While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly resulted in untold hardships for every member of the EU community, students and young people have been especially hard hit. In a 2021 study conducted by Eurofound, it was reported that young people have been the most affected by job loss, and a recent Eurostat study found that youth employment (15-29 years old) has fallen by 2.8% due to the pandemic. With less ability to access education and job opportunities, there is a higher chance for young people to become disengaged from EU society and suffer from mental health issues such as depression. Therefore, it is critical that the EU address these economic and social issues, particularly among young people, in order to ensure the preservation of the EU’s mission and its longevity as an institution.
EUROPE HUB (strEngthening yoUth entRepreneurship fOr imProving civil Economy and enHancing inclUsive Business) is designed to do just that. The project is coordinated by Libera and involves 10 partners from different EU countries and members of the informal EU network CHANCE (Civil Hub Against orgaNised Crime in Europe). The project will be completed in four stages and will encourage youth participation in civic engagement through the reuse of confiscated assets, providing a concrete response to the EU economic and social situation, which has been affected by organised crime activities and exacerbated by the pandemic.
- To strengthen the cooperation among the associations on the informal network CHANCE in the field of youth, considering youth as a driving force for future-oriented well-being and welfare
- To raise awareness on the impact of social entrepreneurship on the youth employability, with a particular focus on social enterprises developed in confiscated assets at EU level
- A six day online training session will educate on the inclusive and regenerative development practices and policies for enhancing territorial resources, with particular reference to common goods and the civil economy. The training will discuss: the potential of the civil economy, how to plan inclusive and regenerative development policies, how to enhance territories through young entrepreneurship, and the importance of common goods and confiscated assets. The participants will be CHANCE partners and other associations which would be interested to be involved both in the training and in the network and will include speakers and experts on the topics to improve the exchange of good practices and strengthen participants’ skills.
- An international social camp dedicated to the social reuse of confiscated property will be held in Palermo on October 28 and 29, to be followed by others on October 30 and 31, this time internal to CHANCE associations. The camp will provide an opportunity for partners to hear directly from Albanian experts and activists, as well as to discuss and improve CHANCE’s long-term impact. Specifically, the camp will address the following issues:
- The ways in which civic engagement can be an effective means to prevent and combat organised crime and corruption, with a particular focus on the social reuse of confiscated assets
- How EU Young citizens can engage with social entrepreneurship for tackling illegal economy
- How a solidarity-based employment in entrepreneurship can create a new paradigm of economic and social development
- How Youth can be protagonists of civil economy
- Each partner of CHANCE network will organise a local/national initiative for the Day of Remembrance and Commitment for all victims of organised crime and corruption. During each event, the victims of each country will be remembered and, where possible, victims’ families will testify their experiences, sharing their pain and turning it into active citizenship. Furthermore, different experts on the topic will participate and share their knowledge with the attendees in order to raise awareness on opportunities to fight against organised crime and promote civic tools for a society based on the EU core values.
- The organisation of the second edition COREACT– an event that took place for the first time in 2019 and brought together more than 200 activists from Europe and beyond in a two-days workshop in Berlin. The event creates an inclusive and safe environment where people can learn from each other, exchanging experiences and methods, and providing practical tools and possible partnerships for tackling social phenomena like mafias and mafia-cultures, illicit financial flow and money laundering through youth empowerment and the public and social re-use of confiscated assets. New networks across national borders will be established with long-term and sustainable goals, and the different organisations can improve their impact on the local system.