On the 9th of February, ACP YPN was invited to be part of the EU dialogue, alongside other EU youth organisations, on the second phase of the “New Narrative” for Europe, rebranded by EU trainees as “The Europe of Thing”. Commissioner Tibor Navracsics – for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport – joined by DG Education and Culture’s (EAC) Director, Martiner Reichaerts, shared their willingness and conviction to work hand-in-hand with all youth organisations to address and respond to youth disenchantment in the EU. They underlined the importance of finding inclusive solutions to issues youth face from unemployment and political exclusion to peace and migration. The debate focused on three main issues: (i) values and identity; (ii) goals; and (iii) opportunities for people.
ACP YPN delegation to EU New Narrative with Commissioner Tibor Navracsics – for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
The main issues discussed: (i) the importance of education as a vector to convey European values and a European identity; (ii) young people should be given the opportunity to be better involved in shaping legislation that directly impacts them; (iii) all youth organisations present agreed that unpaid internships must stop, and that the EU should take the lead in abolishing unpaid internships, and encourage member states and international organisations to also follow suit.
In the same framework, youth organisations called for the EU to drop using abstract concepts and adhere to the principle of policy coherence for development. This requires the EU to focus on implementation, and achieving concrete and communicable actions, as well as communicating opportunities available to youth e.g. in the area of entrepreneurship.
Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Founder & President took the floor to underline that the EU New Narrative must also include ACP youth. With reference to Article 26 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) on ‘youth issues’, Yentyl highlighted that the right policies are there but it is now a question of implementation.
Celine Fabrequette, ACP YPN Coordinator on EU relations underscored the need to have age-specific youth policies i.e. youth go through many different issues between the ages of 15 and 30, defined broadly as ‘youth’ and policies should be tailored for the different issues faced over the different cycles of youth.
ACP YPN believes that inter-generational dialogue is crucial in the drive for a more inclusive society, something that ACP YPN advocated for at the 26th African Union Summit #AUIGD2016.
ACP YPN delegation with DG Education and Culture Director, Martiner Reichaerts and UK Councillor, Seyi Akiwowo.
This meeting followed up from an earlier meeting with DG EAC Director Martiner Reichaerts at the European Youth Event.
Celine Fabrequette, ACP YPN Coordinator on EU relations
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Yentyl Williams, ACP YPN Founder & President
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