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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.7 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 1 December 2023

In October 2022, the new Government led by Giorgia Meloni set up a new Ministry of the Environment and of Energy Security which absorbed some of the competencies of the previous Minister for Ecological Transition, together with some key-functions in the process of ecological transition, mainly related to the energy sector.

Through a series of organizational rearrangements, the public decision-maker has strengthened the tools available to the political authority over time, redefining functions and tools, also in the light of the investments foreseen in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). In this context, the constitutional reform, which provided for the explicit inclusion of environmental protection in our Constitution in February 2022, affirmed the relevance of environmental issues in the hierarchy of interests protected by the State. The new Constitutional Charter also highlights the centrality of sustainable development for the younger generations.

Forthcoming policy developments

On June 21st 2022, during the National Conference for Sustainable Development in Castelporziano (Rome), an update of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development was described. The Conference described the path that led to the update of this important document (the last Strategy dated back to 2017), and started the debate on the new forms of collaboration to be put in place to fully implement the Snsvs.

In this context, a Youth Working Group has been created and presented a position paper.

Ongoing debates

The ongoing debates deal mainly with two areas: (a) the Y20 and Y7 Summits; (b) the role of young people in climate change action.

(a) Regarding the Youth 20 (Y20) and the Youth 7 (Y7) Summits, the official engagement groups of the G20 and G7 dedicated to young people Y20 and Y7 organised by the Young Ambassadors Society (YAS), the following events – that also involve the Italian Government and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – have to be mentioned:

Y7 e Y20. In collaboration with the Italian Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Young Ambassadors Society (YAS) is selecting the delegates who for 2022 will join the Italian Delegation to Youth 7 (Y7) and Youth 20 ( Y20), the official engagement groups dedicated to G20 and G7 youth.

The work of the engagement groups develops over several months during the year and culminates with the Y20 and Y7 Summits where a Final Communiqué is drawn up containing the proposals of the young delegations and which is then transmitted to the Presidents and Heads of State.

The Italian delegations are led and recruited by the Young Ambassadors Society.

In 2022, the Y20 Summit held in Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia from July 17th to 24th.

The 4 delegates discussed the following topics:

  1. Youth employment
  2. Digital transformation
  3. Sustainability
  4. Inclusion and equal opportunities

In 2022, the Y7 Summit held in Germany in May was called to discuss the following topics:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Technology and digital
  3. Global economy
  4. Health

To become part of the Italian Delegations of Y20 and Y7, candidates must be between 19 and 30 years old.

In 2023, the Y20 and Y7 Summits will be held in India and Japan respectively and will focus on the following topics:

  1. Sustainability and the environment
  2. Digital transformation and technology
  3. Economy and future of work
  4. Inclusion, equal opportunities and health

Mission 2 PNRR

More recently, mission 2 of the PNRR (green revolution and ecological transition) has expressed the need to achieve a full ecological and digital transition, also to recover all those employment gaps that penalize young people in contemporary society. More than 31% of the total amount of the Plan is allocated to the implementation of the projects included in this specific mission.

If we look at the set of measures and allocations foreseen, it emerges how much the whole plan is permeated by the idea that to speed up the transition it is necessary to invest heavily in technological innovation - clean technologies - by intervening on large urban agglomerations, which represent size and type are those standardizable markets capable of producing sufficient economies of scale for the new technologies to become economically competitive. Reintroducing nature into the proposed development model is a great chance for change, which can reconnect innovation devices with local economies, highly educated young people even in sectors such as information technology and engineering who can find job opportunities in apparently distant sectors. These are areas that hold together the primary sector and the knowledge economy and that can make us see territories still in the process of depopulation as places where it is possible to build a sustainable future, where it is possible to spend new skills for the younger generations.