Dear EU leaders, let’s “YouthUp” Europe!
Today, young people called on Member States to take on the responsibility to deliver a Social Europe that is more forward-looking, people-centred and youth-friendly.
Luis Alvarado Martinez, President of the European Youth Forum, addressed Heads of State and Government during the 2017 Social Summit in Gothenburg: “this Social Summit is a historic turning-point: it is an opportunity to show that our Union is willing to put citizens back at the heart of the European project. It must not be a wasted opportunity. You must prioritise young people’s number one concern: tackling inequalities. You must “Youth Up” Europe!”
We told European leaders that young people can be and want to be the driving force to build a better future for Europe, but on the condition that they are provided with the support they need to become actors of change. With stronger political will, more investments in the Youth Employment Initiative and Erasmus+, and coherent policies to support the autonomy of young people, Europe can make young people’s life better.
Carina Autengruber, Vice-President of the European Youth Forum, said: “There are no safety nets in place to protect young people against precariousness and uncertainty, and yet young people are asked to adapt to the changing nature of work and be more flexible. Europe must not lag behind: we must set the social protection bar as high as possible to prevent current shortcoming and growing inequalities from further widening the intergenerational gap.”
A Europe that works for its people, that truly invests in and is committed to social cohesion, is the only possible response to the very same inequalities that undermine trust in the European project, while feeding into increasingly widespread populist, extremist and anti-European narratives.
The joint proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council was the perfect ending to a Social Summit that delivered the promise of a more Social Europe.
The European Youth Forum welcomes this proclamation but strongly calls on European institutions, as much as on national governments, to take this chance to implement concrete measures, and prevent the Pillar from becoming an empty shell. Young people are ready to contribute to shape measures on work-life balance, access to social protection, and the future EU budget.