Dear Youth Employment Family,
Another summer has passed, but how many differences comparing to a “normal” holiday season.
And how many aspects of our life have changed and will keep changing, both at personal and working level.
I may seem repetitive, but unfortunately the period we are facing is not only still ongoing, it seems we will have to cohabit with those circumstances for quite longer in the next future.
During the summer months many countries have tried to limit the anti-Covid impositions and restrictions: human being is guided by nature, and each country is showing resilience among the actual challenges and general uncertainties. However, we are not out of danger, unfortunately not yet.
The incredible is how much we still can do, not only to avoid worsening of the pandemic, but also to promote some good actions resulting from our activities: as often happens, our work is the reflection of what we are willing to do to contribute in our small way to change the world, at least the one limited to our daily realities, raising spirits.
The EEA and Norway Grants proved one more time that we can do it. Despite the actual challenge, the contribution to reducing social and economic disparities in Europe and to strengthen relations between the donor countries and 15 beneficiary countries in Northern, Central and Southern Europe has been further supported: a second call for proposals has been launched the 1st of September with additional €11.5 million made available towards new transnational projects.
The focus on transnational cooperation, indeed, reflects the view that unemployment among youth is a common European challenge and common European solutions should therefore be explored. In assuring these priorities of the call please also remember that we all know that engineering and computing, or green and/or care professions are important and expanding, but do not forget people and culture, these sectors also could be investigated in order to increase job creation and reduce unemployment.
This path is perfectly in line with the EU priorities, and particularly with the European Commission’s call for proposals titled “Establishing and testing integrated interventions aimed at supporting people in (the most) vulnerable situations” (https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en&callId=603&furtherCalls=yes).
The call, financed under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” 2014-2020, wants to establish and enhance cooperation among various organisations (authorities and non-governmental organisations) providing cash benefits, delivering personalised social services, providing labour market activation measures and to test its implementation.
Why mentioning this? Because this EC call could be a great occasion for you dear colleagues pumping hearts of our Youth Employment programme implementation. As you know current implementing Lead and Beneficiary partners, are not allowed to apply for our new call, it became a must for us to participate to this call. I am sure our donors will appreciate your efforts in bringing our YE experience in further project developed via the EU assistance of the above-mentioned call, thus to assure “our YE voice” within this EaSI programme and create the necessary synergy. Certainly we know that our Donors, the EEA and Norway Grant will continue to further support our YE regional programme and it is with pleasure I am anticipating that some surprises are under analysis and more likely after next spring further extended support could be made available under the YE Fund programme. Keep working and assure your contribution is not only valuable but also marketable!
Furthermore, our Irish friend Thomas Mc Grath says, and as you will have the chance to read, Multilateralism will be a key to global health and economic recovery after Covid-19: «Responses to the virus in many parts of the world have seen a momentous shift from competition to cooperation, from individualism to group endeavour and from privatised to public and state means of working together. The crisis is an argument for closer cooperation, stronger international structures, more flexible and robust supply chains, and lower barriers – for goods and people – between partners. The crisis is rehabilitating the idea of a global community, not undermining it».
And, as remembered by our Spanish friend Iván Martín, there are already in Europe some examples of inspiring practices which could reflect, or start to implement and concretise, what above mentioned: «The Youth Employment Fund, with its 25 transnational projects seems to be a natural setting to apply such a systematic best practice approach. The YE projects involving almost 200 partners in 18 countries adopt many different approaches on youth employment promotion, and a few of them are even focused on knowledge production and cross-country learning. Another 6 or 7 projects for a total of €11.5 will be selected in early 2021 precisely in the fields of “innovation and exploration, transfer of know-how and good practice, analysis and research”».
What else? We, as Family, as Fund for Youth Employment, are on the good and right path: each project is doing efforts in trying to find the best solutions for their specific territories and target groups. Our Mag is a reflection of that, and we are looking forward to seeing the first results of his “brother” Regional Cooperation.
We, as working human beings, are doing the main part, we are the main responsible, through our daily actions, of the future.
So far you all have proved that it is worth trying. Your contributions here bring some positiveness in this world that, despite affected by a global pandemic, is trying to survive and go on with new, strong solutions for the “target group” of the future: youth.
Enjoy our 8th issue of our Mag, which is full of interesting hints towards reflections.
The FO Director,
Gian Luca Bombarda