The multimodal crisis that we have been experiencing for nearly ten years has revealed the numerous flaws of our system, presented not long ago as a guarantee of progress for all. In the meantime, the short-term pressure that has fed the economic system has spread in all fields, making political decision subject to contradictory injunctions. Between efficiency and legitimacy, the ratio of power often wins over consensus.
This short-term approach leads to policies that ignore what really is at stake. How do we reduce inequalities? How can we ensure real inclusion of all? What do we understand by democratic participation? How can we continue on living on a sick planet? These questions are far too often left to the “future generations” that will have to take action in a remote future. But these future generations are in fact the current generations. Young people presented as a coming stakeholder suffer right here and right now from unemployment and poverty, top of an iceberg of which we still discover the extent.
While we stand at a turning point, now is the time to change the frame of reference for a long-term approach. Short-term and long-term stakes are more and more similar. Unemployment, environmental crisis… these urgent matters have become structural thus calling for more profound changes. Also in terms of participation, we have to involve people in the decisions that will impact their lives. It is a matter of social cohesion now and of trust in the long run.
At the centre of this encounter between short and long-term stands the youth. Because young people currently live, act and experience and because we are going to carry on living; because we cannot afford a “lost generation”; because we are in the front line when it comes to employment, poverty, social inclusion, health issues, it’s urgent to tackle long run, it’s urgent to tackle youth issues, it’s urgent to tackle youth rights!