Structured dialogue: sharing our experience

We were invited last Monday to take part in the Seminar “Shaping European Youth Policies in Theory and Practice”, co-organised by the French and Croatian agencies and supported by the EU-CoE youth partnership.

There, we presented our annual Work Plan of 2017 “TOG(AE)THER EUROPE : Living, working and shaping Europe together”, its challenges and results. The interaction with the participants allowed us to give them advices on how to implement European projects in link with Youth. We also got to hear about other local and national realities concerning the development of these projects in other countries.

Tog(AE)ther Europe, when young people meet policy makers

Co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, our long term project of 2017, “Tog(AE)ther Europe“, aimed at promoting social inclusion for young europeans and their access to social rights, as well as giving them the opportunity and space to meet and interact directly with policy makers.

Some of the results of this project were:

  • the development by the young people of 9 Action Plans to implement at local level
  • the concrete implementation (to this day) of 2 of their Action Plans, in Italy and in Spain
  • the development by the young people of 5 examples of concrete actions to suggest to the policy makers
  • the candidacy of one of the young people to the municipal elections of his city, Dordrecht (The Netherlands)
  • several meetings between our young participants and policy makers: 7 in total.

Our difficulty : reaching the European policy makers!

During this project, we faced a major issue: out of 60 invitations sent directly to the MEPs and PACE members, we were concerned to see that none of them came to meet our young participants. This observation convinced us to write and address them an open letter in order to inform them of their passiveness towards young people involved and willing to take part in the decisions of Europe.

Our advice on Structured Dialogue projects

We were able to advice the participants of the seminar to focus their attention and efforts on local policy makers (as opposed to European policy makers who don’t always show enough interest).

Local policy makers are often willing to meet with European young people and hear their suggestions. We hope our advice will help other organisations to find success with their projects.

Cross-border activity in Strasbourg

This week, Youth Express Network hosted its first cross-border project of the year. This German-French thematic visit was organised in collaboration with our long-time partners Arbeit und Leben in Bayern and the OFAJ-DFJW.

The group of young people was composed of 13 vocational school students from Weiden, Germany. Aspiring to become specialised educators, they spent 5 days in Strasbourg were they met with french young people studying in the same field.

During these 5 days, they were given the opportunity to visit Strasbourg and its museum and European Parliament. They also visited the IFCAAD – a french school dedicated to social and educational work – a French-German kindergarden and our member organisation Association l’Etage.

Next week, we will welcome another group for a thematic visit on the food profession.

Tell your Y-E-N Story [Facebook Challenge]

At the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Youth Express Network, we wanted to tell our story. Above all, we want to hear the stories of the people who joined us through our exciting adventures towards Youth Inclusion!

To give to our online community the opportunity to share bits of their Y-E-N stories, we launched a Facebook Challenge. Through it, we hope to read lots of anecdotes throughout the year: the stories of how they met Youth Express Network? The stories of their best memories with the Y-E-N family? The most memorable projects they participated to..

If you would like to take part in this online storytelling experience, here’s how the Youth Express Challenge works:

– Write your little story as a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post. Don’t hesitate to add pictures or videos
– Tag your Y-E-N friends and invite them to tell their story as well
– Use the #youthexpresschallenge on your post. It will allow us to collect all of your testimonies afterwards
– Copy these instructions somewhere on your post for your friends to continue the chain

We can’t wait to read your stories!


ACTION DAY #2: Think Healthy!

Youth Express Network uses the ENTER Recommendation as a tool for advocacy on access to Social Rights for Young People. This year, and to celebrate our 25th year of successfully working towards youth inclusion, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of those recommendations by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action.

ENTER recommendation #2:
Promoting healthy lifestyle.

In February, we wanted to focus on the Recommendation on Health: « Promoting Healthy Lifestyle ». We asked our Azerbaijani member organisation Common Sense Youth Organisation (CSYO) to be part of this challenge!

Think Healthy!

CSYO has been involved in awareness campaigns on the risks of smoking for years now, a cause that has more recently been addressed by the Azerbaijani Government which passed a law against smoking in public spaces. For theses reasons, CSYO made their Action Day a Movie Day, and invited their Young People to a projection and debate around the film “Thank You for Smoking”, a satirical comedy on the Tobacco Lobby.


This action day is part of the 25 years project. Learn more on this project here:
Have a look on the ENTER rec. here:

ACTION DAY #1: Your voice matters!

Youth Express Network uses the ENTER Recommendation as a tool for advocacy on access to Social Rights for Young People. This year, and to celebrate our 25th year of successfully working towards youth inclusion, we wanted to put a spotlight on some of those recommendations by, each month, initiating or communicating on 1 action related to 1 recommendation. 1 month / 1 recommendation / 1 action.

ENTER recommendation #1:
Promoting meaningful participation opportunities in the planning & management of their living environment.

2017 gave us a taste of structured dialogue, but in 2018 we want to take it a step further. As part of the European Working Group on structured dialogue with young people, Youth Express Network is running an online consultation to find out what matters to young people and to give them space to have a direct say in the future of the EU youth policies & the EU Youth Strategy 2019+.

Young people! Make your voice heard!


This action day is part of the 25 years project. Learn more on this project here:
Have a look on the ENTER rec. here:

2018 will be special!

In a few days, Youth Express Network will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its creation! A quarter of a century! To make it count, we planned great surprises, and the show starts Today!

For 25 years now, Youth Express Network has been working with youth organisations from all over Europe. Since its creation, the network has developed more than a hundred international, European and local projects together with its member organisations and partners.

To mark this special anniversary, we wanted to tell our story. The story of a network and how it all started, the stories of the young people who contributed to build the network, family stories, stories of our projects, sometimes crazy ones, stories of Youth, from 1993 until now.

2018 will be a year to remember. Stay tuned on all of our social medias where we will post videos, pictures, challenges and action days every months.

Watch the 1st Chapter of our video project here:


All of the stories

World Forum For Democracy 2017

« Is populism a problem? »

From the 8th to the 10th of November, Y-E-N was at the Council of Europe for the 6th edition of the World Forum for Democracy on the topic « Is populism a problem ? » ! This event takes place each year in Strasbourg (France) and is organised by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Municipality of Strasbourg (France), the Region Grand-Est (France) and the French Governement.

« The objective of the World Forum for Democracy 2017 is to review new initiatives and approaches which can enhance democratic practices and help parties and media, but also other political and function optimally in 21st century democracy. » (source :

For 3 days, around 2000 participants and 200 speakers from 80 countries gathered to address the challenge of populism around the world. Different plenary sessions focused particularly on the role of political parties and the media and Labs explored practical initiatives that are implemented in some countries.

The winner of this year’s Democracy Innovation Award went to Russian investigative newspaper « The Insider ».

« The Insider is an investigative newspaper that seeks to provide its readers with information about the current political, economic and social situation in Russia, while also promoting democratic values and shedding light on issues related to human rights and civil society. In addition, the Insider implements the “Antifake” project, with the objective of systematically debunking fake news in Russian media, and to help its audience to distinguish relevant information from fake news and propaganda. » (source :

The World Forum for Democracy will be held in 2018 again, on the topic « Citizenship on the move ». More about the Forum

Y-E-N meets “no Walls – more Words”

Between the 2nd and the 4th of May, we had the pleasure to welcome in Strasbourg our new friends from IPA as part of their bicycle trip across Europe, a beautiful Youth Initiative entitled “no Walls – more Words“.

IPA: Io Per l’Altro

IPA stands for “Io Per l’Altro”: Myself for the others. Co-funded by Marco Valerio Battaglia, Endrit Dodaj and Antonino Costanza, IPA is an organisation of volunteers working with Youth and more particularly with the children in Togo. The organisation is based in Ostia, Rome, and its premises serve as a youth center where youngsters can meet, share and participate to training activities.

4 bicycles and 1 800 kilometres

On the 25th of April, Marco Valerio, Claudia, Simone and Gabriele left Ostia (Rome) for a meaningful cycling adventure. Their objective: cycling from Amsterdam to Rome to meet young people from all over Europe and chat with them about Europe, barriers, integration and opportunities…

From their hometown Ostia (Rome), they flew to Amsterdam, where they departed on their two wheels to travel across 7 countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, France, Swiss and Italy. Among their stops, some significant chapters of the History of Europe such as Maastricht, Schengen and Strasbourg.

Through this adventure, they wish to create a discussion with the youngsters, motivate them to pursue their goals and raise awareness about Hospitality, mutual support and intercultural dialogue. The project was developed aligned with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy of the Erasmus + Programme, and it is part of the “No Hate Speech” campaign.

The group will organise meetings in Italian schools to discuss about the experience. They are to reach Rome on the 18th of May.

Major stop: Strasbourg, European Capital

On the 2nd of May, our 4 friends finally arrived in Strasbourg for a special Stop! Here, they stayed a few days, met with young people and NGOs, and visited some meaningful corners of the European Capital (European Youth Centre, European Parliament…).

They interviewed Emmeline and Margaux, from Y-E-N’s coordination office, and Mr. Menno ETTEMA, European coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement [Video]. We also introduced them to our member organisation, the Association l’Etage, and its members, and they were able to chat with them, explain their initiative and purpose, and most importantly, hear and record their stories. We were very happy to share a little time with these Inclusive Bikers 😉

Dear friends, BON VOYAGE for the end of your trip!


After 25 days and 1 800 km, our friends finally arrived is Ostia 🙂
We are very proud and admiring of their achievement ! BRAVO 😉


Y-E-N celebrates Europe Month!

In May, Youth Express Network will celebrate Europe Month, a special month of events organised by the Région Grand Est to commemorate the “Schuman Declaration”, founding text of the European construction.

This text was pronounced on the 9th of May 1950 and proposed the creation of an European organisation in charge of placing the French and German production of coal and steel under one common High Authority. The “Schuman Declaration” would later lead to the signing of the “Treaty of Paris” the 18th of April 1951, founding the European Coal and Steel Community between 6 European nations.

To celebrate this major historic event, we will participate in 4 local events during de month of May:

3rd of May
Meeting with a Youth Initiative

On the 3rd of May, we will welcome No Walls – More Words, a Youth initiative driven by 4 young people from Italy who went on a bicycle adventures across Europe as part of the No Hate Speech Movement. Together, they will cycle from Amsterdam to Rome and meet with young people to talk to them about integration and opportunities. A good opportunity for them to create bridges between European people in these difficult times.

We will welcome this initiatives during their 3-days stop in Strasbourg and will introduce them to our French Member Organisation L’Étage and their young members during a friendly afternoon and evening. A conference and debate will be held between 12:00 and 16:00 at the Étage to talk about Living Together in Europe, Respect (or Disrespect) of Human Rights in dealing with migrations and European citizenship.



9th of May
Information morning on mobility

Through one of our local project, the Platform Alsace Mobility Crossroads, we will organise an information meeting on the 9th of may. A good number of our partners, local players of the mobility scene, will be present to talk about cross-border, European and international mobility to Facilitators, Youth and Social Workers.


24th of May
Intervention at a Youth celebration

On the 24th of May, we will participate in the Youth Celebration of the Center of Notre Dame de Strasbourg, by inviting young people to share their mobility and voluntary experiences (civic service, European voluntary service, organisation volunteering…) to the youngsters of the Center.

30th of May
Photo Exhibition in a High School in Colmar

On the 30th of May, we will set up a photo exhibition in the High School Camille Sée, in Colmar, to promote the benefits of Living Together and Interculturality to high schoolers.

Local Event: Mobility Morning – Strasbourg

Cross-border, European or International mobility experiences are nowadays a major factor on the social and professional insertion of young people. It also helps them develop their professional skills, their personal growth and contributes to their sense of civic engagement.

Unfortunately, mobility is still seen as something hardly achievable and too few youth workers really know how to seize these opportunities.

To inform facilitators, youth and social workers on the benefits of youth mobility, Youth Express Network will held an information morning destined to professionals.


Maison des Associations
1A Place des Orphelins
67000 Strasbourg


on the 9th of May 2017
from 9:30 to 13:15

Objectives of this event:

  • Raise awareness amongst youth professionals on the positive impacts of youth Cross-border, European and International mobility
  • Inform Swiss, French and German facilitators, social and youth workers on the various youth mobility programs and opportunities at transnational, European and international level
  • Encourage meetings with funders and project holders
  • Encourage experience sharing between French, German and Swiss professionals