European Youth Work Convention 2015
The EGG, Brussels
30 April 2015
- Check against delivery -
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here. I hope you had good discussions at this convention. The suggestions and recommendations in this Declaration you have just presented me with clearly show how committed you are.
This has been an excellent start for European Youth Week. Let me thank the three Belgian Communities for organising such a great event.
Youth work can play a crucial role in the personal and social development of young people and help them find their place in the labour market and society as a whole. As Commissioner responsible for youth, it is my ambition to see young people of all social and cultural backgrounds participate fully in civic and democratic life.
This was a priority for me from the start of the mandate. But with the terrible terrorist attacks earlier this year, I am now even more determined to help tackle the risks related to joblessness, social exclusion and alienation.
Too many young people in Europe today cannot look forward to leading an independent and fulfilling life; their future remains precarious. Young people have been hit hard by the crisis. For a large number of them, the transition from education to employment has become more difficult. Too many are at risk of poverty or exclusion. Many feel that their views are not taken up by politicians. And as the data we are analysing for your forthcoming EU Youth Report show, more than half feel that in their country, the crisis has marginalised and excluded young people from economic and social life. There is a serious risk that a large number will drift away from society.
This is unacceptable. We need to do much more to support young people – and youth work can play a vital role in this.
First, we need to help them find their place in the job market. As you know, reviving economic growth and job creation in Europe is one of the top political priorities of this Commission. That is why we will propose a package of actions this year to support Member States in developing a skilled workforce and in helping people find work, especially the most vulnerable groups – such as young unemployed people and the long term unemployed.
I will work to ensure that these initiatives highlight just how much youth work helps to facilitate the transition from education to employment. In this context, I look forward to seeing the report of our European expert group which is currently looking at how youth work can help to address the challenges young people are facing.
Second, we need to tackle the marginalisation and radicalisation of young people. And I am convinced that while action at the local level is crucial, Europe can make a difference here. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, European Education Ministers and I have committed to strengthen civic values through education.
This is of course something that does not only happen in the classroom. Youth work clearly also has a role to play. It helps young people to understand and accept cultural and religious differences, to overcome alienation, and to create a sense of belonging and inclusion. Let me point out that we do not expect youth work to compensate for what other players in society have failed to deliver. But given the threat of radicalisation, we must use all the tools at our disposal to tackle it.
Youth work can be very effective in this:
- by offering opportunities to become engaged
- by helping to prevent exclusion
- by allowing us to target specific groups at risk
- by helping to combat the negative perception of specific groups of people among the general public,
- and by fostering civic, social and relational competences which help young people to become responsible and open-minded members of our diverse society.
Therefore, youth work will be an important part of the actions I am going to propose at EU level to support young people:
- First, when presenting the new EU priorities for education and training later this year, I will lay the ground for us to develop a fresh strand of activity around inclusive education, diversity and civic education. I want to see activities promoting equity, social cohesion and citizenship visibly reinforced – and youth work has a vital role to play here.
- Second, I will ensure that we make more targeted use of Erasmus+, the EU funding programme for cooperation in education, training, youth and sport and Creative Europe, the EU programme supporting the culture and creative sectors.
- Third, I want to see education, together with other strands of my portfolio, such as youth policy and youth work or grass-root sports, to have its place in strategic priorities and political initiatives the Commission is preparing to prevent and tackle terrorism, such as the 'European Agenda on Security' which we adopted this week.
I will also use the remainder of the European Youth Week events in Brussels – where I will address different audiences – to ask stakeholders for their views and ideas on how to reach out to young people from all backgrounds and help them participate in our societies.
To conclude and to react to your Declaration, let me recall that the EU Youth Strategy recognises the value of youth work and fully supports its development. We need a firm political commitment to pursue our shared strategic objectives for youth – for which you have laid the ground.
What now matters is to keep to our existing EU framework for cooperation in the youth field!
I look forward to working on this with you over the coming years.
Read this essay on the Role of Students in Society !
Today’s youth is tomorrow’s nation. And today’s youth are our students. Students do pay a vital role in the society and how a society is shaped generation after generations. The formative period of an individual is during the student phase and hence it is known to be the crucial time of life. What is being sown today is what shall be reaped later.
Image Courtesy : wesleylamar.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/0Students.jpg
Education is where a student gets formed from. Education is in-fact character building in students. It through education that he understands the facts and figures and how things ought to be sorted and what is the current scenario and many other relevant important factors. Based on these factors are what he redesigns his thoughts and ideas and this is what helps him in due course when being an adult.
Education enables the student to understand within himself his strengths and freedom in his life. Education starts not only at school, but from every home. A child learns from his home, school and then from the society and thus every individual that a kid interacts, influences his life later on.
When students are being treated with due respect and responsibility, they have also lived up to be responsible and respect in return to the society. When being recognized, they have the acceptance to work for a better society through hardships rather than giving up in between.
Today, there are many activities that students take initiatives for the betterment of the society. We have seen that students of the younger classes taking steps to plant tress and thus promoting awareness programs on protecting tress and the importance of planting trees for the coming generations, rather than felling trees. There are activities where students promote for the awareness of old age and rescue shelters. College going students take the initiatives to help the old and abandoned people on the streets and get them to a rescue shelter or homes that provide proper food, clothing and medication for them.
Apart from these , when there is a natural calamity in any part of the globe, schools across the globe contribute to the affected people and place what they can and this kind of programs would help realize young children the importance of brotherhood. At schools there are the NCC camps and Scout troops that have been trained and in such situations they have been of immense help and have done real commendable services to the nation.
Apart from services, we have political arena where students are seen. With the right kind of motivation and guidance, they could become the most trustworthy, most accepted and sensible leaders for tomorrow. However, if exploited, they could become the worst and corrupt leaders. It is we who bring the good and bad out in our students.
We have seen how the youth stand as one against the negative aspects like corruption, violence, terrorism and fight for the peace and security of the nation. However we see that there is a lack of patriotism in the youth slowly coming up which destroys the harmony and peace of the nation.
Students act as bridges between two generations. They need to realize and understand the happening of today and eliminate the bad and extract the good and implement for tomorrow. For this understanding , the right education with the right involvement of the happening is a requirement and the education system should see to it that are being equipped for a better understanding rather than classifying education as elementary, secondary or higher education. The syllabus and the activities should be framed in such a manner that it is interactive and interesting so that students understand and signify the importance of what they learn.
If we do not mould our youth today, we may have to regret tomorrow as tomorrow’s nation is in the hands of our upcoming youth and they in turn would pass on what they have acquired in a better format to the forth coming generations, thus enabling the nation to grow in all sectors and make is one among the most powerful and harmonious nations of tomorrow.
Set an example for your young child and he will make sure that he lives up to your expectations for tomorrow. When every family sets an example, it would grow into the society and thus grow out to the nation. So let us join hands now for a better tomorrow through our youth who are budding students now. India needs us and we should stand for HER….