“The fact that Youth Councils were created for the 4 macro-regional strategies is already a good sign, demonstrating that they actually want to involve young people. Being invited to this event in Budapest is also a sign that our importance is recognised, and we are more and more heard,” says Jeanne Caverzasio, a member of the EU Alpine Macro-Region Youth Council from Switzerland, who attended the macro-regional civil meeting in Budapest (29 February – 1 March).

Nowadays young people are keen to be involved and heard, and Jeanne is convinced that the EUSALP Youth Council is the right platform this, gathering people who have the same concerns. “I am really concerned about climate change. I do my little things myself (I stopped eating meat, I go home from Budapest by train), but I will not change anything on my own,” she admits.

Obviously, climate change is related to economic and cultural challenges as well. Within EUSALP there are 4 thematic groups: economic development; connectivity and mobility; culture and environment; Youth Council activities. Jeanne Caverzasio works in the group dealing with economic development.

Their projects focus on people working in the ski resorts, and on how they manage their economic transition as they are lacking snow, and how these jobs can remain attractive for the youth. “They want young people to go there and to work there,” explains Jeanne. Youth Council members recently visited the region and talked to local inhabitants – they will prepare a report about their experiences.

“Sometimes we think that the youth is not heard enough, because we don’t have the tools that support us to be heard. We don’t have decades of political experience, and you actually need to know the structure, the political environment. So, we are here to learn,” the member of the EU Alpine Macro-Region Youth Council emphasises. So far, she has had a “surprisingly good” experience, she adds.

Young generations have realised that they will not have a comfortable future if they don’t act now. They are aware that they need to contribute to creating a sustainable future because it is not only for their own generation, but also for future generations. “I still want to have the Alps for my kids, and I hope that they will be able to enjoy the snow just like I did,” Jeanne Caverzasio says.

As a specific example, she refers to a recent project about the cultural values of the Alps. Many people, including youngsters were interviewed, and these short videos were a great way of showing how much young people like the Alps.

Although Switzerland is not an EU Member State, Jeanne finds it great that they are as much involved as the other countries within the macro-regional strategy. “We are in the middle of the Alps, and we have the exact same challenges as other EUSALP countries.”

Who is she?
Jeanne Caverzasio obtained her bachelor’s degree in International Relations in Geneva and in Cairo, and now she is doing her master’s in public management and public policy. She lives in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, but comes from the country’s French-speaking region.