What Future for Youth at Risk of Exclusion? How worker and social cooperatives contribute to social inclusion of young people


Young people face the risk of poverty and social exclusion in Europe much more than other groups. Having a job today is no longer a guarantee for an independent and decent living. New challenges such as delayed transition from education to work, expansion of non-standard work, migration, and reduction in public spending are amplifying risks and creating new forms of insecurity and exclusion. An increasing amount of young people are losing faith in democracy and becoming attracted to populist ideologies. Equal opportunities have become nowadays a rhetorical exercise rather than a reality for the most vulnerable ones, especially those categories facing multiple discriminations (based on age, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, etc).


The conference organized by CECOP–CICOPA Europe will look at how worker and social cooperatives combat the exclusion of young people across Europe. How do they increase young people’s social and financial autonomy, give them control over their future and a voice in society and allow them to find their place in their community?

The floor will also be given to the EU institutions and European stakeholders in order to discuss how the EU social model can adapt to a changing social and economic context and what gaps need to be addressed in order to guarantee young people’s full participation in society.


Please register before 5 November. Number of participants is limited! 


20 NOVEMBER | La Tricoterie | Rue Théodore Verhaegen 158 | BRUSSELS 1060


09:30 | Registration

10:00 | Introduction by Diana Dovgan, Secretary General of CECOP

10:15 | Social situation and challenges youth is facing across EU by Stephanie Beecroft, Policy and Advocacy Team Leader, European Youth Forum

10:30 | Session 1: Social inclusion through employment

Testimonies from cooperatives: 
• Tess Lundgren and Peter Brännström - Cooperative Urkraft (Sweden)
• Julie Luna Bayer - Cooperative Hustomrerne (Denmark)
• Sacha Conchin - Cooperative Molenbike (Belgium)

Round table with: 
• Elodie Fazi, Team Leader on Youth Employment, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
• Amana Ferro, Senior Policy Officer, European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)

12:00 | Networking Lunch

13:00 | Session 2: Social inclusion through basic services

Testimonies from cooperatives: 
• Erika Vannini - Social cooperative Camelot (Italy)
• Federica Tedesco - Social cooperative Zattera Blu (Italy)
• Sara Fernandez - Cooperative Ateyavana (Spain)

Round table with: 
• Raquel Cortes Herrera, Deputy Head of Unit on Disability and Inclusion in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
• Nikita Sanaullah, Policy Officer on Social Inclusion, European Youth Forum

14:30 | The point of view of the European Parliament by Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament (Italy, S&D)

14:50 | Conclusions by Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP

This conference has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" (2014-2020). For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi