Leeds students debate Europe's future


University of Leeds students are to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to European Union policy when two EU Vice Presidents visit campus next week.

The visit will be made by the first vice president of the European Parliament Gianni Pittella, and Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee Anna Maria Darmanin.

They will host a debate on October 10 with students from politics, law and the business school on the future of the EU and the part that young people want to play.

They will then present those ideas to the European Parliament and to the EU's Civil Society organisations. Dr Charlie Dannreuther, a lecturer in European Political Economy from the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage at the highest level of policy influence.

It is a once in a lifetime chance and I am sure they will make the most of it." The University of Leeds is the first British university to be involved in this series of debates run by the EU until April 2012. Leeds students will be able to influence discussions in other universities around Europe for months to come.

The two Vice Presidents will garner the thoughts, expectations, concerns and hopes of young European students as the raw material for a report 5 ideas for a younger Europe, to be given to all MEPs and civil society representatives in the European Economic and Social Committee. It is part of the EU's Going Local policy to narrow the gap between the general public and 'official' Europe.   Notes to editors:

  1. The visit will take place 12pm-1.30pm on October 10 2011 in the Law Faculty's new Liberty Building in LG06. The two Vice Presidents will give a presentation then host a debate. The event is open to all Leeds undergraduate students. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/
  2. 5 ideas for a younger Europe will become the centrepiece of the final chapter of a book jointly written by Mr Pittella and Ms Darmanin, to be published in 2012. 
  3. See the video: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.5-ideas-4younger-europe-video
    Find the project on Facebook: www.facebook.com/5ideas

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk