Youth delegates of the EU Bishops’ Conferences gathered in Brussels on 27-28 April 2023 for the Spring Meeting of the COMECE Youth Net, focused on the role of young Catholics in the European project. Fr. Barrios Prieto: “Young Catholics are a precious source of inspiration and vitality for the European project. The youth should be further included in the EU decision-making process”.
The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) hosted the first presential meeting of its Youth Net, a consultative body launched in October 2022 and composed of young delegates from the EU Member States.
The event featured various dialogue sessions with representatives of the institutions of the European Union, of the Holy See and of Brussels-based Catholic organisations.
Participants addressed the role of young Catholics in fostering the EU project at the local, national and European level.
Among others, they stressed the importance of improving mental health care, reducing youth unemployment rates in more vulnerable EU regions and promoting a human-centred digitalisation that does not leave anyone behind.
Members of the Youth Net also reflected on how to reduce the distance between the European Union and young Catholics, empowering youth in EU decision-making processes and enhancing the exchange of information, initiatives and opportunities.
“Young Catholics are a precious source of inspiration and vitality for the European project – Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE stated.
“We should all work together to listen more attentively to the voice of young people, including their ideas, proposals and vision for more participative and forward-looking policies”, Fr. Barrios Prieto continued.
The meeting was also an opportunity to elaborate a reflection on democracy and fundamental values to be published by COMECE in the upcoming weeks.