Meet CESI’s Youth Representative…

30 Sep 2013

During the most recent Presidium (18 September), Matthäus Fandrejewski was officially recognised as the CESI Youth Representative, a role which will see him highlighting the challenges facing young people in Europe within CESI and beyond. This appointment follows the CESI Youth Camp, during which young people from across Europe came together in Hungary to discuss how the European Union is addressing the youth unemployment situation and how trade unions can contribute to the solutions.

Meet CESI’s Youth Representative…

A report, drawn up by CESI Youth Camp hosts MKKSZ, can be read in full here.

In addition to this report, the CESI General Secretariat met with the Youth Representative following his appointment to ask him how he would approach the role:

1. Why did you want to become CESI’s Youth Representative and how will your background help you in this role?

For several years now I have worked in the employment committee of my county administration and know that we have to fight for the rights young people at the European level. Since I came to Brussels in 2012 to visit CESI, I have become interested in its work. I also have myself an European background. I was born in Poland before immigrated to Germany with my family where I work. From my personal and professional experiences  I see how hard it is for young people to find a secure job. CESI Youth is willing to support these young people and  I want to invest my time, my motivation, endurance and my enthusiasm for this purpose.

 2. How do you see CESI Youth evolving?

CESI Youth Movement had big support in Hungary. We have to build on this. CESI Youth has to become a known partner on the European level. It does not mean that it has to be a separate organisation to CESI, quite the opposite, but I want CESI Youth to become a contact on youth issues for the European institutions, the European Youth Forum and other organisations which need our help and our knowledge. I think our young unionists need an international partner to exchange their experiences. We have to develop our “generation network”, to connect our youth European-wide and to offer a background for discuss to discuss our current problems.

3. What can trade unions do to attract young workers?

I think founding CESI Youth is the first big step to CESI’s future. Young people have to know that they are not left alone with their problems and issues. Trade unions have to support and involve young people on the national and European level. Young voices have to be heard. Furthermore, trade unions on the European level have to make European decisions clearer and more accessible for young people. The rights of young workers have to be strengthened and highlighted. If CESI shows young workers that they are not far away from the youth but that young workers can actively work with CESI, then they will attract young workers. The first step is to show young unionists that they are involved in CESI’s work would be to send more young people to CESI’s annual Symposium.

4. With youth unemployment at the top of the political agenda, do you think the current action being taken is enough to address the concerns of young people in Europe?

It is a first step on a long set of stairs. For sure, youth unemployment has to be on top of the political agenda. The youth unemployment crisis that has gripped Europe over the past years has had huge consequences for young people in terms of their qualitiy of life, autonomy and levels of social inclusion. This will one day become Europe’s biggest problem. So we have to do more. We have to call into question our youth employment systems. Why do we have such is the youth unemployment rate so big in Europe? What can we do to fight it? How should we teach young people to become more interesting for companies? What can the public sector do to get more young workers in their administrations? How can we offer more jobs? And so on. There are quite a number of issues to deal with at the moment…

 YOuth group