EFIL is currently a member of the Advisory Council on Youth to the Council of Europe (or, the “AC”), which meets bi-annually together with government counterparts (Steering Committee on Youth). When merged, these two bodies form the Joint Council on Youth, which sets out the Council of Europe’s youth policy agenda.

The Advisory Council on Youth to the Council of Europe held its second meeting of 2018 in October, attended by Charlotte Klinting (AFS DEN).

In March, the report from the meeting was a different tale; one of disappointment and frustration. However, the most recent session was successful in several ways, and reflected the hard work put in by AC members to reach compromises and solutions. Here are some of the highlights.

The Joint Council adopted the draft priorities for the Youth for Democracy Programme 2020-21, which was one of the most important items on the agenda. The priorities will be Access to rights; Youth participation and youth work; and Inclusive and peaceful societies; and while the headings are similar to the current biennium, changes to indicators, budget and activities are also part of the discussions.

On the initiative of the Advisory Council, the Joint Council appointed a Rapporteur on Mainstreaming Disability Issues for the first time. The importance of this topic is also reflected in the decision to have a thematic debate during the next meeting of the Joint Council on young people with disabilities.

The Joint Council also finally approved a draft CM recommendation on supporting young refugees in transition to adulthood (with two dissenting opinions). This comes after two years of drafting and re-drafting; and the Special Representative on Migration and Refugees commended the efforts to reach a compromise text. It was underlined that the document demonstrates the added value of the youth sector, with its non-formal and intercultural approach, which is absent in other sectors. Whether this will be approved by the Council of Ministers remains to be seen.

Lastly, as 2020 looms on the horizon, the youth department is in the process of evaluating the current strategy, which comes to an end after next year, and it has been agreed to start the development of a new youth agenda for the period of 2020-2030.

EFIL has been represented in the Advisory Council since 2016 by Charlotte Klinting, who after 3 years has decided to step down. Emilia Gagrcin, previously a member of the EFIL TICLAB, has assumed the role as EFIL’s representative to the AC from December 2018.