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PostSubject: Young people from Europe discuss unemployment in Bulgaria’s   Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:17 pm


Young people from Europe discuss unemployment issues in Bulgaria’s Dobrich

Youth unemployment, the social protection of young people with restricted opportunities, recognizing the qualifications and competences received via informal education and youth entrepreneurship. These were only some of the issues that young people aged between 17 and 27 from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, and Croatia discussed recently at a forum held in the town of Dobrich, northeastern Bulgaria. The meeting of the young people took place within the framework of the project U-Speak – young people talking about youth unemployment and the future of European Structural Funds organized by the Modern Education and Science Foundation. The project is financed under the program Europe for Citizens of the European Commission and focuses on youth unemployment and EU strategies on its prevention on a local and European level. Vessela Vassileva, coordinator of the project, told Radio Bulgaria more:

“The forum and the project have several goals. We wanted to give young people the opportunity to voice their opinions on these two crucial issues for their future – unemployment, which is the most severe problem they are facing, and we need to see its link with the EU structural funds that are an excellent instrument for overcoming poverty and for achieving growth. It was very important for us to create a feeling of belonging of young people to the EU. We wanted to make them feel part of the process, to give them a comparatively close look on how institutions operate and how their own voice could be heard and their opinions might reach those in charge of devising the state policies”, Vessela Vasileva, coordinator of the U-speak project, says.

Vessela Vasileva admits that the issues related to informal education have excited the strongest interest among participants, especially in terms of how it helps young people accumulate experience and whether or not employers should accept it. Given than the year 2011 has been designated European Year of Volunteering, this topic was also on the agenda. “It turned out that young people are interested in volunteering not only as a fun experience but also as an opportunity to gain professional experience”, Vessela Vasileva explains. In her opinion, the topics that are of interest to modern young people in Europe are very similar. “Of course, there are certain nuances in certain problems and their solutions in different countries, but on the whole, there is agreement over what is important and what not”, the young girl says.

“Experience is the most important thing. All young people talked about how important it is to them to have experience and to be good in their job. For example, one of the participants said that youth organizations should not be subsidized by the European funds and that it would be better to subsidize structures that offer education and training to young people. In this way, young people will be stimulated to develop their skills, to be competitive, and to be able to offer their skills everywhere in the world and namely to be hired at work because of it”, Vessela Vassileva, coordinator of the U-speak project, told Radio Bulgaria.

The team of the U-Speak project will inform the European Commission and EU institutions engaged with devising youth policies of the results from the discussions held during the two international conferences under the project. Vessela Vasileva thinks that the most important conclusion after the forum is that young people should be active citizens because this is the key to building a society where we would all be happy to live.

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