On 10 March 2022, from 10:00 to 12:00, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) organised the debate “Citizens participation in cohesion policy” under the political leadership and with the participation of Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira. The debate was part of a series of virtual events organised by DG REGIO to present the results of the pilot project  “Engaging Citizens for Good Governance in Cohesion Policy” run in cooperation with OECD, ESIF authorities and Civil Society Organisations. The  event was the occasion to discuss good practices for strengthening citizen engagement in programme implementation as strategic to EU policy making. Find more info here.

Commissioner Ferreira mentioned the Youth4Cohesion project, an inititative of the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion, as a good practice of closer cooperation between local and regional authorities and young people as key stakeholders of a better governance and implementation of Cohesion Policy as well as of the accountable management of dedicated EU funds. She encouraged panelists and participants to “go beyond traditional stakeholders and include all citizens, including young people (..) to go beyond traditional participation methods, such as public consultations” … and “use innovative approaches that can make citizen engagement successful”.

With the Youth4Cohesion project the Euroregion involved more than 60 young “Cohesion Builders” in 9 Adriatic Ionian countries into a sustained training programme that was aimed at stimulating youth participation in  the design, implementation and evaluation of EU cohesion-policy projects, with specific reference to evidence from territorial cooperation. The project was an occasion to continue reflecting on the priorities, challenges and needs of youth in a transnational perspective, also with a view to a aligning the Euroregion’s youth engagement actions with the objectives of the Conference on the Future of the EU and the European Year of Youth.

To find out more about project results, read here

To this end, the Euroregion and the “Cohesion Builders” created the Adriatic Ionian Youth Network a permanent, cross-border network open to all youth, aimed at supporting youth engagement and cooperation across the Adriatic Ionian region with knowledge, expertise and opportunities.

If you are interested in joining, click here