In its own-initiative opinion Towards structured youth engagement on climate and sustainability in the EU decision-making process, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called for:
"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 included a youth delegate in its UNFCCC COP delegation for the first time in 2021 and committed to repeating this experience in the years to come. The EESC youth delegate to COP has a mandate of two years and at the end of each mandate a transparent and open selection process is carried out to designate the new delegate.
Every year, the EESC's mission to UNFCCC COP meetings lasts around five days and usually takes place during the second week of the Conference.
Before the mission
Before the mission, the youth delegate will actively participate in the strategic work of the EESC's recently formed Ad Hoc Group on the UNFCCC COP and in the preparatory work of the delegation.
The youth delegate will also regularly meet and be supported by a youth task force run by the European Youth Forum (YFJ) and Generation Climate Europe (GCE) in cooperation with YOUNGO and possibly other European youth networks. They will work together to bring added value to the EESC's contribution to COP meetings.
During the mission
During the mission, the youth delegate will be a full member of the EESC delegation, being invited to participate in EESC's side-events and having the opportunity to participate in any event attended by the other members of the EESC delegation. They will also have bilateral meetings with different CSOs and representatives, participate in some side events as speaker and follow debates on-site and online.
After the mission
After each mission, the youth delegate will participate in the debriefing of the mission both with the EESC' Ad Hoc Group and the youth task force. Some follow-up meetings could be organised and the youth delegate will be invited to evaluate their experience. At the end of the two-year mandate, an end-of mandate report will be prepared and the youth delegate will be involved in the promotion of the call for the new youth delegate and in their onboarding.
If during the two-year mandate the youth delegate is not able to attend one of the preparatory meetings, a member of the youth task force will replace them. If the youth delegate has to drop out of the programme before the end of the two-year mandate, one of the other candidates on the shortlist will be contacted.
In order to support the youth delegate's participation in meetings before, during and after the missions, the following financial support will be provided:
- reimbursement of their participation in the meetings of the EESC's Ad Hoc Group on the UNFCCC COP;
- reimbursement of their participation in the EESC's missions to UNFCCC COP meetings.
The selection process is undertaken by the EESC in cooperation with the European Youth Forum and Generation Climate Europe.
Can I apply?
As an applicant for the EESC Youth Delegate to COP programme, I must:
- be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application;
- be national and resident of one of the Member States of the European Union;
- have a thorough command of English and if possible of an additional EU language;
- be available for two years: around five hours per month for the preparatory work and meetings plus the active participation in the EESC's annual five-day mission to the UNFCCC COP meetings.
The selection will take into account gender balance, geographical balance, and balance regarding youth organisations to avoid an over-representation of some countries and organisations compared to others.
When do I apply?
The selection process takes place every two years and the next one will open in December 2024.
The starting date for the application period is mid-December and the deadline is mid-January.
If your application is pre-selected and you are in the shortlist of the five final candidates, you will be contacted and invited to an interview. Final results will be published mid-February.
How do I apply?
Fill in the online application form that will be available on this page!