European Pool of Representatives member Alexandra Singpiel representa EFIL in the AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative. Alexandra gave us an update about what is happening there.

Two intense weeks with the African Union in Addis Ababa and the European Union in Brussels are over.

Being part of the AU-EU Youth Plug-In Initiative gives us the privilege to have access to high-level decision-makers and bodies from both institutions. The first week in Addis allowed us to gain an understanding of the AU, how it works and learning on cross-cutting topics such as SRHR, gender, digitalisation, etc. We engaged with several ambassadors from African and European states to the AU who followed an invitation of H.E. Sabatucci, Head of Delegation of the EU to the AU, showing the great interest in our initiative and the eagerness to listen to what we have to say.

In Brussels we had the chance to meet with HR/VP Federica Mogherini who told us “Don’t ask me questions, tell me things. It’s not about me having the answers, I need your ideas.” We were allowed to sit in a session of the Africa Working Party of the Council of the EU and present them our ideas, priorities and demands regarding youth in the EU-AU cooperation – if they are taken up is a different story, but at least they were quite eager exchanging with us. We had meetings with the European Youth Forum and diaspora organisations introducing us to their previous work in order to combine forces and use synergies in our fight for youth rights across the two continents, as they since many years are the voice of thousands of young people!

Intense discussions around post-colonialism, intercultural differences and how to cooperate in the “right” way with my fellows and the team make this #ypiijourney an enriching experience and I am looking forward to more discussions and shared learning.

And now? Two more weeks ahead which we will dedicate to work on concrete ideas and writing our Youth Agenda to then finally heading of to Abidjan to the Heads of State Summit – stay tuned!