Written by Katja Krejcir and Mattia Tosato, ONE Youth Ambassadors, Belgium
Following the European Commission proposal for its next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, we — Katja Krejcir and Mattia Tosato — had a live debate with Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission, on the future of the EU budget and the role of the EU in the international cooperation and development.
ONE Youth Ambassadors and European citizens followed the debate on Facebook Live and asked numerous questions. This was the opportunity for us to push EU Institutions and leaders to continue progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The new EU budget will be in place for 7 years and it will end in 2027 — just 3 years before 2030, the deadline to achieve the SDGs.
So, what can Europeans — especially youth — do for the future?
We, as young Europeans, are called to take urgent action to change social behaviours, volunteer in our communities and reach young people everywhere to advocate together for a better world. The decisions that world leaders are taking today will have an impact on our future — young people will grow up and live in the world we shape today. We can be the leaders of change, and our voices are critical to civil society and governments.
This is why our work as Youth Ambassadors is not yet finished!
The EU’s member states and the European Parliament are supposed to reach an agreement on the next budget by Spring 2019. The current proposal for development cooperation is a good starting point, but it is still not enough: we want the EU to invest more in development aid, particularly in the least developed countries (LDCs) and fragile states and in women and girls, health and education.
We will not leave EU leaders to make their decisions alone. We will raise our voices and tell them to honour their commitment to eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
After all, none of us are equal until all of us are equal!