On Thursday May 9, as a precursor to the Council, young people from Madrid and Catalunya have been invited to take part in a major Youth Debate. The event aims to create a dialogue between young people and policy makers on how to reclaim the future by emancipatory action by, for and of European youth. The debate is being organised by Red Equo Joven (the youth wing of the Spanish Green party EQUO), in cooperation with the EGP, Joves d’Esquerra Verda and FYEG.
In Spain, young people have been hit especially hard by the crisis. Over 50% are unemployed. For Red Equo Joven, these figures represent a lost generation. “By focusing on austerity policies, politicians in Spain, and across Europe, have failed young people,” says Joan Groizard, Red Equo Joven co-spokesperson. “We need a new approach. We can’t afford to lose a whole generation.”
The Youth Debate is an opportunity for young people to discuss the ongoing crisis in Europe with Reinhard Bütikofer, EGP Co-Chair, Karima Delli MEP, Raül Romeva MEP, Mar Garcia Sanz, EGP Committee member and Terry Reintke FYEG Co-Spokesperson. The message will be clear: young people can and will become part of the solution. Young people will make themselves heard and reclaim their right to participate in society!
"It is clear that the current political system has failed us,” continues Groizard. “Empowering young people, so that they are active participants in creating solutions to the crisis, is more important than ever. That is why this Youth Debate is so crucial."
Youth empowerment is a major theme of the Madrid Council. On Saturday May 11, a discussion paper, “Reclaim the Future, Emancipatory Action by, for and of European Youth” will be presented, and voted on. It contains nine concrete proposals that provide perspective and hope for the future.
You can find that paper here. También se puede encontrar la versión en español de la ponencia "Reclamar el futuro, Acción de emancipación, por, para y de la Juventud Europea" aquí (No es una traducción oficial - en caso de duda o aclaración, consulte la versión original en inglés / Not an official translation!).
The official website for the Youth Debate can be found here. You can also follow the debate through the Twitter hashtag #YouthDebate.