“Visible Value: Growing youth work in Europe”

We are pleased to announce that our esteemed network coordinator, Emilie, had the privilege to participate in the highly anticipated event “Visible Value: Growing youth work in Europe.” Organized on May 31st and June 1st, 2023, at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary, this symposium brought together over a hundred policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and youth. The objective was to explore the challenges and opportunities of expanding youth work in Europe, while celebrating the 25 years of collaboration between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth.

The event started with a warm welcome and registrations on Tuesday, May 30th, followed by a delightful dinner. The evening provided an informal setting for participants to build connections and engage in networking activities. It served as an introduction to the stimulating discussions and informative sessions that would follow.

On Wednesday, May 31st, the symposium officially began with a session titled “Making the Invisible Visible,” where participants were welcomed by key figures, including Clotilde Talleu, responsible for the partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth, Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot, Director of Youth, Education, and Erasmus+ at the European Commission, and Matjaz Gruden, Director of Democratic Participation at the Council of Europe. The program continued with an interactive exchange on the development of youth work in a changing world, allowing participants to share their perspectives and ideas.

A highlight of the event was the high-level plenary exchange celebrating the 25 years of collaboration between the European Commission and the Council of Europe. Distinguished personalities such as Spyros Papadatos, Chair of the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) and the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ), Jorge Orlando Queirós, President of the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ), and Maria Rodriguez Alcazar, President of the European Youth Forum, joined Matjaz Gruden and Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot for this memorable discussion. The session featured a video message from Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, further emphasizing the importance of this milestone.

Throughout the symposium, parallel sessions and workshops were organized to foster a spirit of knowledge sharing and collaborative learning. These sessions addressed various topics, including recent developments in youth work, national realities, and youth perspectives. Valuable resources, initiatives, and projects from the Council of Europe, such as the Recommendation on Youth Work, the Youth Work Portfolio, Europe Goes Local, and the European Academy of Youth Work, were shared and discussed, enabling participants to enhance their own youth work practices.

As the event drew to a close on Thursday, June 1st, an interactive plenary session titled “The Garden of Insights: Harvesting Thoughts and Challenges in Youth Work Practice” provided practical conclusions, reflections, and aspirations for the future. Notable figures such as Marti Taru, General Rapporteur, Maria Rodrigues Alcazar, President of the European Youth Forum, and representatives from the Council of Europe and the European Commission took part in a panel discussion to underline the importance of youth work in shaping future policies.

Emilie’s participation in the “Visible Value: Growing youth work in Europe” event undoubtedly contributes to our organization’s commitment to fostering meaningful connections, staying abreast of the latest developments in youth work, and exchanging ideas with experts in the field. The knowledge gained from this symposium will certainly enrich our ability to support and empower the young people in our network and beyond.

As Emilie returns from this enriching experience, we look forward to seeing the knowledge and inspiration she will bring to our network. We remain determined to strengthen our efforts in the field of youth work, leveraging the valuable resources and relationships forged during events such as “Visible Value: Growing youth work in Europe.”