The European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary schools

In this school year, pupils in Ireland are invited to share their ideas about how to make Europe an (even) better place to live, with the chance of winning a study trip to Brussels! The competition complements the release of the toolkit “EU Democracy in Action’- Have your say with the European Citizens’ Initiative” that teachers can use to familiarise students with the areas of action of the European Union and with the tools available to citizens to get involved in the EU.

The European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary schools

Secondary school pupils from across the EU are invited to enter the ImagineEU competition by creating and sharing a short video about an innovative idea that would improve their communities and that could be the object of an EU law.

The ImagineEU competition builds on the concept of the ECI, which empowers European Union citizens to take an active role in influencing EU policies and in the democratic processes of the EU. Students entering the competition will be encouraged to learn more about the EU and develop their communication and collaboration skills through the use of the recently released ECI toolkit for schools.

Who can participate?

The competition is open to pupils in their final two years of secondary education in an EU member state. The videos (not exceeding 3 minutes) should be developed and produced by a group of up to 7 students from the same school, working under the supervision of one or two teachers.

Once submitted, eligible videos will be uploaded to the competition’s webpage, where viewers will be encouraged to vote for and support their favourites.

After the public vote is completed, the top videos will be judged by the competition jury, and the winning three entries will be announced.

The closing date for entries is 13/12/2023. Full competition rules, video technical specifications, and application details are available on the competition website.

What’s the prize?

Three winning teams of 7 students and 2 teachers will win a study trip to Brussels.

During the trip, students will have the opportunity to meet representatives of the European Institutions dealing with the ECI and learn more about the role of the different EU institutions and EU history.

What is the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)?

The  European Citizen’s Initiative  is a democratic tool designed to encourage citizens living in different Member States of the European Union to call for change on issues that matter to them and on which the European Commission has the power to propose EU laws.

The ECI enables groups of organisers (from at least 7 Member States) to propose legislation to potentially shape the future of the EU’s policies.

After a legal eligibility check, EU citizens are invited to support initiatives during a year. Once one million signatures have been collected by the initiative and validated by national authorities, the Commissioners decide on the official reply to the initiative highlighting what action will follow, if any, and why.

Since 2012,  103 initiatives from EU citizens were started on policy areas ranging from the environment, animal welfare, transport and consumer protection to social and fundamental rights. There are 10 initiatives collecting signatures and 9 initiatives received an official answer from the European Commission.

What is the ECI “EU Democracy in Action” toolkit for schools?

The interactive ECI toolkit for schools is designed to equip high school students with the knowledge and skills that will allow them to become active and engaged EU citizens. The toolkit comprises four thematic units, each with a different focus, moving from general information about the European Union to more specific information and activities related to the European Citizens’ Initiative. The ECI Toolkit is available in all official EU languages.

The ECI in Ireland

More than 900 citizen organisers have started 103 European citizens’ initiatives, out of which 17 were Irish. Over 18 million signatures that support initiatives have been collected from across the EU, and around 134 thousand signatures were collected in Ireland.

Learn more about the European Citizens’ Initiative

To learn more about the ECI, you can listen to a newly released episode on CitizenCentral podcast (also available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and Soundcloud).

In the episode, the impact of the successful citizens’ initiatives is discussed.

The European Citizens’ Initiative in key figures

Initiatives collecting signatures now

Engage with the European Citizens’ Initiative Ambassadors (Europa.EU)

The competition guidelines

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