On November 22, the Youth Assembly was held entitled “The far-right virus and the virus of a precarious life for youth in jobs, higher education, mental health and social freedoms”. There were eleven speeches out of several dozen participants.
In the speeches it was underlined the positive element of having convened the Forum in online mode, as it offered everyone a chance to break the forced isolation to which we are subjected due to the coronavirus. The global pandemic has been at the heart of the debate, taking into account the impact it has had on the younger generation.
The Covid-19 pandemic challenges humanity to quickly initiate a new development model that prioritizes human security, emancipation, and the protection of the planet. Millions of women and men around the world are saying today: we want life to start again, but we want the world to change.
Europe is at the heart of this challenge.
Young Europeans have not been hit less hard by the pandemic. The youth unemployment rate has risen further in several countries. A generation that has grown up over decades of precariousness feels to see a future of security and stability. The right to study is threatened by difficulties related to distance learning and affecting students and families. In all this, the growth of new forces from the extreme right destabilises European society and the impact of the pandemic also affects the mental health of young people.
Yet in the face of this difficult and hard scenario that we have seen in this 2020 we must be able to record even the positive advances. One of them is the fact that the global pandemic has given even more strength and new reasons to the movement against climate change, which in the last two years has been able to drag millions of young people around the world to the streets. The pandemic highlights the correlation between the exploitation of the environment, its resources and living beings caused by capitalism. This criticism is not isolated, but is once again linked to a criticism of neoliberal capitalism and the crisis it is going through. It is up to us young people to equip our organizations and movements with the tools to provide answers and solutions. The European Forum and its assemblies are therefore a fundamental opportunity to discuss and develop the debate on the issues already mentioned.
The debate has been very open and has touched on a wide variety of points related to current events disrupted by the virus. Topics such as the crisis of liberal democracies and the role that fascisms can play in movements challenging the restrictions caused by the virus have also been discussed. In any case, it is essential for the participants of the assembly that moments of exchange and meeting multiply and favor to connect experiences and struggles.
For this reason, we meet at the European Forum 2021 and are committed this year to ensure that a network is developed capable of updating and keeping the participating organizations in touch.