Look at Youth!
Tomorrow, on 9 May, European Union leaders will gather in Sibiu, Romania for the so-called Sibiu Summit, supposed to discuss the future of our Union.
A new Eurobarometer survey on Youth proves that young people’s three top priorities for the European Union are climate action, education & training and fighting social inequalities. Looking at the agenda of the Sibiu Summit’s discussions, we have to admit our concern.
Therefore, on behalf of millions of young people from all over Europe, the European Youth Forum would like to remind the following to the European Commission and the Heads of State and Government across Europe.
Building the future by keeping repeating the past? What a great idea!
The European Union cannot forget to listen to its youth, especially when discussing its Strategic Agenda for the next five years. That means that building a sustainable Europe that tackles climate change, inequalities and promotes education & training should come first when discussing our future. Debating first on security, borders and economic growth, the standard discussions that European Union has led for decades, is exactly what has led us to the current situation: an unstable and unsustainable Union that excludes its Youth and does not manage to tackle inequalities.
Building a sustainable Europe has to be the pillar of the Strategic Agenda discussions that give directions to our Union. Europe will not achieve any sustainability if topics such as economy or protection are still discussed in priority and independently.
Moreover, we have noticed that the EU still forgets about having any strategy for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. When the European Union claims to have “made a positive and constructive contribution to the development of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, why does it seem to not care about it anymore? When eight of the 28 EU countries will demand decarbonization by 2050 tomorrow at Sibiu, will they be heard?
In parallel to the Summit, a Young Citizens’ Dialogue is being held today in Sibiu. This conference will tackle the future of work and fighting climate change topics. But will the European Commission listen to it? Will the results of these discussions have a chance to reach the table of our leaders? Or will it remain an other tokenistic youthwashing event?
Furthermore, with the European Elections coming this month, we consider it dangerous to move too fast in the Strategic Agenda discussion. Throwing stones in every direction before leaving will not help. Will the different political parties keep the engagements and promises they have taken as part of the Maastricht Debate, focus on Sustainable Europe, Digital Europe and the Future of Europe and the ones gathered in our Vote Comparator?
Dear European leaders, why, for once, can’t you listen and look at us, at the millions of young people striking every week to fix your mistakes? Why can’t you prioritise our legitimate concerns? Why can’t you just stop looking at you and start looking at Youth?