People in Tallaght voiced their opinions on how the EU can support young people on the issues that matter to them at a town hall style meeting with the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics; the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD; and President of the newly established, Technological University of Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick in the Tallaght Campus of the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) today (29/01/19).
Speaking at the event, Commissioner Navracsics said: “My ambition is to make Europe a place where young people get the very best education, with the freedom to study and work across countries without obstacles. We must equip young people with the skills and attitudes they need to lead fulfilling lives and find their place in our societies. This will help build cohesive and resilient communities, ensuring that Ireland and Europe stay competitive and prosperous.”
Addressing an audience of students, educational professionals, civil society and members of the local community, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD, said “Young voices must be the loudest in deciding our future. They come from the first Irish generation to grow up with peace on our island and across Europe, a generation which has embraced equality, fairness and justice. I am proud as the Minister responsible to confirm that Ireland remains top of the class on youth participation. It is fantastic to see the EU taking the same approach. Children and young people will live with the impact of the important decisions now being taken, to exclude their views would be short-sighted and wrong. Which is why dialogues such as todays are vital for all our futures.”
Professor David FitzPatrick said a key role of TU Dublin is to engage widely across society and in particular with young people in the greater Dublin region. “Today’s event was an excellent opportunity for TU Dublin to host Commissioner Navracsics and Minister Zappone here on our Tallaght Campus and to listen to the views and ideas put forward by the audience. As the first Technological University in Ireland, engaging with communities and industry partners in our region is an important part of our role, letting us use our unique position to create opportunities for research, innovation and exchange with our European partners.”
The event was organised the European Commission Representation in Ireland with the support of European Movement Ireland and moderated by European Movement Ireland Executive Director, Noelle O Connell. It was part of a series of Citizens’ Dialogues that are being organised around the country on themes relating to the Future of Europe.
Noelle O Connell said: “Today’s event in Tallaght was a great opportunity for people who care about the future of our young people to engage in a lively open debate with experts from a variety of different perspectives.”