European Union External Action

Speech by Lukas Holub, Head of Section for Political, Justice and Home Affairs Issues, Information and Communication at EU Delegation in Skopje, at the presentation of an EU-funded online platform for young people

Skopje, 06/09/2018 - 15:07, UNIQUE ID: 180906_11
Local Statements

Youth Wiki promotes good practice, active citizenship, solidarity and social inclusion - all core EU values. The EU hopes that through this tool, you, the young people in the country, will really be able to shape policies in the country and Europe. And I hope this can result in fresh initiatives and actions both here as well as in the EU, as we continue to imagine a future together.

I am excited to be here today and see that an initiative launched in the EU is being implemented in your country.

Whenever we make decisions, we bear in mind the effects they have on the future of children and young people. This is because we want to leave to them the best starting position possible. Not only for creating a better life for themselves but also for building a better society for all.

But policy making is not only about having good intentions. It is also about hearing and listening to what young people have to say. And too often, young people are excluded from the policy dialogue. We believe it is time to fix it.

Youth Wiki is an online platform where you as young people can present opinions and information about yourselves, about local youth policy, both at EU and national levels. This platform promotes good practice, active citizenship, solidarity and social inclusion - all core values of the EU values.

I am pleased that the National Youth Council will run this platform, as it gathers 55 youth organisations across the country. We hope that through this tool, you will really indeed be able to shape policies in the country and Europe.

But this is not the only programme or activity that we are working on in the country. Since 2014, through the Erasmus+ Programme, we have facilitated more than 6000 young people to study and work across Europe.

However, all this is not only about acquiring professional skills. It is also about sharing EU values. Through this programme, we have been opening minds and changing lives of millions of young people across Europe as well as here. It has helped to cultivate the feeling of European identity and understand what 'United in diversity' really means.

It means that by sharing common values of democracy, solidarity and freedom, we are not losing our own identity. Within the EU we can be proud of who we are and where we come from. Even more, I dare to say, the EU celebrates these identities equally.

But of course, there are challenges that young people continue to face in Europe as well as here.

Therefore, we are committed to help. In 2019, activities worth €11 million will be launched to further education and training. We have planned support for young people to find jobs, particularly those who are not studying and are without a job.

As young people, you have an incredible competitive advantage. You have mastered communication technologies and benefits as well as challenges of the social media.

And the EU is helping you with harnessing those skills. Just two days ago in Prilep, we have discussed with potential young entrepreneurs in the agriculture business how to use social media and Internet to promote the amazing food you produce here.

Therefore, I am pleased that through the Youth Wiki you are becoming part of a European Union platform. And I hope this can result in fresh initiatives and actions both here as well as in the EU.

Just imagine, how we can move things forward together.

Thank you.