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Eurasian integration agenda is becoming youth-orientated

Eurasian integration agenda is becoming youth-orientated

Promoting the Eurasian integration ideas among the young generation were discussed by experts during the session "Strategies to engage youth in the Eurasian integration processes" within the First Eurasian Congress held on December 4 conducted by the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) jointly with the Eurasian Economic Commission. 

In the last few years, youth outreach has been deeply embedded in the agenda of major international organizations. New ideas, energy and original approaches of young people are of great importance for further social development. 

The session experts have noted relevance of the youth agenda for the Eurasian economic integration. The young generation, who are the core of the emerging human capital, should be instrumental in developing integration processes and important social projects. The experts have discussed, in particular, developing the most efficient way to interact with young people as well as current formats for involving young people in decision-making processes at the current stage of integration processes development.

Nikolay Podguzov, Chairman of the EDB Board, has noted that the EAEU’s prime objective is to make people live better, have more comfortable services and be richer and happier. "The Eurasian Union is boon to people, it is their economic soundness. The higher potential of this space is something that you probably should first convey to others”, he stated. Only young people can perceive, promote and apply this in the right way.   

According to him, it is critical to create the EAEU Youth Council and ensure its proper work and development. Therefore, the Eurasian Development Bank will support this initiative. "We are ready to do joint projects and promote the Youth Council. I am confident that the Youth Council will generate new leaders who will be clear on all positive aspects of our integration association and shape national policies of our countries based on the fact that together is better than separately", Nikolay Podguzov stated.

Tatyana Seliverstova, Head of the International Activities Department of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodezh), has told that the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs launched its project offices for international economic cooperation in an array of Russian cities. She has expressed hope that the Youth Council will join the project offices’ activities.

According to Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Faculty of Journalism at Lomonosov Moscow State University, the young generation is our future and we should think about the information and media spheres, there should be no feud between countries. She has proposed creating a network of journalism departments that would work on joint information multimedia projects.

Konstantin Kolpakov, Chairman of the Council of Young Diplomats of the Russian Foreign Ministry, has thanked his colleagues for high assessment of their activities. The Youth Council has recently been created but many joint events had already been held with the Council of Young Diplomats of the Russian Foreign Ministry. He has expressed hope for expanding interaction within the EAEU.   

Oleg Firer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Grenada to the Russian Federation, has told that his country supports the young generation as future belongs to young people. "Grenada is a country of youth; the average age of the population is 31, so we work very closely with young people, support their ambitions at the political and diplomatic levels. We are happy to be friends with the EEC, we are open to dialogue and cooperation at the interregional level", he said.

Konstantin Sidorkov, Director of Strategic Communications at Vkontakte, has told about his company's projects in the EAEU countries. Levon Shahinyan, Youtube Producer, informed about the way to attract young people through digital to the Eurasian agenda and gave negative cases of promoting government institutions in social networks, how not to do it. "Develop your personal brand and do it in social networks, create content interesting to young people," Levon Shahinyan called upon.

Daniyar Turusbekov, Director of the EEC Protocol and Organizational Support Department and Chairman of the EEC Youth Council, moderated the session. In his welcoming speech, he noted that in recent years the work with young people had been deeply embedded in the agenda of major international organizations and integration associations. "The importance of involving young people in integration processes is also discussed by the Heads of State of the Union's participating countries as the young generation is the major driver force", Daniyar Turusbekov stressed.

The EEC representative has informed that creating the Youth Diplomacy Association in the EAEU jointly with the Council of Young Diplomats of the Russian Foreign Ministry is on the roadmap. This initiative has already been supported by youth organizations in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan and consultations are held with similar institutions in Armenia and Kazakhstan. "We will start raising awareness both inside and outside the Union through developing this association. We have common purpose - to promote the Eurasian integration", Daniyar Turusbekov stressed.

For reference

The youth agenda is actively developing in the Eurasian Economic Commission. Regular excursions are arranged for students and postgraduates. In 2019 and 2020, academic exchanges were made under the auspices of the Commission between leading universities of the EAEU Member States. Besides in 2019, within the 4th International Exhibition Forum "Eurasian Week", Kyrgyzstan hosted the “EAEU Young Leaders School", which included a meeting with the Chairman of the EEC Board, lectures given by officials and experts of the EEC and a business game. At the same time, the Youth Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission which comprised about 70 people from most of the Commission's departments was founded.

The Youth Council is a voluntary association of officials and employees of the Eurasian Economic Commission based on self-governance, equality, common interests and aspirations of all its members. Despite the fact that the Youth Council at the EEC was established only a year ago, efforts have already been taken in several areas. The EEC Youth Council has established close interaction with key partners − the Council of Young Diplomats of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Rosmolodezh, the Association of Youth Governments of the Russian Federation, the Youth Parliament under the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and other organizations.

In September of this year, the Youth Council's members organized a business game jointly with the Rosmolodezh: "Made in the EAEU: a Eurasian brand in the global market" which was attended by more than 50 students and young specialists. The business game was held as part of the business program of the International Youth Forum "Eurasia Global" held in Orenburg on September 2-8. The business game was well received by participants. In the future, it is planned to continue holding such events, including at the venues of other EAEU States. 

The most ambitious initiative of the Youth Council is the "Our Heroes" project dedicated to celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War.  Within the project, its participants collected photos and stories of more than 300 relatives of employees engaged in the war. The exhibition can be seen at the Commission's Headquarters and on the website.​