President of the European Youth Forum
2016 marks 20 years since the foundation of the European Youth Forum, when the three existing European youth platforms of the time merged.
In 20 years a lot has changed: Many of us young Europeans have more opportunities than before, such as access to quality education and increased mobility. In an interconnected, technologically advanced world we can communicate more effortlessly than ever: the world has become smaller. In this paradoxical world, however, we also have fewer opportunities than our parents. Unemployment is way too high amongst young people and our rights are not upheld: too many young people are still discriminated against, for example, in the labour market.
Meanwhile, the recognition of the European Youth Forum as the voice of young people has never been higher and we now proudly represent 100 member organisations. The ongoing strive for youth rights has over the years seen many important tangible results: take a look at the timeline to see just a few!
The power of youth organisations coming together to work for the rights of all young people is perhaps now more important than ever. In the midst of the so-called "refugee crisis", with panicking leaders resorting to closing borders and a rhetoric around violent "radicalisation", stigmatising many young people, it is clear that there is a lot of work to do. Whilst far too many young people are marginalised and do not have access to their rights, now is truly the time to raise our voices and make sure they are heard!