Success of first CESI Youth Camp underlines important role for young members in Trade unions

8 Sep 2013, keywords :

This week, young unionists from all over Europe gathered on the shores of Lake Balaton in Hungary to take part in the first CESI Youth Camp. Participants came together to engage and debate with experts on European youth policies. The various nationalities and ages (ranging between 18 and 35) meant that CESI heard the issues from those people directly affected: young Europeans. What was clear from the time spent discussing European policies is that young unionists have something to say and actively want to play a strong role in the processes which develop such policies. CESI intends to listen.

Success of first CESI Youth Camp underlines important role for young members in Trade unions

The Youth Camp was opened by László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, who explained, via video message, the recent action undertaken at the European level to combat youth unemployment.

Mr Andor’s contribution was followed by an expert-led debate, providing opinions into how these policies should be implemented in practice on the ground. Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Economist at the European Policy Centre focused on growth as the only effective means of addressing current problems for young people, alongside mobility and entrepreneurism.

Jerry den Haan from the European Youth Forum offered an expert youth perspective, with experience of meeting and discussing these issues with young people throughout Europe. Mr den Haan recognised that implementing these policies would be a long process but underlined the need for individual countries to take responsibility in ensuring their effectiveness. Workshop 2

Wolfgang Müller, Director at the German Federal Employment Agency offered words of caution on current calls for an EU solution to national problems. Mr Müller stressed the need for a national level political consensus to be achieved first to resolve the problems facing young people.

Following our expert roundtable, the young unionists attended 3 different workshops looking at how young people can get more involved, through CESI, through the European Union and through social media.

Sharing their own national perspectives and experiences, participants looked at ways of making youth policies more inclusive of young people. CESI itself has much to learn from its young members who offered concrete proposals on how young people can play a stronger role in trade unions.

Secretary General Klaus Heeger, who offered opening and closing remarks to the Youth Camp said: “Trade unions cannot survive without young people: as cliché as it sounds young people are the future. Now it is for CESI to listen more closely to what young people have to say and for us to act on this as far as we can.”

The closing of the Youth Camp saw participants elect Matthäus Fandrejewski as its speaker on youth related issues. The nomination will have to be confirmed by the CESI Presidium at its next meeting.