Yuste Foundation Highlights the Importance of Young People in Europe’s Future

Sara Durán Vázquez, Director-General of the Youth Institute of Extremadura, defended the role of young people in building the future of Europe because European youth “wants to have the leading role in such an important process, we want our future to lie in our hands, not in the hands of others”. This was expressed during the opening of the webinar “Youth and the Future of Europe”, organised by Yuste Foundation as part of the cycle of meetings “Guadalupe Destino”. (14/05/2021)

Durán Vázquez recalled that Europe wants to give young people a lot of importance in this year of debates, so at least 30% of the people who participate in the different panels will be young. In her view, “it is an achievement and an opportunity that must be seized for the youth to have a voice and be heard”.

She added that despite the projects launched by Europe in favour of young people, such as Erasmus+, the European Solidarity Corps and the Youth Guarantee Scheme, “This collective has had a less active role because it has always been a mere spectator and a recipient and has only been taken into account tangentially”, she affirmed.

Finally, Sara Durán highlighted some of the issues that young people bring to the Youth Institute of Extremadura, such as the need for a green and sustainable Europe, with actions against climate change ensuring sustainability and the implementation of specific youth programmes in the European Union that are adapted to all these complaints.

The President of the Extremaduran Council of the European Movement and former Member of the European Parliament, Alejandro Cercas, also spoke, explaining that the Member States of the European Union do not want Europe to tackle the issues of youth, culture and education “because they are the great legitimation of the States; there is great resistance for anyone to discuss the importance that these programmes give to state cohesion”, he explained.

“We must be aware that this is a first magnitude problem and there will be no solution for the youth problem if there is no solution for the country’s economy, if it does not grow and if there are no quality jobs for young people”, Cercas claimed. Therefore, he said, “we have to take advantage of the projects of the European Union’s Recovery Plan to bring young people forward and we have to make great efforts in the education system”.

The webinar “Youth and the Future of Europe” continued with the presentation by the director of the Extremaduran office in Brussels, Patricia Núñez Cortés, who encouraged participation in the platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe because “If this is one of the possibilities we have to participate directly in the decision-making phase of the Union, we must take advantage of it”, she said.

In this sense, she explained that young people are organising and uniting themselves through pan-European movements so that “their voice become stronger and to have the relevance that the young sector deserves when expressing their opinion at the Conference”, she concluded.

Finally, the professor of the University of Extremadura and member of the Alumni Network of Yuste, Enrique Hernández Díez, spoke, and said that Europe listens to its young people because, despite not having its own competences in youth, the Union takes responsibility for promoting the participation of young people. “The European Union considers that the participation of young people in Europe, from the local to the global level, is a matter of general interest because the participation of youth organisations, for example in the design of the 2030 Agenda, has been crucial”, he concluded.

Cycle of Meetings Guadalupe Destino. Holy Year of Guadalupe

Yuste Foundation organises the cycle of meetings “Guadalupe Destino” in order to promote dialogue on current issues related to governance, science, history and culture. It organises various activities to this end with the participation of personalities, academics and experts in the field of politics, science, history and culture.

The main objective of these events is to promote and energise local culture and tourism, through the recovery, valuation and dissemination of cultural heritage, the promotion of religious initiatives as a way of pilgrimage and the strengthening of ties with Ibero-America.

Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a series of debates and discussions involving citizens that will enable people across Europe to share their ideas and contribute to shaping our common future.

This is the first conference of its kind: it is a major pan-European democratic exercise that offers a new public forum for an open, inclusive and transparent debate with citizens around a number of key priorities and challenges.

All activities can be watched through a multilingual digital platform where EU citizens are invited to contribute to shaping their own and Europe-wide future. The platform, which is available in 24 languages, will allow any citizen of the Union to disseminate and exchange ideas and views at online events.

Conference Platform: