#SeparatedbutUnited - hope of a better future
As the world starts to look towards the social and economic recovery following the global coronavirus pandemic, the lives, rights and wellbeing of a whole generation of young people depends on what comes next. This series of short blog posts on how we build a better future are all written by the Board Members of the European Youth Forum.
Shaping the future without youth
Written by Michael Piccinino
The moment we speak about Covid-19, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the health pandemic or possibly the economic repercussions that this has brought, especially for young people all over the world.
In a video statement that the Board of the European Youth Forum issued last month about the impact of Covid-19 on young people we said, “when it’s time to rebuild, we must not return to business as usual, we need to put people and the planet over profit, equality and sustainability over exploitation.”
It is true, we cannot return to business as usual. However, this will not happen on its own. We need to be active and vocal about what we want for our future. The future will not be different from the past unless we, young people are able to shape our future, unless we are given a seat at the table. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said of the EU’s recovery plan: "More important is that we have a pact with the next generation - that we say: ‘Yes, we have to raise money now and invest it, but we will invest in the European priorities that are so important for you.” (Sourced from Euronews)
If the aim of the recovery package proposed by the Commission is to invest in the European priorities that are important to us young people, who by the way are the generation of the present not of the future, should we not at least have a say on it? Should we not be allowed a seat at the table to voice our opinion on what our priorities are? What we want for the future? The time to rebuild is now, and we young people are ready to carry the responsibility of shaping that future.
Michael first got involved in youth activism at 13 when he first participated in the Maltese National Youth Parliament. From there on he got involved in multiple youth organisations active in Malta and was eventually elected as President of the Maltese Youth Council, where he pushed for the introduction of vote 16 legislation for all elections in Malta, amongst other things. He is a Master’s student reading for a degree in Legal Advocacy and has his own small business. Michael is responsible for the participation portfolio in the Youth Forum and also represents the platform at the Council of Europe’s Advisory Council on youth.