What is a youth organization without its roots? Some may say, well, youth organizations don’t need roots – they need to be focused on the present and future with making young people’s voice heard. But, when are you almost 30 years young organization, you may wonder – how did all this start and why?
In the beginning of the 80-ies, social context was different then nowadays – communication was done with landlines and letters, rare were those with telefax, and Europe was crossed with borders and the Wall still existed. However, many young people wanted to travel and change their realities, experience Europe and life. Back then, some people came to an idea to have a youth convention – gathering of young people across Europe… it was 1983. And this is how YEU was born. The idea came from Berhard Zaunseder, young German living in the border with Austria.
From generation to generation, YEU people were gathering, talking about peace, media, intercultural learning, exchanging their points of view on different topics….people changed, they came and went further, many loves and friendships were born on the way. But somehow we lost touch with our founders. By chance, thanks to internet, we got re-connected! A month of emotions, memories and undefined expectations after, YEU has been honoured to host our first president and founder, Berhard Zaunseder and first YEU Secretary General, Martha Byrne- Zaunseder in our office in Brussels. Tons of questions, curiosity and hours later, we have realized that although we have lost touch, we haven’t lost the YEU spirit! Apart from necessary modernization, YEU core idea stayed the same: non-formal education, intercultural learning and exchange of ideas on different topics and above all – solidarity. YEU has always been and will stay open for young people of all walks of life and different opportunities.
We are proud to announce that Bernhard and Martha will join us for our General Assembly, so start preparing your questions – we are going back to the…future!
YEU Secretary General