International Youth Day : making Europe a better place for its youth
Every year on the 12th of August, UN International Youth Day is celebrated through events around the world. First observed in 2000, the event aims to draw attention to the 1.2 billion young people worldwide between the ages of 15 and 24.
This year’s topic - “Transforming food systems: youth innovation for human and planetary health” – emphasises that young people are not just beneficiaries but need to be active partners and leaders in finding solutions to the issues they face. In the case of food systems, this means recognising that feeding the world won’t just be achieved by increasing food production – we also need to think about related issues such as poverty reduction, social inclusion, health care, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation, all of which are problems young people need to be involved in solving.
The European Democratic Party’s MEPs have long been involved in the struggle to make Europe a better place for its youth. Most recently, our French MEP Sylvie Brunet (MoDem) welcomed the new European social Fund+ (ESF+), which will be crucial in tackling youth unemployment as a result of the pandemic. "Thanks to this agreement, the Union will have an ambitious updated tool to build a more social, more resilient and more inclusive Europe," Sylvie Brunet said.
Another recent success for Europe’s youth has been the approval of the Erasmus+ programme which our MEP Laurence Farreng (MoDem) has been involved with. With a budget twice as large and expanded criteria to include people in apprenticeships or with special needs, “neither social condition, nor financial difficulties, distance from major urban centres, or disability should prevent anyone from benefiting from Erasmus+. Ten million people will benefit from Erasmus + in the next 7 years. Whether you are an apprentice, a high school student, an adult learner, a trainer, a student, a teacher, a trainee, you should be able to benefit from this life-changing experience and develop your skills,” the French MEP said.
Since its foundation in 2007, the EDP’s youth wing, the Young Democrats for Europe (YDE), have been working hard to increase political participation among young people and to change the way they are seen from part of the problem to part of the solution. Ugo Rostaing, Secretary General of the Young Democrats for Europe, said: “We embody the diversity and variety of European youth around Europe. Our common values and history allow us to build a community that take into account every aspects of our personality, of the common future that we want despite our differences. Being together makes us strong, and today as every other day of the year, YDE make sure the Youth grows even stronger!”
You can find a short video by Asier Areitio, the YDE's President, here: