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On Wednesday 19 November, the General Assembly (GA) of the European Youth Forum (YFJ) met again for 3 intense days of negotiations, deliberations and… elections! Silvia Pieretto, EPoR, and Inga Menke from the EFIL office, represented EFIL and its stands for mobility and quality education as fundamental tools for the growth and development of young people in Europe.
The YFJ GA takes place every two years in November; along with voting on policy papers and resolutions, it votes on the biennial work plan and elects the Board of the Forum.
Twice elected President Peter Matjasic and its Board Members left space for a new team that presents a nice balance among re-elected members and “newbies”. A great success for the group of exchange organisations (EFIL, as well as EEE-YFU, AEGEE, ESN, Alliance, YEU, Y-E-N) was the election of Luis Martinez Alvarado as Vice-President. Here you can read about all members of the 2015-2016 Board.
WORK PLAN and RESOLUTIONS on Visa
During the GA, 98 organisations represented by around 200 delegates reached an agreement on many points that are crucial for the development and rights of young people in Europe.
Regarding EFIL’s priorities, the approved Work Plan has a strong focus in terms of advocacy towards mobility and visa, asking the Forum to keep advocating for the next two years for the right to mobility as a transversal issue of all young people by dealing with barriers to mobility and the topic of visa and residence permit liberalisation across Europe on national and European level.”
Quality education (including citizenship education) stays at the center of the work of the membership to promote access and the right to quality education, including formal and non-formal, as a focal point for the personal and social development of young people. The work plan also asks for continuous monitoring and following-up on funding opportunities, especially in what concerns the fair and consistent distribution of Erasmus+ funds by National Agencies.
More relevant moments happened during the GA, including the Board presentation of achievements of the last two years, showing the legacy and challenges open to the new team.
The General Assembly was also the perfect stage for the newly appointed EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, to address the European Youth Forum and the youth of Europe. During his first public appearance in this role, Mr. Tibor Navracsics underlined how he plans to put young people at the center of future policy making, committing to be the Commissioner of all young people in Europe. It was a good occasion to open the dialogue that he will need to engage with and develop in the next five years. More details on the statement of Commissioner Navracsics at the General Assembly can be found in this press release and this article by the European Youth Forum. If you are interested to get a closer look at what happens with youth in Europe, read or subscribe to the Youth Policy Watch.
EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL
This year’s GA took place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to keep the tradition of holding YFJ meetings in the European Youth Capital, as kick-off of the “youth year”, as well as announcing the following Youth Capital, which for 2017 will be Varna, Bulgaria. More details on the European Youth Capitals can be found here and in the website of the network.
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