For the FuturEU competition, promoted by CIVICA, me and my three team members (Ludovico Campagnolo, Filippo Aloisi and Giorgia Ferrari), all coming from the Politics and Policy Analysis course from Bocconi, flew to Berlin to participate in the Semifinals, hosted by the Hertie School and the Jacques Delors centre.
The main aim of the contest was to present in front of a jury an idea of a policy proposal that could help shape the future of the European young people, hopefully providing a fresh new perspective to the ongoing debate.
Us, like all our fellow groups, in our proposal mainly focused on the role of young people in the labour market. We wanted to investigate the employment perspectives we could face as future workers in a quite complex environment.
Our idea, called “EU for Youth”, aims at empowering NEETs through European Mobility.
During the last decade, the EU became aware of the rising number of inactive young people, namely the NEETs. Their lack of involvement in society makes them often invisible to policymakers, and domestic measures to manage the issue have limited effectiveness.
The mobility program we propose, if coupled with financial incentives, could push these individuals out of their condition.
It could eventually become an EU flagship policy, not only by better matching EU-wide labor supply and demand but also by fostering European integration for present and future European youth.
We joined the Semifinals with another group of classmates of ours (Allegra Semenzato, Benedetta Coraglia, Federica Bellato and Carolina Guerra), who went straight to the finals and eventually won the competition.
Their policy proposal titled "This time I've voted but am I represented?” had a slightly different focus, addressing the underrepresentation of young Europeans through the adoption of youth quotas.
Even if they were still focusing on young people, their main goal was not to boost the options for future career paths in the labour market for these people, but instead they managed to find a solution to increase the political representativeness and consequently participation of active young members in the European institutions.
This in order to help break the structural barriers that prevent youth from playing a pivotal role in politics.
Specifically, their proposal calls for the introduction of youth quotas in the European Parliament to deal with the issues of an ageing population and the lack of youth representation in European institutions.
This is what mainly made me start thinking of a basic, although crucial in my opinion, problem: we usually tend to focus so much on what the market has to offer us as newly graduates, but we rarely consider the impact of an increase in decision making participation.
More interactive processes could shape differently the context and the scenario into which we live and act, as well as work.
It could be that, by closely intervening into this aspect of the European system, some broader and more massive changes could take place, providing people with real and better opportunities.
Events like the FuturEU are situations where people from different backgrounds gather and share their views on what concrete actions should be taken to shape our tomorrow. This is what I consider myself lucky for.