At this time of economic crisis – with its inevitable repercussions on the labour market – a dialogue among Regions on the future of our young citizens and on the most effective tools to facilitate their stable access to the labour market is of utter importance. After two years since the beginning of this critical period  - both for the economy and the labour market – young people may be among the most adversely affected by the negative economic trend.

A dialogue which not only involves regional institutions, but also firms – which have always been privileged partners of the Eurodyssey Programme – is it even more valuable, as the growth of a area, including its economic development, is not unrelated to the growth of its young citizens and local companies.

The Forum stresses the importance of the relationship between firms, employment and the future of youth; this clearly expresses our commitment towards ensuring an improved professional qualification for young people. In this context, international mobility is one of the most effective tools in the fight against unemployment.

The Forum aims at giving young Europeans improved work opportunities and a better future, but is important for another reason too: it promotes the creation of a strong European citizenship. It allows young Europeans to deeply feel their regional identity and, at the same time, to experience other regional cultures, with the aim of strengthening their sense of belonging to Europe.

Last year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Programme. Today, with this Forum, we want to build on the cooperation among Regions, exploiting all the available tools: from structural funds to European programmes for international mobility.

The key to the success of the Programme lies in its ability to look at the future, to discuss methodologies, to try new paths using innovative tools and processes. This is what makes it stronger and stronger.

It is with great pleasure that the Regional Administration of Valle d’Aosta welcomes each of the participants in the Forum, with the hope that the days we will be spending together will also give you the opportunity to enjoy the great natural riches of our small Region.