Many friendships in 2019 and THANK you for the 2018 ACTIVITIES IDEA

Debate creates many friendships all over the world. As the famous European philospher Desiderius Erasmus says; the best friends are critical about their friends. Debating learns you to think critical and to value being critized. Because you learn to integrate critical and sharp analysised of others into your own reasoning which brings you to a higher level of understanding and wishdom. 'And this is important', Desiderius Erasmus says, 'because no one is perfect.' 

IDEA NL wants to wish you all a fantastic 2019!

We want to thank all our members, partners, donors, embassadors, board, and especially our growing community of young people by age and heart! It was a fantastic year in which our IDEA community organised impactful debates, debate training, educational materials and social media events. Just a brief overview of our vibrant range of activities. And join us again in 2019 to have a great, meaningful year again with debates, exchanges and the pleasure of friendship!

International Activities

Europe for Citizens Structural Grant

The IDEA NL network was recognised for its value added by the European Commission. For the next 3 years we are recipients of a Structural Grant under the Europe for Citizens programme. This grant supports our debate activities and raises the game in terms of capacity building. Needs of the partners have been canvassed this year and in Bucharest we held our first capacity-building meeting in November to upscale our communication efforts and set the building blocks to launch a campaign promoting the value of debate across the continent.

Creating Critical Minds and Voices (CCMVE)

Debating Threats To Democracy received a metamorphosis in 2018! Under a new banner and with more new partners we are hosting our third and fourth youth exchanges. Following on our partners’ hard work in building beautiful national events on common themes, 150 participants gathered in Athens to build their critical minds and voices. Of special note was an inspiring debate with confronting personal testimonies of undocumented refugees living rough in Athens.

Our consortium is already hard at work on the next steps, and we’ll meet again in May 2019 to exchange views and foster debate in the Slovene Alps.

Future of Europe Debates

Our partners hosted a large series of competitions, workshops, and public debates under the banner “Future of Europe Debates” in 11 countries. This was co funded via the structural grant of the Europe for Citizens. This structural Grant-enabled debate series canvassed youth’s voices on a series of interrelated topics chosen by youth and topics that were important for their future. They selected topics in the range from EU-expansion discussed in Central Europe, to animal welfare in South Europe, and education reform in Western Europe. 

OPEN UP Let youth be heard

The Open Up! Consortium had started 2018 with a vibrant  training in during the Educational FORUM of the European Commission in Brussels in January 2018. We had a special exchange with the mr. Benifei, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Interim Youth Group of this parliament. Again mr. Benifei emphasized the importance of debate education as a way to active citizens.  OPEN UP! Let youth be heard consortium was also recognised for all of its hard work when it was invited by the European Commission to host an opening debate during the European Youth Event in Strasbourg! 20 youth debated in front of their peers and with MEPs such as Brando Benifei on important topics related to youth and Europe. 

OPEN UP! Let youth be heard partners closed the year with the development of a poster campaign to make debate education attractive for all youth! This campaign has been translated in various languages and was co funded by the Europe for Citizens operational grant. You can order the  posters campaign for free via

Empowering Youth To Debate Across Europe (EY2DE)

With this project we are building an innovative training platform. 8 partners come together for this Erasmus+-funded programme to build a best practices debate curriculum, a European-wide Train-the-Trainer programme, an official certification procedure and an online database. In 2018 we hosted our first two partner meetings and trained Europe’s future Master Trainers in Bratislava. We also completed dozens of lesson plans for the curriculum. This work will culminate and finalise in 2019. We will start 2019 off right with national Train the Trainers in all participating countries. If you want to sign up for the Dutch TtT, you can find more information here.

Police – Youth Project

This year our Police-Youth project culminated with a special public debate in March 2018. In this debate youth and police overcame their initial differences and through debate gained mutual trust and respect for each others’ perspectives, increasing a culture of mutual trust and safety in the Schildersbuurt neighbourhood. A report reflecting the importance of this project “from fragile to resilient neighbourhoods” was presented to the head of the Dutch police, Eric Akerboom.

A warm thanks to our donors the Municipality of The Hague and Erasmus+ for making this special project possible.

Mind Your Wallet!

The fifth edition of Mind Your Wallet! covered many highlights this year. We hosted a competition early February with a spectacular final debate in Nieuwspoort. Alderman of education Saskia Bruines was one of the invited special guests. Throughout the country we organised Eat and Debate activities, a new(ish) concept where we use the idea of a diner pensant to allow several local stakeholders to come together and discuss how to empower youth. In December we closed the year with a leadership weekend in Utrecht. In a beautifully renovated church selected youth received engaging workshops and build an action plan to improve youth’s chances in education, and on the job and housing market.

We thank our donor Fonds21 for their continued support of this project.

A Jihad of Love; about harmony and diversity in the school

Together with MBO Amersfoort we organised a novel and spectacular debate concept “Jihad van de Liefde”. Based on the essay written by Mohamed El Bachiri about harmony and love in the wake of the terror attack in Brussels where he lost his wife, 200 youth were invited to discuss harmony, respect, and multiculturality in the classroom and during a public debate in Pathé Amersfoort. Mr. El Bachiri was present as our special guest and offered beautiful and harmonising views that inspired all present youth.

We thank our donors and partners Amersfoort municipality and Europe for Citizens for their cooperation in this project.

Joint Roots Joint Dignity

We had a host of inspiring conversations about identity, integration and empowerment this year. Dutch youth with African heritage came together to discuss their shared future and belonging, and challenges they face in Dutch society. We closed out “JRJD” with a festival in Amsterdam on the eve of Keti Koti, filled with hiphop, rap and spoken word from inspiring young black voices. The Ministry of Social Affairs gave a glorious review for this project.
Thanks to our donors Ministry of Social Affairs, Erasmus+ and Europe for Citizens.

Debate in The Neighbourhood

Our activities for DiN will receive a new impulse in 2019 after being awarded a 15.00 prize for best proposal from the Oikos Challenge! We will use this money to launch DiN in 2019 in 10 neighbourhoods, where we will host Eating and Debating and other ways to support youth to express themselves about issues of their interest. We will use  our very own Debate in the Neighborhood tools to create impact like our Debate in the Neighborhood camper, easy up tents and poster campaigns!

Thank you’s

We’d like to thank all volunteer, staff, members, partners, trainers, youth workers, guides, judges, and most of all THE PARTICIPANTS for their fantastic energy through all of our projects this year.

A special thanks to our sponsors Europe for Citizens, Fonds 21, Erasmus+, Municipality of The Hague, Municipality of Amsterdam, Municipality of Amersfoort, Open Society Foundation, and the Ministry of Social Affairs for their continued support for our programs.