Local, but European. Practical, but inspiring. #HotlineCohesion brings you the most interesting youth opportunities linked to EU Cohesion Policy.
The many opportunities for youth employment and green transition offered by Cohesion Policy require appropriate visibility, especially amongst the youth. Widespread information makes sure that opportunities reach their target, and that the future is shaped to the needs of those who will live in it.
Every week the AER will publish its series #HOTLINE COHESION with information concerning new funding opportunities and participatory processes open to youth in your regions!
Youth unemployment is a longstanding challenge for Europe
High youth unemployment in Europe has been a persistent issue for the last decades. Post-pandemic figures show that, as of October 2021, 2.905 million youth (under 25) were NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) in the EU and the youth unemployment rate was 15.9%. Unless appropriate measures are taken, more and more young people may disengage from active job search, and they may grow distant from the political and social life of their communities.
The EU response to youth unemployment
This issue becomes even more relevant in light of the new Cohesion policy 2021-27, especially when it comes to relaunching local economies and jobs which have been largely affected by the pandemic. The new policy provides several novelties such as the new European Social Fund+ and the Youth Employment Initiative, and the Just Transition Fund – which are further reinforced through the financial support coming through Recovery and Resilience Facility and REACT-EU as part of the Recovery Plan for Europe.
The youth action for a green and fair future
On their side, young citizens lead the protests asking for concrete actions to be taken to fight climate change, protect biodiversity and safeguard their future. With the adoption of the European Green Deal, the EU made the response to these requests its highest priority, setting the ambitious goal of becoming the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050 while reducing greenhouse gas emission by 55% by 2030. When it comes to climate change, Cohesion policy is key as it provides the place-based framework and the financial support needed to ensure that a ‘just’ and ‘sustainable transition becomes an opportunity for European regions.
Youth for a Just Transition
The magnitude of the transition requires the active involvement of the young generations, as those mostly concerned by the transition. ‘Youth for a Just Transition: A Toolkit for a Youth Participation in the Just Transition Fund’ promoted by the European Commission highlights that young people’s participation in the transition process is essential because:
- They have the ‘right to participate’ in decisions concerning their future;
- They own ‘valuable ideas and skills’ that should be applied to develop a sustainable transition path and solutions to possible challenges;
- They can foster the ‘intergenerational dimension’ of the transition raising the awareness of their local peers about its reasons and consequences;
- ‘Achieving a successful transition‘ requires providing ‘sufficient opportunities and good alternative jobs for young people’.
The Commission is also putting its money where its mouth is, fostering concrete actions to ensure meaningful participation of the youth in the transition process with calls for proposals such as ‘EUTEENS4GREEN’ (coming up soon in our #HotlineCohesion).
On its side, at AER we recognise the major importance to build upon the space that the transition provides for actions that are explicitly targeted to (re)launch youth employment in the context of a future and green economy and society. YOUTHopia is our space to make cohesion real for the NextGeneration.
See you next week at #HotlineCohesion!
The Youthopia Project is co-funded by the Directorate General for Regional and Urban policy (DG REGIO) of the European Commission.
Read more about #HotlineCohesion and #YOUTHopia:
#HotlineCohesion – Get back on track with ALMA!
#HotlineCohesion: EUTeens4Green – Youth Ways for a Just Transition
#HotlineCohesion: The IVY League of Volunteering
#HotlineCohesion: Call from Interreg Europe – Sharing Solutions for Better Regional Policies
#HotlineCohesion: Youth4Regions, the programme for young journalists – Make Europe, do journalism.
#HotlineCohesion: Cohesion Policy for a Young and Green Future
YOUTHopia is Real: Discover how a pan-European communication campaign is built