Jana and Mary: voices of youth for the climate in Europe


During this seventh edition of the EU Academy, twenty passionate advocates for the common good gathered to enhance their understanding of EU decision-making processes and their influencing skills. Jana Leggen and Mary Hallaert were among them. They are both active in Generation Climate Europe, a coalition of youth-led networks on climate and environmental issues at the European level.

Different backgrounds, same ambition

Mary has a scientific background and aims to work on European environmental policies. She is active in Generation Climate Europe’s Circular Economy Working Group where she leads on textiles.

After studying German law in Bonn and spending two semesters abroad in Taiwan and Colombia, Jana specialises in European law in Paris. Her focus within Generation Climate Europe is on the just transition.

Mary and Jana share the same ambition to shape future EU policies and represent the voices of thousands of young people throughout Europe.

The EU Academy in their own words

Jana, as a European law graduate, was already familiar with the EU institutions and decision-making process. Her feedback after the EU Academy: “The training provided me with knowledge beyond what is written in the textbooks and helped me grasp the bigger picture of how EU decisions are taken – not just in theory but in practice. It was an exceptional opportunity for me to get insider information from experienced advocates on how to impact the EU legislative process. This was also a great way to expand my network.

Mary joined the EU Academy without prior knowledge about the functioning of EU institutions. This is her take on the training: "Marc-Olivier Herman and Joost Mulder, offered a comprehensive and lively introduction to the EU legislative decision-making process. At the same time, they continuously provided us with recommendations on how and when to act. The training covered the big picture and gave insider tips that are impossible to get elsewhere. It was also a great way to connect with passionate people!

Back to work

Mary: “Right after the training, I was able to use the knowledge acquired during these two days in my advocacy for Generation Climate Europe! I was able to proactively share our thoughts on the EU Textiles Strategy with relevant members of the Parliament and engage with them about this file.

Jana: “Thanks to the training, I now understand the steps we have to take to make our voices heard and effectively use our resources to have a lasting impact. I was able to use that knowledge in my working group at Generation Climate Europe We recently published a report on youth engagement in the just transition process and provided recommendations for Member States and EU institutions.