On 12 October 2016, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) organised a workshop at the Committee of the Regions (CoR), entitled “EU Regions Partners for Youth”, with Harghita County Council (RO) and the Romanian delegation to the CoR.
Ms Marta Vilalta, Chairwoman of the AER Sub-Committee on Youth, participated in the debate as representative of the AER, and Ms Gloria Vitaly as President of the AER Youth Regional Network (YRN). The workshop included speakers from Romanian and Hungarian Counties, Ukraine, Spain and Norway.
Among the issues raised by politicians were the high levels of NEETs in Eastern and Southern Europe, the importance of cohesion policy to prevent brain drain and the need to listen more to youth’s concerns, involving them more in the political process. EU funds measures to tackle youth unemployment were also mentioned.
Ms Vitaly, on behalf of the YRN, regretted that despite higher levels of education, youth unemployment remains high in several European regions. She also stressed the need to promote cross-border cooperation, to help young people to become successful and innovative entrepreneurs, to tackle radicalisation and to preserve a good environment.
Ms Vilalta explained that AER aims at empowering youth, for example combating early school drop-out. She focussed on the success achieved by the AER initiative Eurodyssey. This tool provides young people with a period of training in a foreign region, which allows them to discover a new culture and to improve a foreign language. In addition to that, many participants find a job straight after the training or in the following months. Whereas the programme has mainly regarded educated people so far, Ms Vilalta expressed the wish to better include lower skilled people in it. She encouraged more regions to participate in Eurodyssey and to strengthen it. She concluded her speech highlighting the importance of cross-sectorial cooperation and of the youth guarantee as a tool for employment and education.
AER will continue its efforts to safeguard the future of young people in Europe through its many activities and actions and under the theme of “Revitalising Democracy“.
For more information on Eurodyssey, click here
- Mr Gyula WINKLER, former MP and Minister, MEP, Hunedoara County (RO)
- Mr Csaba BORBOLY, President of Harghita County Council (RO)
- Mrs Andrea BOCKSOR, MEP (UA and HU nationality)
- Mr László CSÁK, freelancer EU policy consultant, Harghita County (RO)
- Mr Oszkár SESZTÁK, President of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County (HU)
- Mr Róbert SZABÓ, President of Heves County (HU)
- Ms Gloria VITALY, President of the AER Youth Regional Network, Oppland (NO)
- Mrs Maria GRAPINI, MEP (RO)
- Ms Marta VILALTA, Chairwoman of the AER Sub-Committee on Youth and General Director For Youth of the Catalan Government (ES)
- Mr Roger SOLER MARTI, expert from the General Directorate For Youth of the Catalan Government (ES)
- Mr András LÓRÁND, Youth representative of Harghita County (RO)