Your Europe, Your Say! 2022

The Truth about Lies: Your Challenging Disinformation
YOUTH Event: 31 March - 1 April 2022

Project Participants

"Your Europe, Your Say!" (YEYS) is the European Economic and Social Committee's (EESC) annual event for young people. Students from the 27 EU countries, five candidate ones and a Brussels-based European school were invited to apply in order to participate and RISS was among the lucky ones to be selected. Only one teacher and three G11 students were allowed to participate in this event. For this reason, a selection process was organised and after receiving a considerable number of applications as well as carefully reviewing all of them, Veronica Feije, Miranda Stuurman, and Bobby Susnea were chosen to represent our school. The competition for the selection was strong and it was an extremely painful and difficult choice to be made between high-calibre candidates. The event The Truth About Lies took place on Thurs. 31st March & Friday 1st April online due to the Covid pandemic.

Project Description

The 2022 YEYS event, entitled The Truth about Lies: Youth Challenging Disinformation, had as its main goal to bring together students and teachers from various countries to reflect on how to best fight against disinformation as well as on how to educate other people to do so. 

Over the course of two days, students formed small groups and were provided with theoretical background and practical tips on how to deal with fake news and online trolls. After being exposed to such workshops on the topic, groups were then asked to develop disinformation campaigns to practise walking in the shoes of fake news spreaders. The idea behind this exercise was to encourage students to reflect on the most common strategies used to spread misinformation with the goal of becoming better equipped and quicker at recognizing it. 

At the end of the second day, student representatives of each group had the opportunity to close the event by presenting recommendations and a set of policies to Věra Jourová, European Commission Executive Vice-President. These suggestions were then sent to high-level EU representatives for consultation and some examples can be seen below.

Examples of Students' Recommendations

  • EU Member States should initiate national- and European-level public campaigns providing information about the dangers of disinformation and how easily fake news can polarise people and spread hate speech.

  • Educational programmes should be developed. It is crucial that national authorities create and support educational courses on disinformation and invest in activities on how to spot and tackle fake news. Educational programmes on media literacy and learning tools should be included in schools' curricula. Disinformation should also be included in the Erasmus EU programme

  • Accessibility to reliable sources should be enhanced and a fact-checking mechanism inaugurated. Technology should be the vehicle to guarantee transparency and that could be achieved in a creative way by using modern online tools and apps like videos or games.

  • By all means, say No to Censorship! Education is always the key and censorship should be avoided. National authorities and governments shouldn’t ban or restrict freedom of speech, and truth and credibility are the pillars that should be emphasised and preserved as the essential competences of democratic participatory societies.

If you would like to receive the final report of this project in the form of a free PDF or you have any questions about The Truth about Lies more generally, please do not hesitate to contact Marco Dessi