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

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

Practical information

  1. Composition of the study group
  2. Administrator / Assistant in charge: Stella BROZEK-EVERAERT / Luca PITRONE
  3. Contact

Background

Scope and objectives

This opinion will look into the possibilities to engage with young people in a formal way at institutional level. It will provide the building blocks for a new structured approach to youth engagement at EU level and propose concrete recommendations to the EESC on how to better integrate young people in its working processes, in order to help voice their message and thus make the EESC message fairer in an intergenerational context.

Moreover, in fostering ways for young people to be structurally engaged in climate and sustainability policies, the opinion will prepare the ground for their necessary implication in the co-design and implementation of recovery plans, which must contain strong climate and sustainability measures. 

Context

As the SDGs are now to be implemented via the European Green Deal, this should in principle open the debate on a paradigmatic shift towards a more participatory model of multi-stakeholder governance for sustainable development. Young people should be part of this new governance model and should be enabled to engage in the decision-making process at EU level in a structured and formal way going beyond mere consultation and ad hoc meetings.

The current global crisis caused by the pandemic of COVID-19 has clearly proven the ability of governments to take dramatic measures to mitigate an existential threat, as well as people's ability, at least in the short term, to adapt to new restricted lifestyles imposed by these measures. 

Importantly, there is serious scientific speculation that COVID-19 might be connected to the climate crisis and the related loss in biodiversity

The opinion will contribute to the reflection on post-crisis recovery by providing concrete recommendations for a comprehensive strategy on youth engagement which could be a blueprint for enhanced public participation in climate and sustainability matters.