Launched in July 2021, the EUSALP Youth Council aims to give Alpine youth a voice, to listen to and consider their proposals and to give them the opportunity to influence the political decisions that will affect their lives. To understand how this new governance tool for mountain youth works, we met with Melanie Plangger, Project Leader of youth.shaping.EUSALP. We also invited Dominik Jakšič, member of the Youth Council, to share with us his first experiences and aspirations for the mandate to come.
Euromontana: can you share the story of how the EUSALP Youth Council was born in July 2021?
Melanie Plangger: “During the Tyrol’s presidency of EUSALP in 2018, the Tyrol made youth participation a priority. Under the motto “shaping.future.together”, the next generation should participate in shaping the Alpine region of the future. The Tyrol, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, supported by CIPRA International and Alpine Town of the Year, organised workshops with youth from all over the Alpine region to ask them how they would like to contribute. They expressed their desire to participate through online tools, summer camps and support for concrete actions, as well as institutionally.
Subsequently, their ideas were implemented through the youth.shaping.EUSALP project, co-funded by the European Commission and led by the Region of the Tyrol. Today, the youth.shaping.EUSALP project includes the “Pitch your project” competition for young people, EUSALP modules in summer camps throughout the Alpine region, and various online communication channels and meetings. To ensure that the voice of youth is heard and taken into account in EUSALP bodies, the EUSALP Youth Council was created.”
Dominik, you are a member of the brand new EUSALP Youth Council, could you introduce yourself?
Dominik Jakšič: “My name is Dominik Jakšič and I am from the charming country, Slovenia. After finishing my master’s degree in music composition, I work as a music teacher, freelance composer as well as conductor.
How did you hear about the Youth Council and what motivates you to get involved?
“I have discovered the Youth Council online and had an immediate desire to apply for it. As said, nature is an inspiration and I believe it is an inspiration for all of us, so it must be preserved. In our world, as I see it, we are living far apart from nature, and this must be changed into a sustainable, ecological way of life. The Youth Council gives us an opportunity to contribute and make at least small steps towards it.
It is far more than just making the world a better place. In the Youth Council we can meet some new faces, make connections and friends. And having a group of like-minded friends can really move mountains. Youth means energy, enthusiasm, freshness, hope, future!”
In this joint interview, Melanie Plangger and Dominik Jakšič tell us about the first experiences of the SUERA Youth Council. To find out how it works and what space it gives to young people, read the full interview!13 September 2021