Our Youth: a Top Priority for the Congress

Mathieu Mori recently met with the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel (from Bulgaria) to discuss issues affecting young people. Both the European Union and the Council of Europe share the same concerns regarding the integration of young people within our societies.

The Congress has long understood just how important our youth are when it comes to the future of democracy in our cities and regions. A number of reports on these issues have all stressed that listening to young people, getting them involved in their communities, and offering them access to education, training, and employment makes a significant contribution to the democratic and socio-economic dynamism of their cities and regions.


Whether it is the involvement of young people in local and regional life, children and sustainable cities, the future of rural youth or the social rights of young people, the Congress has made a significant contribution in its area of competence to the strategic thinking of the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations.


Over the last few years, the Congress has experimented with a “young delegates” programming, granting youth representatives the opportunity to participate in a highly open and flexible way within each delegation.


However, this experiment may now be under threat of budget cuts as a result of the financial difficulties facing the Council of Europe and, as a result, the Congress. We must explore all of our budget options  in order to continue and even expand this policy. Getting young people back into the hearts of our democratic institutions is an absolute must.

At the Assembly of European Regions, as coordinator of the youth, culture and education committee and then as Secretary General, Mathieu Mori spent ten years passionately supporting the Assembly’s youth programmes: the Youth Regional Network which contributes to the Assembly’s work, the Eurodyssey programme which allows 18-30 year olds to acquire a first professional experience abroad or the summer academy allowing for discussion between regional politicians and young people.

He will continue to show the same enthusiasm for the youth actions of the Congress.