Involving young people is a key factor for creating a sustainable perspective and providing a good quality of life in the Danube Region. This was the unanimous conclusion from the 7th Danube Participation Day.
On the 21st of October 2020, over 150 participants took part in the 7th edition of the Danube Participation Day to discuss ways forward on youth participation. Thereby, Stella Arneri from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds in Croatia and Jean-Pierre Halkin, European Commission – DG Regio, stressed the role of young people in co-creating a sustainable and resilient future in Europe. Likewise, Claudia Singer (EUSDR Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity & Cooperation”) and Jürgen Schick (EUSDR Priority Area 9 “People & Skills”) referred to the achievements on youth involvement of the EU Danube Strategy and reiterated that these achievements need to be developed further.
Making young people visible at all levels
In the thematic plenary sessions, Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity & Cooepration” presented the draft Guidance Paper for Youth Participation. The interactive presentation aimed at introducing the state of play of the paper and collect perspectives from the audience to adapt and finalise the document. In doing so, the Guidance Paper provides recommendations for establishing youth participation in the Danube Strategy and beyond based on the experience from young people, youth organisations, EUSDR representatives and further stakeholders from the Danube Region. A key dimension of the document are the three factors of youth involvement, including capacity building, communication, and cooperation.
Read more on the Guidance Paper for Youth Participation here.
The Danube Youth Network presented its initiative and showed how local youth organisations can work together across the Danube Region. The network is an initiative funded by the States Ministry of Baden-Württemberg and supports bottom-up processes aiming at mutual learning and capacity building for young people to engage in regional development. The Danube Youth Network is a pilot initiative to boost sustainable development and social inclusion and create a long-term perspective for young people in the Danube Region.
Finally, the European Commission presented the European Youth Manifesto. The manifesto was created for young people and by young people in the course of the 30-years-Interreg campaign. Within this process, the European Commission (DG REGIO) drafted a document that outlines important areas of intervention and recommendations to improve Interreg programmes and European Territorial Cooperation in line with young people’s needs.
Future of youth involvement in the Danube Region
During the working group sessions, all participants had the chance to discuss possible ways forward for youth participation in the Danube Region. The sessions provided the opportunity for an intergenerational exchange along environment and sustainability, education and skills, communication, governance or cross-border cooperation. The working groups were not only aiming at defining key challenges, but also which steps could and should be taken in order to strengthen youth involvement.
In the following dialogue between Mirna Šostarko from the Danube Youth Network and Frantisek Kolocany from the National Coordination team in Slovakia both stressed the importance to keep on working on sustainable solutions and support for young people. Thereby, Mirna Šostarko pointed out that young people should not only be seen as the “future”, but most of all as key partners for the present.
Furthermore, the topic of supporting youth participation was also reaffirmed in the Joint Statement of Ministers responsible for the implementation of the EUSDR from the 22nd of October 2020. Against this background, the cooperation on youth participation will be continued and pushed forward.
The 7th Danube Participation Day was organised by EUSDR Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity & Cooperation”, the Danube Civil Society Forum, the Agapedia Foundation, and the Danube Youth Network. The event was hosted and supported by the Croatian Presidency of the EU Danube Strategy and financed by the States Ministy of Baden-Württemberg, the Danube Transnational Programme, the City of Vienna, and Foster Europe.
- Programme 7th Danube Participation Day
- 7th Danube Participation Day
- Draft Guidance Paper for Youth Participation
- Manifesto for Young People by Young People to Shape the European Cooperation Policy, European Commission-DG REGIO
- Danube Youth Network (Instagram)
- Joint Statement of Ministers responsible for the implementation of the EUSDR | 22/10/2020