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.