Eurodesk Director, Audrey Frith, participated in the EU Youth Conference that took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 17-19 April 2018. Organised by the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU, it brought together over 250 delegates to explore “Youth in Europe: What’s Next?”.
At these EU Youth Conferences, which that take place during every Presidency of the Council of the EU (6-month period), youth elected representatives, together with national governments and European Commission officials, discuss and debate youth-related issues and come up with conclusions, which are then submitted to the Council of Ministers, as a way of ensuring that young people can co-shape the policies which affect their lives.
In total 3 Youth Conferences will be held during the 6th Cycle of the Structured Dialogue on Youth. The first was held in Tallinn in October 2017, it aimed at defining priority areas for the future of EU Youth Policies. Based on the outcomes, a broad-scale consultation took place with over 48.000 young Europeans involved. The outcomes were clustered into 11 thematic areas.
The EU Youth conference in Sofia aimed at defining #YouthGoals based on these 11 thematic areas. Workshops were held to define recommendations under each. Eurodesk participated in the workshop on “Connecting EU with Youth” that stressed the need to Foster the sense of youth belonging to the European project and build a bridge between the EU and young people to regain trust and increase participation. It was about meaningful participation mechanisms, quality, impartial and youth-friendly and information, Europe in schools, increased budgets for mobility programmes, etc.
The next EU Youth Conference will be held in Vienna, Austria, in September 2018 to build a tool box for implementing the 11 #YouthGoals. “We need to implement serious policies for the future, in order to help and encourage young people, so that those can be committed members of our society. We will continue to discuss these topics over the second half of the year as well,” Commissioner Navracsics said, obviously pointing at the forthcoming Austrian Presidency.
The Youth Goals website can be found here: www.youthgoals.eu
You can find more information on the Structured Dialogue at this link.
A video presenting the Youth Goals is available at this link.