HERVÉ BERVILLE: "YOU MUST GIVE YOUTH THE MEANS TO ENGAGE"

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The MP (LREM) of Côtes-d'Armor is the author of a report on the modernization of French development policy. He is also a member of the board of directors of AFD. Among his priorities: better include youth in the construction of the French international solidarity policy.

Why does a better integration of youth in development policies seem to you essential?

In order to respond to the current challenges of development in all their diversity and comprehensiveness, while remaining in the long term, we have no choice but to put in place policies that take youth into account. Youth is indeed at the heart of the most urgent issues such as climate change, education or employability.

Not only must young people be the priority target of development policies, but they must also be the primary actors. This is the meaning of a modern development policy: to give young people, in France as in our partner countries, the right levers to act.

Do they have a better understanding of the issues?

What is certain is that young people face new constraints and threats, which did not exist a few years or decades ago. It is therefore our role to stimulate their capacity to act in the city and to eliminate wherever possible the obstacles and barriers that constrain them. This goes in the direction of many recent social movements - demonstrations for the climate in Europe for example - which showed that young people no longer wanted to be peripheral actors.

More generally, development policy must succeed in getting the largest number of actors. The NGOs are already mobilized, the companies are also getting involved, the foundations are becoming more and more essential, and now it is also up to our youth to seize this policy.

The idea is really to decompartmentalize the initiatives, to be in the co - construction! The development policy of France can no longer be the preserve of the Quai d 'Orsay, the AFD and some National Assembly committees.

What are the levers of action?

Surprisingly, the composition of French consultative bodies in the field of development gives very little space to young people. That is why I propose to create a youth college within the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (CNDSI). The aim is to give them the floor so that they can say how they envisage the future (since they are the first ones concerned), and that they can thus take part in the debate on the stakes of the development by contributing directly to reflection and of course to action.

It is also a question of successfully integrating into this dynamic young French people from all walks of life. Beyond Paris, large cities, there is still a large part of our youth that unfortunately has not yet the opportunity to engage in the field of international solidarity.

How can you reach all these young French people?

There is an essential triptych: to inform, understand and act. Inform, by making the youth understand that we share our destiny with the entire planet. One learns well at school the first aid or the citizenship ... To learn and to understand this world in common, this necessary solidarity between all the countries, seems to me just as essential. Especially that there is a real demand in this sense: when we create spaces for discussion, we talk about solidarity and international issues, our citizens are really interested. Understanding and interpreting the world, giving meaning to globalization, are mobilizing issues.

Then you have to give them the means to act. We are considering integrating into the last phase of the National Universal Service a tool that allows all young people who wish to do so to engage internationally (for example within an NGO), by opening the doors of existing commitment.

Finally, at the graduate level, I propose in my report the creation of a "young international expert" program, modeled on the ODI fellowship scheme.

UK, which gives young graduates the opportunity to work in a public institution in a partner country. This promotes the transfer of skills in these countries while providing the young graduate with valuable international experience in the labor market. These measures would at the same time provide young people with keys of understanding while giving them the means to act: they are the two legs on which one must walk.

You also stress the need for better inclusion of the youth of the partner countries, particularly in

Africa…

Cela me semble en effet essentiel. La relation que nous devons bâtir avec nos partenaires n’ est pas uniquement technique et financière , elle est aussi politique . Les discussions que nous avons avec eux ne peuvent se réduire à la construction de routes, d ’infrastructures , de projets .

Il faut pouvoir discuter avec les jeunes Africains de la même manière que nous discutons avec les jeunes Américains , avec les jeunes Japonais … Qu’ ils n ’aient plus l ’ impression que la France et les autres pays européens ne voient leur relation à l ’ Afrique qu’ à travers les questions de sécurité ou de développement .

Cela ne signifie absolument pas une volonté d’ ingérence ou d’ interventionnisme de notre part. L’ idée, c’ est d’ aller vers une relation partenariale, basée sur une responsabilité partagée , et une transparence et une exhaustivité totale dans tous les sujets abordés. Engager un dialogue politique avec tous les pans de la société … La vraie clé d ’une relation d’ égal à égal et d’ un vrai partenariat est là.

Plus globalement , comment rendre plus efficaces les politiques et programmes de développement ?

L’ approche sectorielle a ses limites. Pour privilégier une politique qui cible davantage les populations , il faut aller vers les jeunes, les femmes, les ruraux . Ce changement de paradigme doit permettre de construire des politiques plus transversales, plus complètes, qui prennent mieux en compte la diversité des territoires et des champs d’ action .

Pour cela , il faut aussi se donner les moyens de soutenir plus de petits projets . Je crois qu’ on a commis une erreur en pensant que la relation de coopération passait uniquement par de projets de taille financière importante … Nous avons déjà augmenté le montant accordé au fonds de soutien projets innovants des ambassades , qui est passé cette année de 24 à 32 millions d ’euros , avec trois piliers prioritaires : la jeunesse, le changement climatique et les jeunes femmes entrepreneuses. L’ AFD essaie aussi d’ accompagner plus de petits projets liés à ces piliers avec des initiatives comme

Digital Africa et Choose Africa.

Votre rapport insiste également sur la nécessité de mieux intégrer les diasporas à la construction de ces politiques …

Comment envisager une politique de partenariat pertinente , qui vise juste , si l ’on échoue à impliquer en amont et dans la mise en œuvre de nos politiques tous ceux qui ont un rapport particulier au pays de leur famille ? Jusqu’ à présent, nous nous sommes contentés d ’intégrer les diasporas uniquement à l ’aune de considérations financières et économiques .

Il y a là un écosystème hyper -dynamique sur lequel on commence seulement à s ’ appuyer, notamment grâce à la task force diaspora de l ’ AFD . Dans nos entreprises , dans nos administrations , il faut parvenir à l ’ intégrer davantage dans cette dynamique partenariale et fluidifier la mobilité dans les deux sens .

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Un monde commun, un avenir pour chacun . Le rapport sur la modernisation de la politique partenariale de développement et de solidarité internationale d'Hervé Berville


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