In the opening of our Regional Cooperation’s last issue, I was talking about an urging situation we are all facing – as we always do, also because we are now used to link our tentative of sharing solutions between our two Funds –. My words were about the high temperatures and hot, I am sure that you all are feeling it. And I am sure that you are dealing with similar issues.
Here in Italy, in addition, we recently faced also an increase of Covid19 cases. This virus became aggressive, but I do not want to re-open the scientific discussion with which we had to live for months in the past years. Indeed, I would like to concentrate on another, maybe worst, effect of the pandemic. Unfortunately, we are still talking about the economic impact of Covid-19 on youth: considering employment and social development in Europe, in 2022 youth people are still the most affected by job losses. Therefore, while on the one hand we have to fight for our planet, on the other – or maybe in parallel – we still have a lot of work to do for our youth.
And, by looking at the selected theme for this month, that we elaborated with you months ago, talking about priorities, youth goals and changing societies is more urgent than ever, as if new priorities were added every day.
Talking about European Youth Goals, they are all related to our daily routine/work. I read with pleasure all the Projects’ contributions and I have to tell you that I agree with their interpretation: the majority of the Projects listed the 11 EYGs, while the general thought is that we don’t really need to add new goals. Rather, we should ‘expand’ some of them, using one verb I read scrolling the articles and that I find appropriate. Depending on the Project considered, and therefore on the specific countries involved, some EYGs are more relevant than others. Sometimes the most urgent is related to mental health, other times to the needs of the so-called ‘rural youth’. That is to say that analysing them in detail and one by one could take us away from the general consideration that, instead, I wanted to do.
I don’t want to annoy you with complicated speeches, which I leave to experts, but I believe that in some way these objectives are linked on a general level to the problem I mentioned above, namely the loss of job and the economic consequences of the pandemic. And it is precisely for this reason that, in my opinion, there is still a lot to do. This is why I agree with those who argue that it is not necessary to add other objectives or priorities but, on the contrary, we need to try to work more on the challenges that we already have to face today.
The 2022 edition of the Employment and Social Development in Europe (ESDE), helps to identify and underpin some needs related to that, reporting that possible explanations of youth’s slow recovery are linked to high share of fixed-term contracts and difficulties in finding a job after leaving school, university or training… something we’ve been talking about for some time, don’t you think?
I think yes, since this is the main area of intervention of our Fund for Youth Employment. And it really heartens me to see that we are all, still, on the same path. After all, we and you are all doing a lot to keep up with the European Year of Youth. I have to recognise that even the ending Projects (you will read about it), did their best until the very end, and as I am always saying, I am convinced they will go on with those purposes.
And I have to tell you that I am glad that also the representatives of the FMO are actively participating in several events, demonstrating that the Fund can go beyond words. You will read something within the next issue about that 😊
Last but not least, before ending, we are almost done with our national networking meetings, which hopefully have been for the Projects an occasion for knowledge exchanges and further hints. I really hope that, since the whole Fund is expecting to find, as a result of those reunions, the nominated ‘Testimonials’ representing youth. But, this is just an anticipation….
After all, as our friend Tom is saying in the next pages, cooperation, even in the ‘world’ of NEETs is more important than ever. We don’t need «silence, stasis». And it is important to see the efforts, as Tom says: «There is so much good work being done by all of you, with your pertinent Projects in this sector financed by EEA and Norway Grants Funds for Youth Employment».
And related to that, and since I always like to bring some positivity and good vibes, I am happy to announce that, in August, something is arriving. We are preparing a very special issue dedicated, again, to youth, on the occasion of the International Youth Day, which is celebrated on the 12th of August.
Our goal, if possible, is always to give voice to youth, not to consider them just an ‘area of intervention’, or a ‘target groups’. Therefore, I don’t want to anticipate anything, but I can just tell you: stay tuned! You could have some nice readings during your vacation.
And about holidays….. considering the period, I take the opportunity to wish you a good continuation of your summer.
Gian Luca Bombarda
The Fund Director