AER Youth: “We want to shape our future!”
Wiesbaden, Hessen (D), 25 November 2008
As young Europeans are increasingly affected by regional policies in areas such as education, employment, migration, demography and climate change, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) is offering young people a new voice within Europe’s first “Youth Regional Network”, a regional platform of representatives from youth regional organisations, councils and parliaments across the wider Europe.
Hosted by the Hessen Region in Wiesbaden (D), the two-day founding meeting of the AER Youth Regional Network brought together around 90 participants from 50 European regions. The meeting concluded today with the adoption of the Wiesbaden Resolution (below).
AER Secretary General Klaus Klipp attended the meeting, saying: “Since the European stage had not, until now, given voice to young representatives from the regions, this unique initiative provides young people with a platform to change that. AER strongly believes that young people should have a greater say in shaping Europe’s future, and this network will give them the voice they need to achieve that”.
The launch of the AER Youth Regional Network will be followed by a conference in the spring to establish a working structure for the new network.
Quotes from selected participants:
Peter Curic, Istria region (HR): “We have to convince local authorities all across the European regions to give more space to young activists. Any issue of concern to young people should always be discussed with the youth councils and youth parliament representatives of their regions first. Young people of today need to have an opportunity to participate in the governance of society, to affect what happens around them and shape their future.”
Francesc Xavier Ferri Fayos, Valencia region (E): “I believe in diversity and plurality as a way to enrich Europe…I think that the Europe of the regions should not be in the second line but become the real motor of not only a united but also a pluralistic Europe.“
Agnes Greiciute, Taurage region, (LT): “There are so many young people from all over Europe at this meeting and they all face similar problems in their own regions. Currently the crucial issue and challenge for youth is to reassess values and to shift them to a spiritual foundation. You cannot do a lot if you are alone, but you can do so much if you are all together as one integral unit.“
Sophie Chambon, Limousin region (F) “If I could, the first thing I’d change in Europe would be the inequality between regions. I think there are too many differences between, for exemple, the regions of western and eastern Europe… all regions should have the same possibilities in development, communication, culture… The more developed regions should support the others that need help.“
Download theWiesbaden Resolution:
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