expert “host”. In each round of 15 minutes, groups will be asked to reflect on a question and at the end of the round, participants will mix and “travel” to the next table of their choice. They will discuss a new question with a new host. This continues for four rounds, so ideas can cross-pollinate from insights from prior conversations. At the end, the whole group shares new insights, so collective knowledge grows.

16:20 - 17:50
Acting together through school student unions

Interactive session and discussion with a representative from the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions

This session revolves around how school student unions, as youth organisations, emerged from youth work, what their role is and what kind of projects they undertake.

15th of July - Youth participation and democracy: making young voices heard at the European level

10:00 - 12:00
Youth participation and democracy: where we are, and where we should go
  • Speaker TBC

Why should young voices and ideas be taken into consideration in our democracies? What assessment can we make as to youth participation in Europe today? What are the keys to increase the level and quality of this participation?

13:00 - 14:00
Stronger together? Challenges and strengths of youth coordination platforms
  • Speaker TBC

This session is aimed at presenting the European landscape in terms of youth participation (which organs, platforms allow it and how to get engaged?) but also explain how a youth coordination platform concretely works: what are the challenges it faces? How can working together make youth’s voices stronger to reach policymakers?

14:00 - 17:20
Youth in politics simulation
  • Simulation exercise run by Dr Alan Sandry, Bureau Member and Scientific Advisor of the Coppieters Foundation, and Senior Lecturer at the Morgan Academy, Swansea University, Wales

During the simulation, participants will take up a scenario to design a campaign and analysis on how to influence decision-making at the EU level to tackle an issue. They must think strategically about solving the challenges presented in the scenario; how to engage with decision-makers to tackle that issue; and define the resources they need to do so, the engagement strategies they will put in place, as well as design a visual support for their respective campaigns (poster, use of social media for instance).

16th of July - Theory and practice of influence and decision-making in Brussels

10:00 - 12:00
Visit to the European Parliament

This tour comprises of an introduction to the work and role of the European Parliament by Parliament staff, as well as meeting with an MEP.

14:00 - 16:00
Youth in politics

Interactive session and dialogue between:

What role do these youth branches have? What challenges are they facing in interacting with European institutions? What are their strengths?

16:00 - 17:00
Wrap-up and evaluation
17:00 onwards
Drinks on Place du Luxembourg


All out-of-town participants will be lodged in the Meininger Hotel Bruxelles City Center (Quai du Hainaut 33). Participants will stay in rooms of three or four.

Participation fee and costs

The price for Coppieters Academy 2020 is: (1) €250 for participants who live outside of Brussels and need accommodation or (2) €150 for participants based in/near Brussels and who do not need accommodation.

This fee includes:

  • accommodation for 4 nights*
  • reimbursement of up to €200 in travel expenses upon receipt of a completed reimbursement form and all supplementary documents (tickets/boarding passes, receipts, etc.)*
  • breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks
  • courses and materials
  • certificate of participation
  • goody bag with gifts

* Only for out of town participants who pay fee (1).

What is the Coppieters Academy?

The Coppieters Academy is a three-day intensive study programme at the heart of Europe’s political capital, in which participants gain an in-depth knowledge on the European Union through a series of lectures, interactive workshops and study visits.

The Coppieters Academy is an opportunity for participants to share and exchange ideas with prominent scholars and researchers, policymakers at diverse European institutions and other experienced practitioners. The sessions will be practically oriented aiming to inspire and encourage participants to think critically, reflect, investigate and learn from each other.


When: 14-16 of July, 2020
Where: Mundo B, Rue d’Edimbourg 26, 1050 Elsene


To register, please fill in the form here by 24th of April 2020.

Get involved

Share your views about the course on Twitter with the hashtag #CoppietersAcademy or join the Facebook event page.


Media inquiries can be addressed to

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This summer school is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the Academy or the opinions of the speakers.

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