From the 28th of July until the 2nd of August, more than 50 youth leaders from National Youth Councils and International Youth Organizations met in Alghero, Italy for the third edition of the Southern European Summer University in the framework of the Italian presidency of the EU Council. Organized by our long-lasting partner Forum Nazionale Giovani (FNG), the Italian National Youth Council, this year’s edition was focused on encouraging young people’s access to rights in order to foster their autonomy and participation to social life.
The program of the event began with a welcome speech by representatives of the Forum Nazionale Giovani, the European Youth Forum and the Advisory Council on Youth. All the speakers stressed how important this event was not only in the framework of the Italian Presidency of the EU Council, but also as opportunity for youth leaders all around Europe to meet and discuss with the aim of setting a common strategy, involving both youth organizations and European institutions, to strengthen young people’s access to rights and give them the opportunity to become autonomous and participate more actively in the social and political life. After this introductory part, the participants started working on the topic divided in the three working groups facilitated by members of the FNG Pool of Trainers.
The working groups were set to discuss about the barriers young people face while accessing (or not being able to access!) their rights, and the best practices on how to overcome such barriers; the process of monitoring and sharing of information, mainly regarding the awareness of young people towards their rights and how Member states can ensure a fair access to rights for young people; the role of the EU in the access to rights, meaning how youth organizations can facilitate the young people’s access to their rights (especially the social and economic ones) and what is the role played by EU institutions (member stated and Commission) in this regard.
Three days of brainstorming, discussing and sharing good practices and experiences led to several outcomes and indications that will be used as background documents and inputs for the EU Youth Conference that will be held in Rome in October. The main messages coming out of the event also will feed into the conclusions of the ItalianPresidency on the topic of young people’s access to rights. Stay tuned to know more about this process and its development!
Sebastian Janzon, YEU Vice-President