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Launch of the European Youth Capitals network in Cluj-Napoca, Source: European Youth Forum

The Network of European Youth Capitals was born in Cluj-Napoca

The Network of European Youth Capitals was born in Cluj-Napoca

It already existed informally in a way, but the signatures of the mayors of Braga, Varna and the host city gave it a formal dimension

Last month, during the 4th Europe Goes Local event in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), several high-level European officials formally launched the Network of European Youth Capital (NEYC). The new body is meant to serve as a platform where cities, which have held the title of Youth Capital can continue to cooperate, develop and expand their initiatives linked to promoting youth empowerment.

The founding cities were Braga (European Youth Capital 2012), Cluj-Napoca (EYC 2015), and Varna (EYC 2017). They were represented by Mayor Ricardo Rio (Braga), Mayor Emil Boc (Cluj-Napoca) and Deputy Mayor Plamena Marinova (Varna). Later on, Amiens (EYC 2020) also joined up as a founding member.

What’s more, the signing ceremony was attended by EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas - a strong sign of support from the EU institutions towards such initiatives launched at the local level.

Once a Youth Capital, always a Youth Capital

2022 is the European Year of Youth, thus this is the ideal moment to boost the appeal of initiatives aimed at bettering life for the next generations, and their economic and political empowerment.

The Network (NEYC), which has been operating without a formal structure since 2015, has permitted EYCs to share practices around Europe, access EU funding and inspire other municipalities to be more open and proactive towards their youth. Thanks to its newly acquired status as a registered organisation, the NEYC will increase its capacity for action, bringing more cities on board and continuing to be the European champion of youth policies at the local level.

A bright example of why this initiative holds deeper meaning is the city of Braga. This year, it is celebrating its tenth anniversary since it became Youth Capital and the fact that the city remains deeply involved in the NEYC is a great reflection of the legacy generated by holding the EYC title.

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