Strasbourg, 04.04.2013 – “Europe cannot progress unless it invests in young people and unless young people’s voices are heard and heeded in all major decisions affecting society,” said Jean-Claude Mignon, PACE President, speaking at the end of an official two-day visit to Finland (2 and 3 April 2013). “Europe is an idea that never grows old and one that cannot be achieved without young people,” he stressed.
Jean-Claude Mignon congratulated Finland on being one of the countries to host an annual youth parliament, similar to the Council of Europe’s Youth Assembly. He also expressed keen interest in the Finnish government’s “youth guarantee” scheme, a public-private partnership introduced at the beginning of 2013. At a time of high youth unemployment, this scheme is designed to prevent social exclusion by offering all under-25s and all recent graduates under 30 a job, study place or vocational training within three months of the young person becoming unemployed. He also commended Finland on the tremendous contribution it had made to the Council of Europe since joining in 1989.
During his visit, he met the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, the Minister for Culture and Sport, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and the Chairs of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee and the Constitutional Law Committee. He also held talks with the Finnish delegation to the PACE, the parliamentary Deputy Ombudsperson and the Ombudsperson for Children, the Chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, the Director of the Human Rights Centre and representatives of youth organisations. (more...)
Read also: Finland and the Council of Europe