Press release Brussels, 21 June 2013
AEGEE-Europe, the European association of students in 19 Spanish cities, claims that the closure of the Youth Council of Spain aggravate the vulnerability of young people in our country and is a violation of the constitutional right of youth participation in the development political, social, economic and cultural. The Government today approved the cuts in public administration without consulting the views of young people.
The Youth Council of Spain is in the list of organizations that deleted Government on Friday June 21, 2013 on a proposal from the Commission for the Reform of Public Administration (CORA), according to a story published by the newspaper El Pais on its website. The ECJ is the highest body of youth representation in the Spanish state, integrating the voice of all sectors of youth and also offering this representation, endless opportunities for training, mobility, cooperation and Spanish youth development. It is an example of pluralism because it represents all ideologies, and a school of democracy that is more necessary than ever right now.
The voice of the youth in Europe
The Youth Council of Spain is the Spanish state representative in the European Youth Forum (YFJ), our partner in front of the European institutions. The European Youth Forum has played a key role in the development of policies to support youth as the famous Youth Guarantee (proposed by the European Commission), critical tool in the fight against youth unemployment will mean 2 billion European investment .
A loss of constitutional rights
The disappearance of the Youth Council of Spain is an attack on the right of young people to participate freely and effectively in the political, social, economic and cultural. In the words of Luis Alvarado Martinez, President of AEGEE-Europe, “instead of promoting this right as required by Article 48 of the Constitution, this decision goes in the opposite direction. In a time when the discourse in Europe focuses on supporting youth, and when is being recognized more than ever the role of associations and volunteering as a platform for learning and development of skills that are key to finding a employment, this decision is meaningless. ” Unless you want to silence one of the most critical voices against some government decisions. In a democracy, protecting the diversity of opinions should be a priority and budget adjustments should not be an excuse to silence critical sectors.
It is feared a chain reaction
This measure also threatens Youth Councils at local and regional levels, engaged in the same work to support youth participation in municipalities and regions. Already have disappeared recently in several municipalities and regional level in Madrid and Cantabria.
Youth is one of the groups to which this crisis has beaten more severely in Europe. The situation in Spain is even worse: youth unemployment rate exceeds 56%, cuts in education and research, the uncertain future of our pensions … We got bad news everywhere and in many cases we are forced to return to live with our families or to start a new life abroad, where opportunities are not as rare as in our country. This new attack on our rights further blackens the future and robs us of our interlocutor with the Government.
AEGEE-Europe and the CJE
AEGEE-Europe is working with the CJE in numerous initiatives within the European Youth Forum. The CJE is recognized in Europe as a model for its plurality, its history and its professionalism. Their disappearance would be an attack on democracy, and its transformation into a new entity, if it really is so necessary, it should not be adopted without a process of reflection in which the youth represented in the CJE has the opportunity to decide which model they want .
AEGEE-Europe is an association created 28 years ago with the goal of creating a united Europe, rooted in democracy and respect for human rights and gathering students from all cultures of our continent. Today, AEGEE is the biggest interdisciplinary student association: 40 countries, 200 cities and 13000 friends. This network provides the ideal platform for young people throughout Europe cooperate in international activities such as conferences, seminars, exchanges and training courses. In tune with the challenges they have to face the youth in Europe, AEGEE work currently focuses on three areas: promoting youth participation, development of Europe’s relations with its environment and the fight against discrimination.
AEGEE-Europe European Students Forum