Addressing needs and aspirations of youth is key to a brighter future, Ambassador tells Cairo event
August 1, 2017
Addressing the needs and aspirations of youth is a key to a brighter future, especially when young people represent a majority of the population, as in Egypt, the Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt Ambassador Ivan Surkoš, has told an audience of young people in Cairo.
He was addressing participants at the “Youth, YOU can make a change!“ event that took place on 31 July in Cairo, bringing together more than 200 young people and representatives of media and civil society organisations, to highlight the opportunities offered by the EU to young people.
In his opening speech, Ambassador Surkoš said “youth is the world’s greatest power”, adding the EU was keen to support youth worldwide, and pointing to the EU Youth Strategy adopted as a framework for cooperation since 2009: “The strategy aims at providing more and equal opportunities for young people in education and the job market and encouraging young people to actively participate in society.”
The Ambassador said the EU was keen on interacting with youth and in addressing their issues. “In that respect, youth from the region including Egyptians have participated in a policy dialogue with the EU High-Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini earlier this year.”
Surkoš highlighted the EU’s strong support for activities that benefit young Egyptians, ranging from basic education and vocational training through the Erasmus+ programmes, as well as innovation and research funding provided by Horizon 2020, to supporting youth in finding employment opportunities.
EU assistance to Egypt amounts to over €1.3 billion of ongoing grants to support Egypt’s economic, social and political development to improve the future prospects of its people, especially youth and women, and contribute to stabilisation and long-term prosperity.
More than 200 youth and representatives of media and civil society organisations attended the event on Monday, organised by the regional communication programme ‘EU Neighbours South’. Panel discussions were held providing the audience with information on EU opportunities, ranging from education, technical and vocational education and training, to entrepreneurship and support to youth policy development.
An exhibition of selected EU-funded projects targeting youth, in addition to a music performance featuring young Egyptian artists were held on the sidelines of the event.
The Cairo event was part of the #EU4YOUTH social media driven campaign (Facebook, Twitter) aimed at raising awareness of EU-funded youth initiatives in the EU Southern Neighbourhood countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. The campaign targets one million young people in the age group 18-35 in the EU Southern Neighbourhood countries.