making connections and broadening horizons

Authors: Sofi Abrahamyan, Goharik Grigoryan

Last month, Young European Ambassadors from the Eastern Partnership countries, together with young people from the Western Balkans, the Southern Neighbourhood and the European Union took part together in an amazing event – Europe Days, to celebrate peace and unity. The event took place in the heart of Europe,  the mesmerising and multicultural city of Brussels. 

Young European Ambassadors Sofi Abrahamyan and Goharik Grigoryan represented Armenia in this event, and shared their impressions of the experience.

Sofi

When I was chosen to represent my country at the Europe Days event in Brussels, I was so honoured and at the same time felt the responsibility for being the voice of my country and its youth.

By coming together with so many bright minds, we were given a space where each of us was free to share, discuss, engage and be exposed to different perspectives, and broaden our horizons during cross-regional activities. As a result, we strengthened ties, not only with our YEAs from the Eastern Partnership countries but also with our peers from the Western Balkans, the Southern Neighbourhood and the EU.

The most impressive part of the event was the visit to the DG NEAR office and the meeting with Mr Lawrence Meredith, director for the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood and Institution building at the European Commission, where we got the chance to raise our concerns, to immerse in deep conversations on diplomatic relations between our countries and the EU, and how we youngsters can raise our voice to further our relations with the EU.

Young voices of Armenia in Brussels: making connections and broadening horizons

As a result of this three-day event, we broadened our perspectives about the YEAs network and our mission, EU policies and affairs, and now we are more than willing and inspired to take further our role as YEAs: community-oriented young changemakers with a bright and unique mindset who are going foster youth participation, active citizenship with a focus on young people’s meaningful participation in decision-making processes and civic engagement, by raising awareness about the EU’s cooperation with its Eastern Partnership countries, and a common belief that we are stronger together.

Although this was my third visit to Brussels, every time I fall in love with the city in a brand new way: frites, waffles, moules, and finally the multiculturalism prevailing in the city, it is just incredible. I can easily say I felt like home in Brussels.

Eventually, we got the most valuable treasures — new friends from all over the world – and we have sowed the seeds for the future by making lifelong friendships and connections.

I am eager to express my gratitude for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent my country Armenia and be part of this huge celebration.

Goharik

It was a huge honour for me to represent the Young European Ambassadors network for the second time. Celebrating Europe Days this year was distinguished by new discoveries, not only from the point of view of travel and personal development, but also the opportunity to make new acquaintances, in particular to strengthen the connection with our young peers from the Balkans and the Southern Mediterranean, and to feel Europe so close and united.

Young voices of Armenia in Brussels: making connections and broadening horizons

I can’t help but reflect on the pride and excitement that I felt. In the Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, a picture of my hometown, Gyumri, was posted. It was extremely moving for me to see the picture of my city in that building. And the moment when I learned that the head of DG NEAR also knows my city, and it is even one of his favourite cities, was so impressive for me.

Being a delegate to represent my country increased my sense of responsibility, and my desire to inform about EU programmes increased even more.

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/642363476/young-voices-of-armenia-in-brussels-making-connections-and-broadening-horizons