EU-CELAC Summit: a youth perspective

Timothy Ferdinand is the current Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC) based in Castries, Saint Lucia. The CRYC, being an umbrella body for National Youth Councils across the Caribbean, is a strategic youth governance and advocacy movement working towards regional representation, integration and cooperation as a platform for youth development. He also serves as a founding member of the recently formed Latin America and Caribbean Youth Forum (FLACJ) where the CRYC holds the Vice Chair position for Cooperation. He has also served as the Vice-President and President of the Saint Lucia National Youth Council during the period 2010-2014. Through his studies and professional career, he has also gained expertise in the field of architecture, quantity surveying and development planning.

This paper is a contribution to the EU-LAC Foundation’s newsletter of June 2015, published in the framework of the 2015 EU-CELAC Summit.

For any young person to truly appreciate the context of an EU-CELAC framework, he or she must have some understanding of the history and ongoing experiences of the two regions. More importantly, one must have the capacity to peer into future shapes of our development – both through the visionary lens of our current CELAC leaders and through the eyes of the ordinary citizen- additionally, one must also understand the role and interests of the European Union (EU). 

The Latin American and Caribbean community (CELAC) was formed in December of 2011, with the purpose of deepening Latin American integration. Therefore, any contribution by the EU to the enhancement of that mission will serve the interest of our leaders. This, according to calls made at the inaugural CELAC meeting will obviously translate into encouragement and facilitation of increased regional trade, economic development, and further economic cooperation among members in defending their growing economies.

There are however, three things that can be considered barriers to improving multinational cooperation from a youth perspective. (Read paper)