Councillor Kate Feeney, our spokesperson on Social Affairs, joined Ireland’s Minister of State for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne (Fianna Fail) and European Committee of the Regions President Tzitzikostas in Dublin for a discussion on the role of youth and democracy in Europe, together with the European Movement Ireland and the Irish regions European office.
Speaking at the event, Minister Byrne said, “The work of the Committee of the Regions is important in bringing the voice of the people from grassroots to the EU and has a major role to play in our European journey. We all have a responsibility to be involved as active citizens. When we are more active, our shared Union improves.”
CoR President Tzizikostas said, “We joined forces with the European Youth Forum to launch the process of co-creating a European Charter for Youth and Democracy. Thanks to our work, the Conference on the Future of Europe conclusions include very concrete initiatives, like the EU Youth Councils, the EU local Councillors and the EU Houses of Democracy, that can help to bring Europe closer to people, especially young people. I invite young people to get involved in their local communities and participate in the elections that are a matter of trust in all levels of government: European, national and regional/local. The future is in your hands; let no one else decide for you.”
The event also featured contributions from Thomas Matthew, Board Member of the European Youth Forum and Diandra Ní Bhuachalla, United Nations Youth Delegate for Ireland.
At an earlier event, Cllr Feeney joined the CoR President and addressed the EU Affairs Committee of oireachtas, the National Irish Parliament, stating that “the time of the two-dimensional European model based simply on EU institutions and national governments without an active partnership with local and regional government is over” and she highlighted in particular her work as Rapporteur on behalf of EU subnational government to defend equal rights for LGBTIQ citizens across the EU.