- Under the motto “The commitment of youth to global action” the UN aims to emphasize the key role of young people in improving national and international political and social processes
- The health crisis representing a loss of 25 million jobs and the climate emergency are two of the challenges this population faces
- Thanks to the Finnova Foundation, a total of 400 young people have been able to improve professionally and train in European affairs, using European funds
- The Finnova Foundation participates in two European projects YES and YOUEUROPE, where young people debate the future of the EU
Brussels, 12/08/2020– Today is the International Youth Day, a date that commemorates the importance of youth participation through actions and initiatives in building a better future. This 2020, the United Nations has especially reiterated the global commitment that this part of the population has in the current challenges of the Covid-19, climate change and political and social responsibility.
There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 35 in the world, which represents the largest population throughout history. Due to the health crisis, 25 million jobs are expected to be lost, with this third of the world’s population being the most vulnerable and economically affected. In particular, countries such as Spain have not used 14 billion euros of European funds from 2014-2020 for social integration and work for young people under 30 within the Youth Guarantee framework. This is why the Finnova Foundation, a European leader in the support and training of young people offers them the opportunity to receive professional training through its learning by doing methodology within its headquarters in the European quarter of Brussels, Valencia and Seville.
Since 2012, the Finnova Foundation has trained a total of 400 young people in European affairs, emphasizeing international training programs that will facilitate their incorporation into the labour market. Natalia Cediel, one of the young trainees currently based in Brussels at the Department of Communication and Translation through the Spanish Youth Guarantee Programme, says that “the internship at the Fundación Finnova is a constant learning experience in my field, a professional immersion that fits my situation and many young people like me who have finished their studies during the Covid-19 crisis”. In addition to this declaration, Catalina Mejías, who is doing her internship in the same department, assures that “having the opportunity to work in a situation like the current one in Brussels has been a lifesaver for me and my professional future, since after the State of Alarm was declared I have had to return home after 5 years, just when I was trying to be independent”.
Another challenge in which young people have been involved is that of climate emergency. Currently, this is one of the most commented and debated intergenerational issues. Since 2019, tens of thousands of young students have taken the streets protesting and committed to the cause. Even these funds previously mentioned in Spain would have been used to fight climate change, through new urban waste management, water reuse and the use of renewable energies. For this reason, the Finnova Foundation continues to advocate for innovation in the field of the environment and climate change. It trains young people to make a proper use of these economic resources that they have at their disposal and ignore, due to the poor management of this money by the public sector.
The Finnova Foundation provides training for young people in European funding systems and mentoring in project presentation, including European Commission programmes such as LIFE (focused on climate change), and Horizon 2020 (involved with the Green Pact). José Antonio Troyano, philologist in the Department of Communication, says that the Introduction to European Funding course “has helped me to know and put into practice knowledge about real problems that the European Union is trying to eradicate through programmes such as LIFE. Thanks to this training, I will know how to carry out professional projects on which I have always wanted to embark”
Because of these crises, the European Union has recently agreed on the biggest leap in its budgetary model, since it has established the multiannual financial framework 30 years ago and doubled the resources allocated to cohesion. The 27 partners of the Union, unanimously, have agreed to establish a reactivation fund to alleviate the economic damage of the Covid-19 endowed with 750 billion euros and a financial framework for 2021-2027 of more than a billion euros. Spain will receive 140 billion euros, of which 72 billion will be a non-refundable aid. The reform plan to be presented from Spain to access these funds will give priority to the digital and green transition as well as to the training of students and workers.
Today, political and social responsibility on the part of young people is more than ever a necessity where dialogue is in the first place. That is why, within the European context, raising awareness of the civil population (especially young Eurosceptics) is promoted by encouraging strategic engagement with the media; helping to make their voice heard. According to official data from a Eurobarometer survey, youth participation has increased by 50% more than in 2014, when only 28% participated.
The Finnova Foundation is committed to the involvement of European youth in the political and social life of Europe against Euroscepticism. For instance, the recently approved project “Youth Empowerment for Solidarity” (YES) within the “Europe for Citizens” programme. The proposal emphasises the priority of young people participation through an initiative covering the exchange of ideas between young people from 7 different European cities. This project will promote the social, cultural and political integration of young people in the construction and decision-making processes of the EU, by dealing with basic issues such as education or European values.
“YES” is not the only project that Finnova has carried out to promote young people proactivity within the “Europe for Citizens” programme. “YOUROPE: joining paths to build a better perception of Europe” focuses on the importance of youth for the present and future of Europe. Through a network of 8 European cities, the main goal is to fight against Eurosceptic rhetoric, encouraging its participants to open a dialogue and developing inclusive pro-European rhetoric at a local level.
The motto “Youth Engagement for Global Action” promoted by the United Nations seeks to highlight the duty of young people at the local, national and international level. From the Finnova Foundation, the enrichment of these practices becomes a reality thanks to their participation and innovation emerging by conducting these new social projects. All of this by young people willing to contribute to the creation of sustainable policies, achieving a joint collaboration that defends the importance of international cooperation.
About the Finnova Foundation
European Foundation for the funding of Innovation. It is a European foundation based in Brussels whose objectives are to promote public-private cooperation through innovation to address social challenges such as employment, training, entrepreneurship, UN ODS, the circular economy, etc. Finnova organizes the Startup Europe Awards, an initiative of the European Commission and the Finnova Foundation, to recognize the best European startups in the social field. http://finnova.eu/