8th Congress of Young Europeans, Thessaloniki 2023, 19-22 October


Independence Days: Our Challenges, our Responses

European Youth confronting the challenge of independent living


Still living in the parents’ house? Confronted daily with precarious working conditions with low paid jobs, short-term contracts or even unpaid internships? Feeling stressed and uncertain about the future? Having the impression that the political debate does not reflect your needs?

If this sounds familiar, it is because indeed this is a widespread reality for young people all over Europe. The challenge of independent living has become a defining characteristic of this generation, a phenomenon with diverse consequences ranging from income to care and mental health, related to access to affordable housing, linked to rights and gender equality and triggering a feeling of political underrepresentation, of being left out.

The Congress of the Young Europeans comes back after an obligatory break due to the pandemic with its next edition that will take place in Thessaloniki 19-22 October 2023. The event aims at providing a platform to young Europeans from across the continent to meet, work with each other, voice directly their concerns, and put forward their own solutions, just over a few months ahead of the 2024 European Elections.

Within this framework, an international public conference will address the issues above, opening the debate to the city of Thessaloniki, once Europe’s Youth Capital and host to one of the biggest universities in Southeastern Europe.

The agenda in a nutshell

Thursday, 19 October

  • Arrival & Check in at hostels
  • 20:30 Informal welcome gathering


Friday, 20 October

  • 9:30-16:30 Workshops

- Empowering youth for independent living: addressing working conditions and labor insecurity
- Housing for all: building bridges to accessible & affordable housing in Europe
- Drops in the ocean: Independent, happy and working together
- Amplifying the voices of youth in democracy

  • 18:00 Meeting changemakers: Visits to HBS Thessaloniki partners

- TOUR: Walking among Alternative Economic Initiatives of Thessaloniki
- PITCH: Re-energizing youth for socially just climate policies
- SCREENING: The color of trees
- PRESENTATION: Svolou’s Neighbourhood Pocket Park. Ηow green, communal spaces activate a neighbourhood
- PHOTO EXHIBITION: ‘1000 dreams: Stories from the LGBTQI+ refugee experience’
- MEETING: Exchange with young activists of Thessaloniki

Saturday, 21 October

  • 10:00-16:30 Public conference

- Opening session - Europe’s Youth in precarious times: taking action against the multiple elephants in the room
- Panel session - Decent and affordable housing for all: from Brussels to the Capitals
- Panel session - Youth participation in European politics
- Closing session - Inputs from thematic workshops of the previous day

  • 16:30-21:30 Meeting the city: Cultural programme

- Memories of a sensual city - A tour of the former Red Light District of Thessaloniki
- Thessaloniki's stories told from the sea - Waterfront walk & boat trip
- The Spectre of the People - Photo exhibition
- A city where history is around the corner - A snapshot of political history & street concert

  • 21:30 Party


Sunday, 22 October

  • 9:30 Breakfast session
  • 11:00-14:00 Roundup session - Drafting a resolution
  • Afternoon: Departure

Speakers’ and facilitators’ profiles

More than 20 people participate as speakers in the conference sessions or as facilitators in the congress workshops - politicians, civil society people, academics, journalists. Get to know them through their short biographies.