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The importance of including the voice of youth in regional policies

As the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) commemorates its 50th anniversary, it's not just a celebration of the past but a forward-looking stance toward shaping the future of European policies and regional cohesion. Through decades of dedicated efforts, CPMR regions have been instrumental in driving sustainable growth and fostering meaningful contributions to the broader European narrative.

*Regional Leadership and Maritime Spatial Planning:*

A cornerstone of the CPMR's legacy is its commitment to regional leadership in maritime spatial planning. These regions have been trailblazers, steering initiatives not only in emerging sectors like offshore renewable energies but also safeguarding the vitality of traditional sectors such as agriculture and fisheries. Their proactive strategies ensure a harmonious balance between economic progress and environmental sustainability.

*Global Collaboration and Sustainable Blue Economy:*

In celebrating its golden jubilee, CPMR underscores the significance of a sustainable global economy. Initiatives like the Atlantic Action Plan and collaborative efforts on a common maritime agenda for the Black Sea highlight the importance of global collaboration in nurturing a thriving blue economy. The CPMR regions stand as examples of effective regional cooperation.

*Smart Innovation, Energy Transition, and the Macro Regional Strategy:*

CPMR regions embrace smart innovation and energy transition, positioning themselves at the forefront of strategic partnerships. The Macro Regional Strategy, an integral part of CPMR's vision, amplifies the impact of regional initiatives by fostering collaboration among neighboring regions. This comprehensive approach ensures that the benefits of innovation and sustainable practices extend beyond individual regions.

*Defending Cohesion Policy: A Vision for the Future:*

As the CPMR charts its course for the future, defending cohesion policy becomes paramount. The vision encompasses service management, placing people and territories at its core. A bottom-up approach and effective multi-level governance, in alignment with the subsidiarity principle, form the bedrock of this vision. The CPMR envisions a cohesive and resilient Europe where no region or individual is left behind.

All in all, the participation of young people in the 50th CPMR General Assembly and in the Intermediterranean Commission Plenary session allows to keep the focus on youth, enhancing collaborative efforts and leveraging the energy and flexibility that young people bring. The active role of youth in shaping policies within the EU and beyond is not only recognized but also celebrated. Their perspectives provide fresh insights, contributing to a more inclusive and dynamic policy landscape.

However, it is not just their voices that must be heard but also their ideas, creativity, and visions. During the speech in the IMC Plenary, they suggested some concrete actions such as fostering youth policy forums, creating mentorship programs, advocating for increased freedom of mobility in education, creating social platforms for youth, webinars and formative training, establishing collaborative agreements among other youth organizations and the continuing of further editions of the MYC´s Med Action festival.

As the CPMR looks ahead to the next 50 years, the call resounds—let's forge a future where sustainability, regional cohesion, and youth engagement continue to be the driving forces propelling Europe toward prosperity and resilience. Follow the work of the Mediterranean Youth Council on this webpage and stay tuned to our CPMR and IMC political events.

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