Held in Malta from 20 to 23 March 2017, the last EU Youth Conference of the V Cycle of the Structured Dialogue with Youth was the moment to present concrete actions for the eight topics related to ‘enabling youth to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe’.
More than 200 representatives from International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations (INGYO), National Youth Councils (NYC), Youth Ministers, National Agencies, the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders were together to finalise the 18-months work.
We started in April 2016 in Amsterdam – The Netherlands, by identifying challenges that young people face, then we consulted our members to validate the relevance of the challenges. On the second conference, October 2016 in Kosice – Slovakia, we built recommendations that were validated by our members. The third conference in Bugibba – Malta, meant to present what Member states need to implement so that the objectives can be fulfilled.
The results include:
- Organise youth festivals for European engagement the local and national levels
- Include a chapter on Youth Work and Youth Spaces in the Youth report of the European Commission
- Have life-skills classes in school curricula
- Develop mental health first aid kits
But that was not all. For the first time, there was a side Workshop based on the Hackathon Model. About 20 Representatives from INGYO, NYC and Youth Ministers were together for only 24 hours, to built the Vision to inspire Policy Makers for the next EU Youth Strategy. EFIL was there, and although we recognise the importance of this experiment and the fact of being for the first time asked on what we (youth) want, we think that the process has started without setting up a clear follow-up to the ideas that emerged.
The Hackathon Workshop – the tribe of EUthopians present
There is no doubt that the SD process has been a huge step in the youth participation field, but there is still a lot to do to improve the process. Now it is time to follow up on the recommendations and to start a new process with the VI cycle, with Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria. Good luck to the new EFIL representative towards the SD, Lukas Findeisen from AFS Germany!
Text and photo by Alexandra Ruivo Cordeiro (AFS Portugal)
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