14 February 2022
Three central themes (work, environment and education) animated the afternoon Workshop of "Incontriamoci a Bologna" (Let’s meet in Bologna), the third appointment of the cycle of meetings dedicated to the Conference on the Future of Europe. As in the previous meetings in Venice and Milan, the ideas and opinions of the participants of the Bologna meeting will feed the wealth of proposals collected on the EU Commission's multilingual digital platform dedicated to the Conference.
"What actions can the EU put in place to ...?" was the initial question posed to the youth connected via videoconference from all over the region thanks to the Universities of Bologna and Modena-Reggio Emilia, the "Youz Emilia-Romagna" participatory path, the EuRoPe Project of the Municipality of Ravenna, the Assembly of Emilia-Romagna boys and girls, the Young European Federalists, and the Europe Direct Centre of the Emilia-Romagna Region.
An ad-hoc working group was created for each theme. In order to encourage the discussion and the ideas and proposals for identifying concrete actions, each theme was broken down into sub-questions. For example, for the work-related theme, two sub-questions focused on how to combat all forms of discrimination, poverty and social exclusion, and create new quality jobs; for the environment, how to improve environmental quality and health and develop a sustainable economic model; and achieve climate neutrality in 2050; for education, how to foster creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and offer all young Europeans the same opportunities for education and training.
The numerous ideas and proposals put forward by participants, expressed with post-it notes on the virtual boards created for the occasion, emerged upon conclusion of the Workshop.
The young participants in the group dedicated to the work-related theme, for example, underlined the importance of training, calling for professional courses during their studies and free language courses for those who want to work in an EU Country other than their own. Support for female employment to combat gender inequality and the promotion by schools of paid part-time jobs for students over 16 are some of the ideas put forward.
On the environmental front, the working group called for support for preservation and development of parks and green areas, more information and awareness-raising on the environment, measures to encourage a re-use economy and discourage polluting economic activities and intensive livestock farming, better use of European funds for environmental protection and creation of a European railway network.
The working group on education called, among other things, for greater coordination of the various national education systems to harmonise the single European system, measures to shorten the distance between the world of work and education and to encourage student exchanges and mobility. Last but not least, strengthening the contents of the programmes in a 'European' sense.Let’s meet in , Conference on the Future of Europe