As part of the European Year of Youth, the Party of European Socialists (PES) Group in the European Committee of the Regions will hold its annual external Group meeting in Florence this Friday (4 November), on the topic "Youth for Europe, Europe for Youth – The way forward".
The aim of the event is twofold: to showcase how local youth programmes – such as those in Vienna, Strasbourg and Charleroi – have made concrete improvements to the lives of the young people they serve and, based on these experiences, to discuss a progressive vision for the future of young people in Europe.
The President of the PES Group, Christophe Rouillon, said: "Young people, who constitute a quarter of Europe's entire population, have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, be it on access to education and quality jobs, decent and affordable housing or mental health. It is now more important than ever to empower them and build the future of Europe together with them. As Socialists, we call for a youth perspective to be brought into all relevant Union policies."
The president of the Tuscany region, Eugenio Giani, underlined:
"In these times of great uncertainty, and recovery from the pandemic, we can only emerge stronger together if we provide young people with the best opportunities. And we need to give them trust – not only in the future, but in the now. The Tuscany region is trying to champion this vision with flagship projects like GiovaniSì and is ready to learn from other European experiences, too."
The mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, added: "The European Year of Youth is a great opportunity to discuss and improve the rights of young people, and a true learning laboratory for cities. We need to aim for a long-lasting outcome from this year and pave the way for a more progressive Europe, inspired by the ideas and vision of young people."
Other high-level speakers include the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro, Paul Magnette, Mayor of Charleroi and President of the Socialist Party in Belgium, and Brando Benifei, Head of the Italian delegation and Member of the S&D Group in the European Parliament.
The full programme of the #Europe4Youth event is available on the PES Group website.