V Cycle EU Structured Dialogue with Youth: The EU Youth Conference, Kosice (Slovakia)

Alexandra Ruivo Cordeiro (AFS Portugal), EFIL representative to the EU Structured dialogue with young people and member of the EFIL’s Pool of Representatives, attended the second conference of the V cycle of the EU structured dialogue with young people on 3- 6 October, in Kosice (Slovakia), the 2016 European Capital of Sport.

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Once again, delegates from all over Europe representing National Working Groups, International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations (INGYO), governments and other relevant stakeholders, were together to discuss the future of Europe regarding Youth Policies.

Under the topic, ‘Enabling All Young People to Engage in a Diverse, Connected and Inclusive Europe – Ready for life, ready for society’, the delegates discussed the results of the consultation phase. They analysed the input from 65.000 people from all over Europe on what the most important challenges faced by young people nowadays are, to fully develop their potential and become engaged in society. Among these 65.000 people, there are more than 70 AFS voices! Here you can read a short overview of the input received from within the EFIL network: SD_VCycle_EFIL report.

This working days of the EU Youth Conference conducted to the final joint recommendations presented on the last day to all the delegates, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and Youth Ministers of the EU Member States.

Now it is time for the so called High Level Policy Debate among the Ministries dealing with youth of the 28 EU Member States, where the joint recommendations will be discussed. Then finally, the Ministries will address the Council of the EU with conclusions on the topic of this Structured Dialogue cycle.

The joint recommendations drafted in Kosice, included proposals on eight different topics, such as:

  • European and National Authorities should increase funding and institutional support in establishing Local Programmes and National Level Exchanges to enable all young people to have a direct connection with others from different backgrounds and realities, so as to strengthen intercultural competences, tackle discrimination, promote empathy and solidarity, and experience the benefits of diversity.
  • For all young people to live in a diverse Europe, the EU and National Competent Authorities must develop or support training and development programmes to teachers and school communities in order to create a safe and inclusive environment where young people can develop competences to overcome fear and discrimination.
  • The European Commission and the Member States should ensure that every young person, regardless their personal and social situation, can freely engage in volunteering activities by making them accessible. Engagement should be ensured, for instance in youth organizations, to create a sense of belonging and to empower young people as citizens.
  • Member States and the European Commission should further their efforts to overcome existing obstacles to young people’s access to mobility. Access to mobility programmes should be simplified and better adapted to the diverse needs of young people. Information and guidance should be provided to spread awareness of mobility opportunities.
  • EU Member States should create a legal framework for the recognition and validation of competences acquired through mobility programmes on national and European level. This will provide not only equal access to diverse learning opportunities but also validate the attained skills and contribute to social inclusion of young people.

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EFIL was actively involved in this last recommendation about the mobility programmes as well as taking part in the discussion on other topics. We are happy with the result.

You can see the full recommendations here.

Here you can learn more about the EU Structured dialogue process.

For more: elisa.briga@afs.org