What is the Structured Dialogue?
The EU Structured Dialogue is a tool to feed into EU policy when it comes to youth issues. In the past 18 months the theme has been “Empowerment of Young People for Political Participation”, which has been tackled by the Trio trio of EU presidencies Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg.
What has happened so far?
During the first two conferences, Italy defined the guiding framework, and Latvia drafted recommendations, which were then finalised in Luxembourg, where ideas of implementation were also created. Inbetween these steps, consultations were held to ask young people (including EFIL’s members) what they think is needed when it comes to political participation, and policy makers were asked how they interpreted the recommendations and assessed their feasibility.
On 18th May, during the feedback phase between Latvia and Luxembourg a high-level policy debate took place where policy makers were able to feedback the recommendations before they are proposed to the European Council. The main questions centered on feasibility and the role of various stakeholders.
Within this Structured dialogue cycle the cooperation between International youth NGOs was strengthened in order to be recognised as voice of young people beyond national borders in Europe.
What happened in Luxembourg?
Charlotte Klinting (AFS Denmark) attended the EU Youth conference in Luxembourg on behalf of EFIL’s Pool of Representatives, while Dulio Santos (AFS Portugal) and Eliza Popper (AFS Hungary) were facilitators of the event on behalf of the European Youth Forum.
This theme of the Structured Dialogue comes down to young people wanting inclusive societies with real political participation. This was echoed by Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, who spoke at the Luxembourg conferences about the fact that the Structured Dialogue needs to be more representative of young people, particularly in the light of the recent European refugee crisis. Moreover, he announced that Erasmus+ will fund more projects that will counter radicalisation; provide more online space for young people to participate in political discussions and make the European Youth Portal more interactive. What was clear was the fact that discussions are not enough, but that implementation must be at the centre of the outcome of this cycle.
The recommendations and implementation toolbox that were created in Luxembourg will be presented to the European Council and feed into the Council Conclusion on Youth Empowerment for Political participation to be adopted at the end of the Luxembourgish presidency on November 24th .
The final recommendations from the EU Youth conference in Luxembourg can be found here: http://www.youthforum.org/assets/2015/09/EUYC_Recommondation_Layout_02.pdf and the European Youth Forum’s press release is available here: http://www.youthforum.org/pressrelease/5929/
A big thanks
A big thanks to Charlotte Klinting who has been in charge of EFIL’s representation in the EU structured dialogue process for this Trio Presidency!