EFIL was represented by the European Pool of Representatives member Alexandra Ruivo Cordeiro (AFS Portugal) and Inga Menke (EFIL Partner development Coordinator) at the European Youth Forum(YFJ) General Assembly in Varna, Bulgaria, on 16-19 November.
There were many important topics on the agenda, ranging from the Workplan 2017-2019, the elections of the Board and the approval of policy papers. Next to these statutory tasks, representatives had the chance to share their work and ideas on different topics during the so called ‘Thematic squares’ and learn more about advocacy processes in parallel workshops.
The Workplan 2017-2019 is the last one within the Strategic priorities 2013-2019 and therefore Member organisations of YFJ need to focus in order to achieve the objectives foreseen. The approved workplan includes 5 clusters of work, namely Youth Rights – Strong youth organisations – Sustainable development – Social and economic inclusion – Participation. EFIL’s main interests lay in the cluster Strong youth organisations where youth organisations are promoted as contributors to a peaceful society and more funding is advocated, in Social and economic inclusionwhere quality education lies, and finally in Participation where citizenship education and cooperation between non formal and formal education is promoted. Also, a very important part of the Workplan lays in its preamble, namely:
- Good governance, by ensuring transparent and democratic decision-making;
- Effective and transparent communication towards the membership and all other partners, by ensuring accessible information and a strong echo for our advocacy
- Independence, by ensuring sustainable and diverse funding for the platform;
- Legitimacy and representativeness, by ensuring a diverse, inclusive and increasing membership;
- Ownership, by ensuring strong coordination of Member Organisations’ actions and allowing space for them to build their capacity and contribute to advocacy.
EFIL has contributed to the consultation on the YFJ implementation plan for 2017 through an online survey and especially by attending the meetings of the YFJ Networks on Youth Work and Education on 31 November – 1 December in Brussels.
The main policy paper approved was the Resolution on an EU Youth Strategy. Now that the EU Youth Strategy is under revision, the Youth Forum needs a clear vision for its advocacy towards the institutions. EFIL contributed largely to this document, ensuring that mobility of pupils is included, and we very much support the approach and content of this paper.
The YFJ also recognises the Declaration of the University on Youth and Development 2016, and commits to recognise officially the outcomes of the future editions of this great event in the field of international youth work.
The Youth Capital of 2019 has been announced: Novi Sad (Serbia)! The Youth Capital 2017 is Varna (Bulgaria) and the one for 2018 is Cascais (Portugal). We hope EFIL members in these countries will take the change to link up with this initiative!
New members also joined the Youth Forum: new full members is KOMS, the National Youth Council of Serbia, new candidate member is the European Union of Deaf Youth, new observers are the National Youth Council of Ukraine and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The Youth Forum counts now 103 members organisations from across Europe.
EFIL, together with other youth organisations led a sharing session on ‘Good governance’, building on the Good governance manifesto drafted two years ago and the initiative DO!election by the National Youth Council of Switzerland, in line with what is stated in the preamble of the approved Workplan.
Furthermore, EFIL took part in discussions on EVS & European Solidarity Corps, and attended workshops on funding, cooperation between non formal and formal education, the new EU youth strategy, the Youth Work Recommendation by the Council of Europe.
Finally, elections took place and EFIL is glad to congratulate the new President Luis Alvarado Martinez, the Vice-presidents Dejan Bojanic and Carina Autengruber, and the Board members Kristen Aigro, Tina Hocevar, Zuzana Vaneckova, Mari Stromsvag, Andrea Casamenti, Sebastian Rood, Nafsika Vrettaki and Ville Majamaa.
Luis Alvarado Martinez has been the President of AEGEE- European Students’ Forum and EFIL and the Exchange organisations group within YFJ has been cooperating closely with him in the last 4 years, and always appreciated his cooperative attitude and strong belief in the promotion of non formal education and mobility. Here below you can see Luis with the delegates from youth organisations members of the Exchange organisations group.
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Photos: ©EFIL, ©European Youth Forum