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The EU structured dialogue with young people is the widest consultation process of the European Union in order to reflect about the challenges young people are facing today and react to these within the policies of the European Union. EFIL, being a youth organisation member of the European Youth Forum, has the chance to take part in this process! And it is your chance to speak up about the future of Europe! Take part in the survey on what do young people need in the future! DEADLINE to take part is Sunday 11 FEBRUARY.
The EU structured dialogue is set up as cycles of 18 months each. Within each of these cycles, 3 EU youth conferences take place focusing on consulting young people on a specific topic.
From 23 to 26 October the first out of three conferences of the 6th cycle of the structured dialogue took place at the creative HUB Tallinn. And here are some impressions about the first of the three conferences:
Estonia is a country in the very north of Europe with approx. 1.3 million people living in. For its first time it is holding the presidency of the council of European and therefore the host of the first conference of the structured dialogue: The conference took place at the creative HUB in Tallinn – a former power station removed to be a conference and meeting hub which lived up to the excitations raised by Estonia called itself e-Estonia.
The goal of the first conference was to reflect the challenges we as young people are facing today and used the blue-sky thinking method to create a concrete and collective image of all participants of the conference. Around 220 representatives from National working groups, ministries and international young organisations gathered to discuss these topics
The conference opened with an inspirational speech by Estonia’s current prime minister Jüri Ratas stressing out the fact that young people and their innovative approach to challenges are the main resource for the future of Europe.
Afterwards, the concept of the conference was introduced: While everybody gathered in smaller groups to discuss certain topics, a group of researchers will listen carefully – they were the “key note listeners” and evaluate the written and oral outcome to conclude about the importance and relevance of the topics discussed.
The next day started with a presentation of the outcomes of the first day, concluding, that Health care / Mental Health, Migration issues, Housing, Transportation, Civil society, rural policy, peace and global security, environment, politics, labour market, equality and human rights, employability, education, information, the EU and mobility are the most important topics from the first day.
To go deeper on these topics the “future festival” started: Everybody could propose a topic to host a platform regarding a topic he/she finds important for the future of Europe and discuss it with young people interested as well. The outcomes were uploaded on an online platform, so the researchers could evaluate the outcomes over night: if you are interested you can find it all here: http://youthconf.eu/overview/
To celebrate to last full day of the conference a dinner with a penal discussion with the president Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia was hosted at the seaplane harbour – a former society military based now used as a museum and event hall – to discuss the relevance of the EU for the member states and the role of young people within.
The closing morning of the 1st event of the structured dialogue started with a penal discussion with commissioner Tibor Navracsics on the future of youth in the European union, saying that “Young people have a vital role in shaping the future. We need to empower each of them so they can build a fair, cohesive Europe based on solidarity and engagement.” During the discussion everybody could post a question using the Hashtag #youthconf – and some of the questions were directly asked at the penal.
After three intense days of discussion the European working group on international young NGOs – of which EFIL is a member – is now looking forward to advocate further for steps towards a Europe with more participation opportunities for young people.
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