By the EESC Civil Society Organisations' Group

In July, the Civil Society Organisations' Group (CSO Group) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) co-organised a youth seminar entitled Youth under pressure - Safeguarding youth civil society. The seminar followed on from previous webinars on youth civic participation organised by the CSO Group in 2021 and 2022.

In an exchange between youth and institutional representatives, including the guest speakers Dr Sergey Lagodinsky (Member of Parliament, Greens/EFA), Alessia Valentino (Legal Officer, European Commission), and Christian Moos (member of CSO Group and rapporteur for the EESC's upcoming opinion on the Defence of Democracy package), the seminar addressed the tendencies and specific violations of youth civic spaces across Europe.

The event highlighted the urgent need for coordinated civic dialogue at national and European level, increased funding for youth organisations and inclusive participation of all young people. It also stressed the need for mechanisms to protect activists, meaningful follow-up to youth dialogues, and addressing the increasing restrictions on civil society organisations. Despite the differing perspectives and the acknowledgement that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for addressing concerns across Member States, all speakers and participants collectively agreed on the urgent need to protect and empower youth civil society for the continued vitality of democracies.

Read the complete list of conclusions and recommendations from the seminar at: https://europa.eu/!DFFpPj