Summer is closing its doors and we are getting ready to a new season starting soon.
Usually, like the end of the year, the end of summer means as well thinking what to change in our daily life – and how to change it. Our routine will soon get back to ‘normal’ activities, we will have to forget until next year the longer and sunny days … and this wave of bad weather we faced in the North of Italy seemed to preannounce this moment.
Last time we ‘talked’, I was writing about climate change. Now, while looking at the selected themes of this month, I see not only that climate change is just one part of the puzzle. But especially that all the selected topics – each one related to one specific area of interest – are strictly linked one to each other.
On the one hand, this is a confirmation of the Fund for Regional Cooperation’s soul and spirit, we are all used to work together while considering the different specific priority areas. On the other hand, this means that all challenges matter. Or, maybe, they start to matter more, they begin to become more important and more linked to each other.
We are, basically, in the second mid of 2022 and I can notice a better alignment in terms of topics as well.
We can read about green best practices related to younger generations, inclusion in environmental sectors – something which has a lot to do with our previous focus – future civil societies and judicial systems, youth criminalisation prevention, education and young women’s economic empowerment, social inclusion, not excluding (while it seems a play on words) people with intellectual disabilities. They seem, at least to me, inter-related problems and challenges and… guess what!
Youth is there! Not surprisingly, we selected together with our Projects those themes in occasion of the European Year of Youth, because who – if not them – can support our goals concretising them in future but real actions? Who – if not them – can drive all our goals forward? For sure we are not talking about the Fund for Youth Employment, but recently we had an ever-stronger proof of the tangible bond existing between the two Funds and of the networks which can continue to be created within the Regional Funds.
It is not by chance that I have to thank, again, the Regional Cooperation Projects that contributed to our Special Edition of the Fund for Youth Employment in occasion of the International Youth Day.
And it is gratifying to see the contributions for this edition, in which some Projects tried to involve young people even though they are not their primary target.
But, let’s go forward, since we have a lot of work to do. We may have reached a lot of goals related to cooperation, but this won’t be enough to ameliorate the future of our planet, including the individuals living it.
I do not want to be pessimistic. While we all have to recognise we are all facing an energy problem, which is not only related to the most recent war and the global geo-political situation. On the contrary, knowing that we are currently implementing several Projects working on different aspects related to the field of energy, I do believe that the Fund for Regional Cooperation is an excellent testing ground for new solutions. I am sure that in the coming months we will be able, together, to observe the fruits of new actions.
I think that the title of Tom’s piece, Scaffolding the Civil Society of the Future: Equality, Trust, Ownership and Accountability, resume perfectly some goals included in my words. Our societies need and deserve solutions. Don’t you agree? As usual, maybe with some of Tom’s words we can go to the point: “Building deep connections is civil society’s historic role, and it has never been more needed. Today’s society is divided between urban and rural, between north and south, between young and old. It is still deeply divided on racial and class lines. Civil society has an essential role to connect powerfully across these damaging divides and fault lines and drive lasting social change”.
About that, a short news: we invite you to read the next Regional Cooperation issue, where we will introduce the new predefined Projects selected by our Donors, implemented by FRA – the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
Going back to youth, since young people were somehow included into this issue, we all know that they can be the first ones to start with. Not only we must do that since they represent our future, but, especially, they need guidance to live into those ‘civil society of the future’. And this is, in my opinion, a good place for new experiments, regardless of the specific area considered.
It was important, to me, reading the title of some Projects linking youth, green best practices and environmental values. That is exactly what we meant while thinking about the topics to propose.
What else? We just have to read what our Projects have to tell us.
A good end of summer to all of you, but… stay tuned for the news and future activities we will start to announce soon 🙂 and a little spoiler is about our awaited Annual Seminar, that will most probably take place in December.
Gian Luca Bombarda
The Fund Director