I am putting down my thoughts and reflections and I see outside the window of my office a very sunny day. But it is not summer, not even spring. It should be autumn….. a season that this year seems to be late all over Europe. And, while this is a worrying factor, I am ‘happy’ to see that we kind of anticipated some issues that are now a priority in the socio-political agendas.
Watching the tv, at night, I hear a lot of experts confirming that this hot, at this time of the year, is something not really ‘standard’. And we were talking about it in some of our last editions, also with the Youth Employment Mag.
The demonstrated attention and dedication to actual challenges is something very important for us, as Fund Operator. This means that the level of engagement reached is great.
And I have to recognise as well that that we, this time considering the entire Family, are on the same path, especially when we talk about possible solutions.
And I am very happy to include in this issue one contribution coming from one of our Youth Employment Projects, YES!. Simply because, participating at the European Regions Week, they demonstrated the concept I stated here above. Not surprisingly, the title of their contribution says ‘Make regional collaboration work’, and I invite all of you to read it to understand the meaning, and the concepts expressed which are putting us on the same path of the Fund for Regional Cooperation’s priorities.
I was also present, while online, at this side event. What I wanted to stress in that occasion, since I strongly believe it, is that everything starts from the ground, from the local level, and therefore the regional, before reaching the top. And this is the right framework to showcase which can be the solutions, particularly considering young people, which represent our future, and therefore the future of the policies we will construct. Not surprisingly, our ‘theme of the moth’ includes younger generations.
This time we are talking about goals and rights, indeed the question to our Projects is: «European Youth Goals: Which is your priority (related to the peculiarities of your targeted countries) and why? Which could be the new EYG considering this changing society?», of course to be declined considering the different priority areas. Our Tom concentrated on education, and not surprisingly the title of his piece is ‘Youth Fundamental Rights: Time for Youth to Take Charge of Change’, accompanied by this quote from J. D. Rockefeller: ‘Every right implies a responsibility; Every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty’. This is another aspect that will be very important in our next future. Not surprisingly, this is strictly related to the next European Year, which seems to be focused on skills and competences.
The theme of rights, in general, can be declined in a thousand different ways. And, to demonstrate our readers that there is always a thread that connects the Funds with every theme and with every project, I invite you to read the contribution received from one Regional Cooperation Project, the Supporting National Human Rights Institutions in monitoring fundamental rights and the fundamental rights aspects of the rule of law. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), is in partnership with NHRIs and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) to support NHRIs in monitoring fundamental rights and the fundamental rights aspects of the rule of law.
On 25 October 2022, all partners of the Project met in Sofia in order to take stock of project planning and implementation of activities to strengthen the capacity of NHRIs in monitoring fundamental rights and the rule of law. But they will tell you more about that in the next pages.
What I want to highlight is the firm commitment of each project to be able to find, through cooperation, possible solutions to problems that affect each of us, from education to climate change, from culture to rule of law and so on.
I recently participated to another side event related to the European Week of Regions and Cities, the workshop ‘Young people for Mediterranean cooperation’, which showcased inspiring cooperation stories of young people from both sides of the Mediterranean, celebrating their contribution to positive and constructive relations. I really felt and had the impression that a lot of stories and examples could reflect our same engagement.
One of the main questions has been: «What need to change now?». Again, with respect to education, school, competences, rights, green, etc. What they said, and which I found similar to what we read in our Online Magazines, is that: «It is no more optional. It has to happen now. A lot of programmes are working for that, to bring positive pressure to policy makers».
Positive pressure. I like a lot that concept. I think we can englobe its meaning and spirit in our future conversations and events. It is what we have been trying to do, and what I am sure we will continue to do. And again, they also talked about ‘new challenges for Europe’s cohesion and priorities for cooperation: a lot of similarities, I think. A lot of young people, among the participants, talked about cooperation as ‘an act of recognition’. And not surprisingly, among the priorities they have listed, climate change was at the top of the list, followed by education, trainings and human rights.
Related to that, and I may be repetitive but I strongly believe we have to behave like a real Family, I would like you to check the final Steering Committee of the YOUTHShare 1.0, one of our YE Projects that you already know for sure. Why? Because it is talking about ‘four years of Research and Social Intervention for young NEETs in the Mediterranean European Economic Area’. And the Regional Cooperation Projects have as well a lot to do with research and intervention. Finally, since it is taking place at the beginning of November (also online at this link, and with some other details here), I thought it was interesting to announce it here before, despite this is the Regional Cooperation Mag, but I think you can find there some inspiring practices.
With inspiring practices for a positive pressure, I end here this intro. There is nothing left for me to do but wish you a good read… 🙂
As usual, stay tuned for future news.
Gian Luca Bombarda
The Fund Director