Manifesto for Youth by Youth to Shape European Territorial Cooperation: your ideas are coming true!
Posledná aktualizácia pondelok, 11/01/2021
Do you want to make what the EU and Member State do for territorial cooperation more in line with your needs? Join the group of young people who contributed to the Manifesto for Young People by Young People to Shape the European Cooperation Policy!
A bit of context
The EU, and particularly the European Commission (one of the three most important EU institutions), is very often felt as a far, distant, and inaccessible. A fortress and mysterious entity.
Despite nobody is perfect, the European Commission does its best to make EU citizens and beyond understand that the EU is “theirs”, not a far separated entity but that it is everywhere as it affects their everyday life! This is why it is so important that all citizens know, understand, influence and benefit from the policies the EU is responsible for.
One of the departments of the European Commission, specifically the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy ("DG REGIO"), is in charge of boosting socio-economic wellbeing in all European regions and beyond, especially through Interreg cooperation programme. So that we all grow together leaving no-one behind, in line with the EU core value of solidarity and the mottos “united in diversity” & “stronger together”.
DG REGIO is also the department of the Commission that is responsible for one-third of the EU budget, managing for example the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund – a lot of money co-managed by the Commission and EU countries to contribute to improve people’s life with thousands of projects in many different fields (health, economy, climate change and environment protection, energy, innovation, education, social inclusion, etc…).
In 2020 DG REGIO marked the 30 years of the Interreg , which is a scheme directed to territories (like regions and cities) from different Member States and also some partner countries, sharing a border to help overcoming their national differences for a mutual advantage. To better explain what Interreg is, let me give you an example. Sophie is a 3-year old child born in France. But she is only a few kilometers short from living in Germany. Her parents need to go to work and would like their child to socialize with other fellow kids and start her schooling. But guess what? The closest kindergarten is located not in France, but in Germany. Well, thanks to Interreg and to the so-called “France strategy” in the Saarland, Germany, Sophie’s parents can sign her up in a bilingual kindergarten across the border, but much closer to home. She will also learn another language from an early age, which is proven to be very effective and useful!
One of the themes chosen for the 30-year celebrative campaign of Interreg was “youth” (YAY!). Hence, DG REGIO decided to start a truly democratic and bottom-up process by asking young people - more or less familiar with Interreg - what their needs and wishes are and how they think Interreg should help satisfying them. Thanks to this process, young people also expressed how they think Interreg should be improved, i.e. beyond their specific needs. As we are also about to start a new EU programming period (2021-2027) with new money and scope for changing things, NOW is the best time to shape how EU funds can help younger generations.
The Manifesto: show you care and contribute to change things the way you want!
Young people’s ideas have been collected in the Manifesto for Young People by Young People to Shape the European Cooperation Policy where 12 concrete recommendations are presented mainly addressing national, regional and local politicians and administrations to show them what they can do to best address young people’s requests. The Manifesto was published in October 2020 and presented to high-level decision makers during the Interreg Annual Event. This was not the end of the process. On the contrary, this was just the beginning as the Manifesto needs to be disseminated as extensively as possible among decision makers and multipliers and it is a living document.
YOU - as young engaged citizen - are encouraged to join the core group of young people behind this important political document and contribute to shape the Manifesto and reach out to other young people, associations and people that take decisions that impact your life – with the support of the European Commission.
Tempted? Join us now!
Please contact Alessandra Cardaci and Astrid Aulnette to join the Manifesto’s core group of young people and get more information on how you can contribute and know the first results of this process.