News report

The EUKI YESclima project presents itself to the EU Commission

by Luciana Lerho and Oliver Hölcke, GIZ/EUKI

The EUKI YESclima project, carried out by the University of Cadiz and its project partners, has two objectives: on the one hand, it combats the high youth unemployment rate in Greece and southern Spain by improving the labour market opportunities of young professionals. On the other hand, it promotes climate change mitigation and sustainability in these countries. To this end, the University of Cadiz, together with Wind of Renewal from Greece and the “Secretariat for Future Studies” of the Free University of Berlin, organises courses for young people to be trained as consultants in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies for public buildings. In this way, the project helps save resources and energy in public buildings, reduce costs, and increase awareness of climate neutrality among local authorities. The training courses enable the previously unemployed young people to find employment in the “green” economy, secure their livelihood, and contribute to climate mitigation.

Successes beyond the project

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the entrepreneurship training courses of the project took place online. Over time, the online seminars developed into a permanent working group, bringing together project leaders from Greece, Spain, and Germany, the Research Institute for Innovative Work Design and Prevention (FIAP e.V.) and some students. Silke Steinberg, Managing Director of FIAP, said that the group was increasingly networking at the political level in addition to developing energy-saving plans. The discussion on “Green Recovery” that arose during the Corona crisis gave the group the idea of linking the topic to the original idea of the YESclima project: the fight against youth unemployment. Over time, this resulted in a memorandum setting out proposals for a revised European Youth Guarantee. The European Youth Guarantee means that young people under 25 years of age will receive a high-quality training course or a job offer within four months (European Commission, 2020).

EUKI project YESclima presents itself to EU Commission, (c) Silke Steinberg

YESclima will be included as Best Practice in the Memorandum on the European Green Deal and the European Youth Guarantee

The proposals drafted by the working group aim to link the measures provided for in the European Youth Guarantee to the European Green Deal. YESclima is an example of best practices and supports the effectiveness of the proposals. The memorandum and the EUKI YESclima project were presented to representatives of the European Commission at the online event “European Green Deal and the reinforced European Youth Guarantee” in November 2020. The high-level event with the European Commission provided an exceptional opportunity to discuss the measures proposed in the memorandum at the EU level and, at the same time, address the challenges in the respective countries.

Key messages and long-term objectives of the memorandum

Experts are worried about high youth unemployment rates being exacerbated in many countries by the Covid-19 crisis. This negative outlook seems to be confirmed. The memorandum emphasises that the Green Recovery should be seen as an opportunity to counteract rising youth unemployment and “combine European climate targets with efforts to achieve economic and social recovery after the pandemic,” says Silke Steinberg. These two-fold objectives require various effective instruments, such as the European Youth Guarantee, to address current and future challenges in a targeted manner.
The YESclima project has successfully taken a step towards implementing the topic at the European level by presenting the memorandum to the EU Commission. According to Silke Steinberg, the various political stakeholders in the respective countries must now be involved in implementing the topic. In addition to this, political reforms must be initiated to create more jobs for young people, mitigate climate change, and strengthen sustainability.

Find more information on the FIAP e.V. website.