Friday 4 November 2022

Youth for Europe, Europe for Youth - The way forward | PES Group meeting

Youth for Europe, Europe for Youth - The way forward | PES Group meeting

09.00 - 13.00
Palazzo dei Congressi Piazza Adua, 1 50123 Florence
from: EN, FR, DE, IT, RO
to: EN, FR, DE, IT, RO
Young local leaders

2022 has been hailed as the European Year of Youth by the European Commission.

What are the key issues facing young people today and in which way can socialist and social democrats improve their futures?

To reply to this question, the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions joined forces with our members Eugenio Giani, President of the Region Tuscany and by Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence to offer a platform of discussion where local and regional leaders will engage in a conversation with PES Group members, youth representatives, academics and members of the European Parliament to offer a progressive vision for the future of young people in Europe.

#UpToYouth PES-YES campaign

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is still having a tremendous impact on Europe's youth. Young people in Europe, who already faced the 2008 economic crisis at an age when they were starting to emancipate and enter the labour market, coping with the lack of access to housing, unemployment, low wages, job insecurity, low levels of saving, just to name a few, are now again bearing the brunt of this new recession, just at a time when many of them were starting to enjoy a greater material stability.

Experiencing two different crisis in such a short period of time will have a huge impact on young people's lives, thoughts, actions and behaviours.

As progressives, we intend to put a spotlight on the issues facing youth and offer policy solutions with and for youth, and step up our political engagement so that the achievements of the European Year of Youth will be long lasting.

This PES Group seminar will also be a stepping stone in the year-long campaign by the Party of European Socialists (PES) and Young European Socialists (YES) for their #UpToYouth campaign.

#UpToYouth will serve to push for policy changes at the EU, national and local levels that respond to the five PES-YES Youth Priorities* and draw attention to socialists and social democrats who are already leading the way in living up to young people's expectations.

 #UpToYouth 5 Priorities*:

  • Climate action
  • Quality jobs
  • Access to education
  • Health for all (with a focus on mental healthcare, sexual and reproductive health and rights)
  • Decent housing

Additional information and logistical considerations

PES Group members are invited to express interest in participating at the PES external meeting "Youth for Europe, Europe for Youth – The way forward" at PES-Group@cor.europa.eu.


DAY 1 - Thursday 3 November

Study visit of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions

Florence, Innovation Hub for the younger generations


2:30 p.m. | Meeting point at the Presidency of the Region Tuscany - Palazzo Guadagni Strozzi Sacrati

Entrance: Piazza Duomo 10, Florence


2:45 p.m. | Welcome message by Eugenio Giani, President of the Region Tuscany

TRAMVIA: Florence's smart tramway network

Since 2010, the City of Florence has a tramway system which is a faster, more regular and greener public system of transportation which is integrated with railway and bus system. On one of the lines, the first experiment of autonomous driving has been implemented and financed with the European funds of the Horizon 2020 piano to support European technological development.

  • Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence
  • Angelita Luciani, management and control system of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • Enrico Becattini, Director of transport, urban mobility and infrastructures, Region Tuscany


3:45 p.m. | Transfer by shuttles


4:00 p.m. Visit to Nana Bianca, Florence-based accelerator investing in startups with a focus in high-profile technology

Lungarno Soderini, 21, Firenze

The start-up accelerator is located in the ancient Granaio dell'Abbondanza – a grain store, which has been transformed in a contemporary multifunctional space, an innovation pole dedicated to digital culture and open to the city, start-ups and businesses.

  • Daniele Catalano, Sales & Operations Manager Nana Bianca


5:00 p.m. Transfer by shuttles


5:30 p.m. Visit of the Manifattura Tabacchi

Via delle Cascine, 35, Firenze

This private public investment is one of the most significant urban regeneration projects in Italy. The new Manifattura Tabacchi is revitalising the old tobacco factory, active for over seventy years before its closure in 2001. A new contemporary district dedicated to fashion, art, design and housing is born in Florence, complementing the historic city centre.

Upon completion in 2024, the project will meet the highest international standards of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. It will host a student housing as well for more than 400 students. This new university residence will stand out for the quality and rich variety of services that will be offered to students, based on a model of international university campuses, such as classrooms, studios, gym, yoga room, laundry facilities, and movie theatre, as well as common areas equipped for spending time together. Florence is a cultural city with more than 65,000 students, of which 20% are non-Italian citizens.

Welcome message by Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence

Presentations by

  • Michelangelo Giombini, Manifattura Tabacchi, Head of Product Development and CEO
  • Marco Tognetti, LAMA, social enterprise managing the uses of spaces at Manifattura Tabacchi and developing EU projects for young people on a number of policies


6:30 p.m. | Vernissage of the ART exhibition "Reverse-Design Towards a New Paradigm" – followed by a cocktail

  • Professor Lotti, Department for Design in Architecture (DIDA), University of Florence

7:30 p.m. | Transfer by shuttles to the railway station and the city center

Free evening

The study visit will take place in English only. No interpretation will be provided.

DAY 2 - Friday 4 November

PES Group extraordinary meeting

Youth for Europe, Europe for Youth – The way forward

Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazza Adua, 1, 50123 Firenze

Interpretation provided – EN, FR, DE, IT, RO, (PT tbc)

8:30 a.m.| Registration and welcome coffee

9:00 – 9:20 a.m. | Opening                                         

  • Eugenio Giani, President of the Region of Tuscany, Member of the European Committee of the Regions                                               
  • Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, Member of the European Committee of the Regions and President of Eurocities


9:20 – 10:30 a.m. | Dialogue on the Future of the EU

Video message

  • Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions


  • Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Chair in Global Affairs at the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute
  • Paul Magnette, Mayor of Charleroi and President of the Socialist Party in Belgium
  • Greta Adamek, Citizens' Panel representative of the Conference on the Future of Europe

A conversation moderated by Laura Sparavigna, President of the commission on employment of the City of Florence

  • Exchange of views, followed by Q&A
  • First respondent: Yoomi Renström, PES Group Vice President and Mayor of Ovanåker


Family Picture

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. | Coffee break

11:00 – 11:05 a.m. 

Video message

  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights


11:05 – 11:20 a.m. | #UpToYouth campaign – Progressives take action

  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary of the Party of European Socialists, Mayor of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Member of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions
  • Ana Pirtskhalava, Secretary-General of the Young European Socialist
  • Exchange of views, followed by Q&A

11:30 – 12:45 a.m. | A Europe that works for YOU(th) – a showcase of local and regional youth plans

  • Brando Benifei, Head of the Italian delegation and Member of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Rapporteur on the Youth and Child Guarantee
  • Pia Maria Wieninger, Member of the Vienna State Parliament and Municipal Council
  • Luca Menesini, President of the Province of Lucca, Mayor of Capannori, Member of the European Committee of the Regions          
  • Céline Geissmann, City and metropolitan councillor of Strasbourg

A conversation moderated by Bernard Dika, advisor of the Region Tuscany on youth policies and innovation and former President of the Regional Youth Parliament           

  • Exchange of views, followed by Q&A
  • First respondent: Christine Jung, Saarbrücken City Councillor  


12.45 p.m. | Closing

  • Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines


1.00 p.m. | Lunch