On April 23-25 European youth organisations met in Brussels on the occasion of the European Youth Forum’s (YFJ) Council of Members. Based on the proposal of European Scouting the Forum adopted a set of priorities for the International Youth Year 2010, proclaimed by the United Nations.
The meeting kicked off in the European Parliament with a debate with Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission and Damien Abad MEP, Chair of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Youth. The WOSM delegation, composed of Olga Kuderko-Berg and Falko Mohrs from the European Policies Support Group and firstname.lastname@example.org from the European Regional Office, highlighted in the discussion the importance of recognition of non-formal education in order to empower young people and it’s crucial role for developing life skills that enable young people to become active and responsible members of society. Furthermore, the delegation challenged Mr Abad by questioning the EU’s one-sided approach to education; implementing strategies that mainly focus on highly skilled young people.
During the meeting the representatives of youth organisations adopted two Policy Papers on "Democracy and Youth Organisations" and "Vocational Education and Training", together with resolutions addressing the issue of the situation of the Youth Sector in the Council of Europe and the opportunities of the International Youth Year.
The latter was sponsored by WOSM with debate facilitated by our delegation and dealt with the question how youth organisations can use and benefit from the International Year of Youth. Furthermore,
the assembly adopted a resolution ahead of the European Union - Latin American and Caribbean (EU-LAC) Youth Summit, to be held in Madrid on 7-9 May 2010.
European Scouting participates actively in shaping the work and direction of the European Youth Forum which is an important tool to monitor and influence European policies that impact on Scouting. Important partners in this cooperation are also the European branches of five of the members of the Big 6 that are members of the YFJ, namely WAGGGS, YWCA, YMCA and the Red Cross.
During a farewell event on 25 April the Portuguese city of Braga was awarded the title of European Youth Capital 2012.
Background info: The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is an independent, democratic, youth-led platform made up of 99 National Youth Councils and international youth NGOs from across Europe, that works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations towards the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. For more information, visit www.youthforum.org
Image 1: © European Youth Forum