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Youth in crisis

Youth activists from across Europe act against austerity


Youth in Crisis was a full day conference of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and the Federation of Young European Greens.  Around 200 young people (young activists, students, unionist, green activists and other partners from youth movements and civil society) from all Europe discussed the future of the youth in Europe and with what policy instruments we can counter the various crises of our time.

Green MEPs and the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, listened to the youth proposals and debated with them during the day. Terry Reintke, Co-Spokesperson of FYEG said that "Youth have been hit hard by the multiple crises Europe is facing. During the conference we formulated our own agenda in order to emancipate the youth from the constraints of an economic model that is responsible for these crises." Young people want to change all EU policies, from education to macroeconomics to build a different EU and reclaim their future.

The participants proposed a different educational system focused on creative human development rather than pure economic outcomes. Through such an education, a greater level of democratisation can be reached. More education will shape and green our society, starting with claiming control of the commons and the democratisation of our natural resources.

They also want to build a social Europe. They demand an end to austerity measures and increasing social expenditure as the first step, but also radical changes like a common minimum wage, with work solidarity (sharing time and job) and setting a wage ration (coupling the lowest wage in a company to the highest wage in a company). Housing policies like ensuring access to social housing, stop evictions and speculation over empty houses as well as avoiding social segregation in our cities, combined with key instruments like the Youth Guarantee all over Europe are a must to allow young people to be emancipated.

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Young people also know how to change the EU institutions and how to bring the EU closer to the people. They want a democratic EU, with more accountability and a shift of power in favour of the European Parliament and a direct election of the European Commission. They also want to have a say in monetary policy, with a more democratically accountable European Central Bank; they ask for a clear and transparent regulation of financial markets, the elimination of "too-big-to-fail" banks, cuts to harmful subsidies, an end to tax heavens and the implementation of the Financial transaction tax. See more: