Statement on organising “Maastricht 2021” online due to COVID-19 pandemic



Statement on organising “Maastricht 2021” online due to COVID-19 pandemic

15 February 2021

The 4th International Forum hosted by the European Youth Parliament in the Netherlands was planned for 13-21 April 2021, and would take place in the city of Maastricht. While the event is fast approaching, the situation in Europe surrounding the coronavirus pandemic is not improving. The European Youth Parliament the Netherlands and its partners find it incredibly important that – especially during this time – empowering events and educational opportunities continue to be offered to young people. This is why we are meeting the challenge head-on and will do our best to allow the educational programme to continue. We want to safeguard the health and safety of our participants, which is why we will organise the meeting online!

The 200 participants from approximately forty European countries will enter into dialogue via video connection. Volunteers will also facilitate and moderate the discussions through video conferencing. This new programme will take place from 15th to the 20th of April. This is shorter than the original programme, to prevent strain and excessive screen time. The core of the programme, however, remains unchanged: there is a research phase prior to the conference, after which 200 participants will enter into dialogue about 10 global issues related to the theme of digitalisation. This theme has become all the more relevant due to the circumstances. Together, the European youngsters will come up with innovative ideas and recommendations for the future of Europe, which will be offered to policy-makers at various institutions.

Approximately 20 of the 45 volunteers will still be joining on location in Maastricht, with social distancing in place, in order to set up the event properly. This way, Maastricht will still be a central hub. In our “studio” in Maastricht, we will welcome experts and guests and livestream to our participants at home, spread across Europe. From Maastricht, we will also make several interesting productions, such as podcasts and videos which will explore the topics of the conference, as well as conversations with people from Maastricht.

We are extremely happy to have a motivated and experienced team of volunteers that can take on this challenge. In the past year, our organisation has gained considerable experience in adapting our educational formula to fit a digital format. During the pandemic, the European Youth Parliament has organised more than 75 digital events. These events have been experienced as equally enjoyable as our regular events by 7 out of 10 participants.

Our partners and our European sister organisations have been updated on the situation, and new agreements have been made. All partners are still fully and enthusiastically cooperating. We look forward to working together to make this conference of the European Youth Parliament a great and unique event!

If you have questions or concerns, or if you are interested in joining the online event, please reach out to [email protected]

Kind regards,

Annelou Snippe and Jarne van der Poel
Project leaders


Bericht over het online organiseren van Maastricht 2021 door COVID-19 pandemie

15 februari 2021

De internationale samenkomst georganiseerd door het Europees Jeugdparlement in Nederland stond gepland voor 13-21 april 2021, en zou plaatsvinden in Maastricht. Het evenement komt nu steeds dichterbij terwijl de situatie in Europa rondom het coronavirus niet verbetert. Het Europees Jeugdparlement Nederland en haar partners vinden het erg belangrijk dat – juist in deze tijd – vormende activiteiten voor jongeren door blijven gaan. Wij gaan daarom de uitdaging aan om het inhoudelijke programma gewoon door te laten gaan. Omdat wij de gezondheid en veiligheid van onze jonge deelnemers als prioriteit zien, zullen wij de samenkomst online organiseren. 

De 200 deelnemers uit veertig Europese landen zullen via videoverbinding de dialoog aangaan. Vrijwilligers zullen ook via videoverbinding de dialoog faciliteren. Dit nieuwe programma zal plaatsvinden tussen 15 en 20 April – iets verkort omdat deelnemers anders dagenlang achter hun scherm zitten. De kern van het evenement blijft onveranderd: er is vooraf een onderzoeksfase van ongeveer twee maanden, waarna 200 deelnemers uit veertig Europese landen de dialoog aangaan over 10 bestuurlijke vraagstukken rondom het thema digitalisering. Dit thema is, gezien de omstandigheden, alleen maar relevanter geworden. Samen komen de deelnemers met innovatieve ideeën en aanbevelingen voor de toekomst van Europa, die worden aangeboden aan beleidsmakers. 

Ongeveer 20 van de 45 vrijwilligers zullen nog wél samenkomen op locatie (op anderhalve meter en als de corona-maatregelen dit toestaan) zodat het online evenement goed opgezet kan worden.  Ook blijft Maastricht een centrale hub in het programma. In onze “studio” in Maastricht zullen we gasten en experts ontvangen en livestreamen naar onze deelnemers, die thuis zitten, verspreid over heel Europa. Vanuit Maastricht zullen we ook verschillende producties maken, zoals podcasts en videos waarin de thema’s worden uitgelicht, en gesprekken met mensen in Maastricht.

Wij zijn ontzettend blij met een gemotiveerd team van vrijwilligers dat deze uitdaging aangaat. Onze organisatie heeft dit jaar geruime ervaring opgedaan met het omzetten van ons educatieve concept naar een digitaal format. Tijdens de pandemie zijn er tot nu toe meer dan 75 digitale evenementen door het Europees Jeugdparlement georganiseerd. Deze evenementen zijn door 7 van de 10 deelnemers net zo positief ervaren als ons reguliere programma. 

Onze partners en onze Europese zusterorganisaties zijn al op de hoogte gebracht van deze organisatorische verandering, en nieuwe afspraken zijn gemaakt. Alle partners werken nog volledig en enthousiast mee. Wij kijken er naar uit om samen deze bijeenkomst van het Europees Jeugdparlement tot een mooi en uniek evenement te maken!

Heb je vragen, wil jij erbij zijn of wil je meehelpen? Mail dan naar [email protected] 

Namens het organiserend comité, 

Annelou Snippe en Jarne van der Poel


The Core Team


Today it is our pleasure to officially announce the core team of #Maastricht2021.

Since the start of 2020, these 7 young individuals have been working hard behind the scenes on the preparation of this event! The team is responsible for all organisational matters, such as logistics, fundraising, external communication, acquiring participants and much more.

Stay tuned, as we will soon introduce more of the people working on Maastricht 2021!

The Theme of our Conference


An overarching theme gives structure and guidance to the discussions at conferences of the European Youth Parliament. For the 2021 International Forum in Maastricht, the theme will be:

“The Digital Generation: Setting an Innovative Agenda”

Issues surrounding digitalisation and innovation are at the centre of the debate in Europe: from privacy and copyright, to fake news and foreign interference in elections, to cyberwarfare. The theme of the conference calls for a nuanced discussion on the positive and negative sides of our changing lives. Our generation – the digital generation – is facing many challenges that call for innovative solutions, such as the climate crisis, the move to a carbon-free economy, an ageing population and a lack of employment opportunities for young people. This International Forum is a platform to discuss these topics – and many more.

The theme strongly aligns the event with the host city of Maastricht. The region of Zuid Limburg is known for its innovation, sustainability, technology, health and smart services. This forms the perfect backdrop for young people to set an innovative agenda.


Welcome to our website!


Welcome to the official website of the 4th International Forum of the European Youth Parliament in the Netherlands.

We are beyond excited to launch this page and share our host city. Maastricht is a Dutch city with a European character. Steps towards the current form of the European Union were taken here, with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Close to the German and Belgian borders, Maastricht is multi-lingual and has incredible connections to major European hubs. Its university welcomes international students from 100+ countries. Because the city is at the confluence of languages, cultures and countries, it is the perfect place for young Europeans to start friendships and conversations in the spring of 2021. We are excited to bring an International Forum of the European Youth Parliament to this part of the Netherlands for the very first time, and we are determined to make Maastricht and its citizens an integral part of the event.