On 22-23 February 2018 Pavel was in Paris for a seventh ASK project meeting where he joined five other partners (UoM, UXP, Cafe Babel and EYNCRIN) to discuss recent progress and next steps. ASK started in 2015 to address the lack of engagement between the world of politics and the world of youth. "Politicians don't hear us. Our opinions are rarely listened to." Complaints like this can be heard from young people all too often these days. From rising tuition fees to unpaid internships, the list of issues European youth would like to see addressed is long and constantly growing.
So how do you make sure that these concerns are heard by people that can do something about them? The surest way to do that is to reach out directly to those that have the wherewithal to act - that is, policymakers themselves. And this is exactly what ASK has been doing. The project connects European youth with local, national and EU-level policymakers by brokering conversations between the two camps on Twitter. Any tweet can become a target for intervention as long as it addresses one of several topics followed by ASK. Currently there are 11: sexual orientation and gender equality; economy; NEETs and social inclusion; migration; environment; terrorism; education and employment; EU (dis)integration; democracy and human rights; health; and election (#vote16).
Since the beginning of the project, four ASK pilots (Bulgaria, France, Greece, UK) have brokered hundreds of conversations on Twitter, helping thousands of young people connect with policymakers in their countries and beyond. The project will come to a close in April 2018, but thanks to the commitment of all partners and the growing network of interest on Twitter, ASK moment will continue well past the end date. You can also be part of this process. If you have a question or would like to respond to one of the existing interventions, feel free to jump in anytime; go to @ask_youth_uk and start tweeting!