How youth across EU can shape Europe's future together?


Youth organizations from EU and Western Balkans have gathered in Vienna from 2-4 September in the framework of the 18th EU Youth Conference, with the mission to advocate for the interests of all young people across the continent. The main approach to this mission is that the Youth Goals are a great framework that guides measures, policies and programms for youth at all levels.

The main discussion of this conference are the The Youth Goals which reflect the mutual vision of almost 50.000 young people for a better Europe. However, at the moment they are only written words on a piece of paper. And unless they lead to real actions, they are worthless. But who is responsible for the implementation of the Youth Goals: is it the European Commission? Is it national governments? The civil society? Or is it us, young people and youth organisations? The unsatisfying truth is: all of those answers are true.

The EU Youth Conference brings together young people and policy makers who want to shape Europe's future together. WBYCP partner organizations: National Youth Congress of Albania , Keshilli Qendror i Veprimit Rinor - Kosove, National Youth Council of Macedonia and KOMS Serbia have been invited to represent their countries and to give their opinion the way which these goals can be implemented in the Western Balkans countries.

But what makes the Youth Goals so unique is that they formulate a positive vision for the future. A vision that most people can identify with. The objective is to frame the Youth Goals as a desirable benchmark for youth policy. In the long run, public officials and DGs, but also NGOs and youth organisations should have an intrinsic interest to present youth initiatives that are in line with the Youth Goals.

One possibility to achieve this is by implementing a Youth Goal Monitor. This monitor would evaluate how well the national youth policies of participating member states correspond to the Youth Goals. The results would be posted on a website and regularly updated. This approach would make visible which aspects needs to be enhanced, but it would also shed light on best practice examples that could be incorporated by other countries.

Another possibility to is to have as many Youth Goals as possible reflected in the new EU Youth Strategy, that is currently being negotiated. The EU Youth Strategy describes a common understanding on the focus areas of Youth Policy for the next eight years. It would be a true sign of valuable youth participation if the future strategy was based on the common vision that young people expressed in the Youth Goals.

For more photos and videos click here.