Towards structured youth engagement on climate and sustainability in the EU decision-making process (own-initiative opinion)

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Key points

  • The intergenerational aspect of climate and sustainable development policies and implementation mechanisms needs to be reflected in strong meaningful youth engagement at all stages of EU decision-making processes, from the drafting of legislative proposals and initiatives through to implementation, monitoring and follow-up.
  • Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through the European Green Deal requires a new approach to a more inclusive multi-stakeholder governance model that would put young people at the heart of the engagement process and go way beyond ad hoc meetings and mere calls for consultation.
  • The EESC proposes the establishment of Youth Climate and Sustainability Round Tables to be hosted by the EESC in collaboration with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
  • It also proposes the inclusion of a youth delegate in the official EU delegation to UNFCCC COP meetings. In addition, the EESC proposes including a youth delegate as an additional member of the EESC delegation which holds observer status at such events.
  • The EESC will endeavour to amplify the voices of young people and youth organisations through considered inclusion in opinions relating to climate and sustainability, by proactively seeking input from youth representatives and continued invitations to them as speakers at EESC events; it will also request that the same opportunities to be heard are granted to youth representatives in the other EU institutions, for example at the European Parliament.