JUST EU and ME: empowering youth to advocate for their social rights in the EU

Citizen participation
Good Governance and Citizen Participation

Objective of the project

We want to provide youth activists across Europe with skills and opportunities for advocating for social rights and implementation of the EU Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) at local and EU level

Abstract of the project

JUST EU and ME project is funded by the European Union’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme (2021-2027). 
The project aims to provide young people (18-30 yo) and representatives of youth associations with knowledge, skills and opportunities for actively participating in developing recommendations for EU and Member States to delivering on the EU Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and improving social justice. The project’s focus is based on the fact that youth are bearing the brunt of social and economic crisis, as for Covid-19, and proved to have the capacity to develop proposals for a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system. 
ActionAid Italia curated, as Work package 2, a blended-learning workshop on Advocacy (Wed 22/02/2023, online; Fri 03/03/2023 and Sat 04/03/2023, in Bologna, Italy; Wed 15/03/2023, online). Participants were trained in the main methodologies, discussed case studies and drafted their campaigns on social rights. 
Fifty-nine participants, from five eligible countries (Italy, Spain, Poland, France and Bulgaria), attended more than 70% of the activities. Six people attended more than 50% of it (but less than 70% of it).


Context analysis

Evidence shows that in the EU the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and young people, particularly women, migrants and ethnic minorities, are paying the highest price in terms of enjoyment of their rights and that its impact on access to education and employment “is likely to put them on a much more volatile trajectory in finding and maintaining quality jobs and income” (OECD 2020).  
In the EU-27 24.3 % of people aged 15-29 yo (Eurostat 2019) were at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion, specifically in some of the project countries (IT, BG, ES, SE). This data was further increased by the pandemic, especially for young women and minorities. 






Italia, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Spain 

Implementation Period

01/11/2022 - 31/10/2024



  • 100+ youth activists participating in the capacity building programme and national project works
  • 500+ representatives of stakeholders, institutions and civil society participating in the national project works
  • 200+ individuals partecipating in transnational events


Project Strategy


  • A transnational capacity building programme for young activists, either online and in situ, focusing on European institutions, EPSR, advocacy, community engagement and media literacy. This will empower them to develop their stance on principles 1, 2, and 3 of the EPSR, communicate and advocate for it as a national and then as a European group. 
  • The implementation of youth-led project works tutored by partners in IT, BG, ES, PL and SE, through engaging further peers, community members and stakeholders in defining priorities and requests for policies implementing EPSR. A stance on such principles will be developed and communicated through a youth manifesto, produced at a national level;  
  • A finale phase for summarizing national project works in a common set of requests (European Youth Manifesto for European) to be addressed to European stakeholders (institutions, media, stakeholders, etc.) through online events. 


  • Five national manifestos of youth led requests on EPSR; 
  • an European Youth Manifesto; 
  • a video report summarizing the final event; 
  • nine documents with collections of best practices and activities results from the capacity building; 
  • eight capacity building events; 
  • transnational in situ event for youth activists; 
  • Five national community engagement programs: workshop, participatory researches and final events; 
  • Two transnational meetings with youth activist and European stakeholders. 



  • Short-term: improved knowledge of European institutions, policies, and values; improved understanding of interests, values, needs of European youth; proficient employing of community engagement tools in organisational activities; acquisition of an intersectional, media-savvy, gender equality aware approach in research, analysis, and organisational practices.  
  • Medium-term: creation of a transnational youth community elaborating and advocating on relevant social, economic, political rights; more valuable spaces for decision makers and youth to exchange views and communicate.  
  • Long-term: gender equality and non-discrimination mainstreaming; improved sense of belonging and commitment to the EU and its rights and values; improved public space to express views and participate in politics, notably for minorities and discriminated groups. 

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