T he 1989 Generation Initiative has its roots in the rallying cry of Professor Timothy Garton-Ash, who called on Millennials to start taking on the mantle of European leadership. Following Ash’s seminal 2014 article on the future of Europe, students at the LSE established the initiative with the objective of mobilising young Europeans in the revitalisation of the European Project. In order to achieve this primary goal, the initiative engages in several core activities: drafting policy proposals, building intergenerational connections , and fostering a network of committed young Europeans to debate and share ideas.
The 1989 Generation Initiative was founded in February 2015 by a group of then post-graduate students at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. By now it has solidified its status as an affiliated organisation of the LSE’s European Institute. In addition, it has seven active Regional Chapters across the continent. They contribute to our policy making, and establish projects independently.
I don’t know whether the 89ers will come together as a defining political generation, how they will act and – as important – how they will react when “stuff happens”, as stuff will. But one thing is clear: on them will depend the future of our past.
— Timothy Garton Ash
Our intergenerational connections not only assist in the drafting of effective policy, they promote lateral (as opposed to top-down) communication among the significant stakeholders in Europe’s future. Providing a platform of open dialogue between students/graduates and established professionals, the initiative nurtures and encourages meaningful collaboration between those who wield the power, and those who’ll be inheriting it.
Since its establishment, the initiative has strived to develop and draft policy proposals that represent our generation, on issues ranging from the migration crisis to an established European identity. Our policies are reinforced by the valuable input of academics, experts, and politicians, ensuring that that they are for the benefit of the whole union. Once drafted, we then present our proposals to the highest levels of European government, outlining how our generation wants to re-shape and enhance EU policy.
Nurturing meaningful collaboration between those who wield the power, and those who’ll be inheriting it.
While our activities were once confined to the cities of London and Brussels, the initiative has since made a strong effort to expand its mission across the continent. So far, we have established chapters in seven member states, each with its own membership and event calendar. This is a crucial part of the Initiative’s work to promote effective, grassroots mobilisation for a stronger, smarter, more inclusive Europe.