From consultations to cohesion: A perspective from an INTERREG volunteer

Edited on 09/07/2024

A quote by Ana Francisca Jijón, IVY Reporte: "I have not only realised the relevance that territorial cooperation has for young citizens’ daily life, but also the importance and real impact of youth voice in defining future European Territorial Cohesion Policy."

Ana Francisca is supporting the consultation process as an IVY Reporter. She weighs in on her role in the Interreg programme and what it means to have a say on European policy. 

As a young French-Ecuadorian woman who has lived in various European countries, I have first-hand experience of learning from and sharing with diverse cultures and understand the value of cooperation between cities.

Therefore, in April 2024 I became a volunteer for IVY, the Interreg programme connecting young people with Interreg projects and programmes to have a lasting impact on European cooperation. I am involved in URBACT as an IVY Reporter to support Interreg’s consultation on the Future Cohesion Policy post 2027, especially by including youth’s perspective in the policy-making process on the future of European territorial cooperation. 

 

Cooperation at all levels

 

Now in particular, with a critical election a few days away, I find myself asking, as a young citizen, what does cooperation mean to me, and how does it affect my daily life? 

Cooperation at the European level, means regions and cities’ collaboration to reduce disparities and find solutions to common challenges together around various topics, such as education, public administration, combating climate change, competitiveness of SMEs, social inclusion, and sustainable transport. 

At the individual level, cooperation can mean better connectivity between my hometown and other European cities, or more job opportunities thanks to the cooperation of my city with others, as seen in URBACT Re-growCity transfer network, a project tackling long term decline in smaller cities led by Altena, Germany. Or, if for example you are a young citizen who craves more greenery and urban agriculture in your city, then you will probably profit from cities’ cooperation around climate action and social cohesion such as RU:RBAN, a URBACT transfer network on urban agriculture and resilience between six European cities lead by Rome, Italy. 

While supporting the consultation process as an IVY Reporter, I have not only realised the relevance that territorial cooperation has for young citizens’ daily life, but also the importance and real impact of youth voice in defining future European Territorial Cohesion Policy.

 

Have a say in European policy... Share & vote!

 

Want to have a voice in promoting more green, just, and productive cities? Then participate in this survey, your voice will be collected by URBACT and communicated to the European Commission, which will then share the proposal for the future of Interreg Programmes to the European Parliament to be adopted. 

So, what are you waiting for? Participate in the consultation to share your opinion on the future of URBACT and other Interreg programmes, and go vote in the European Elections (6-9 June 2024), to select who in the European Parliament will best represent your interest for the future of your city and Europe! Who knows, it could mean more gender-inclusive, greenery and digital jobs in your city!  

Ana Francisca Jijón

 


 

Submitted by URBACT on 03/06/2024