WHAT IS IT?
EU Youth Dialogue is a means of mutual communication and discussion between young people and decision-makers in order to implement the priorities of European youth policy cooperation and to make young people’s voice heard in the European policy-shaping process. It is a consultative process, implemented by the European Commission, that aims to increase cooperation with civil society and get firsthand input from young people. It is made up of one main event, the EU Youth Conference, organized by the EU country currently holding the EU presidency.
This way, we can bridge the gap between the two main actors involved and obtain precious feedbacks and participation in the decisional process by those that are most affected by it: youths all over Europe.
EU Youth Dialogue is organized into 18-month work cycles. Each cycle focuses on a different thematic priority which is set in advance by the Council of Youth Ministers. The current cycle runs from 2019 to 2020 over the course of the Romanian, Finnish and Croatian EU Presidencies.
The thematic priority that was chosen by the current presidency cycle is: “Creating opportunities for Youth”, and has set its roots in these goals:
- Identifying the consultation tools for outreach and meaningful dialogue with all categories of young people and harvesting tools that would allow not only an insight into the results, but also to access inputs on a rolling basis throughout the consultation period;
- Providing a longer period allocated for dialogue activities and consultations that are carried out by the National Working Groups (end of April – end of October 2019);
- Involving researchers that will accompany the trio presidency throughout the EU Youth Dialogue processes;
- Developing a toolkit with methods and approaches for the consultation process in EU Youth Dialogue based on good practices and experiences from the structured dialogue.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
As a tool for participation, EU Youth Dialogue cannot function properly by itself. This means that to be effective, it requires the direct involvement and, indeed, participation of youngsters and organizations involved in the youth field.
During each 18-month work cycle, a national consultation of young people and youth organizations is conducted in every EU country.
This process of participation is organized and overseen by national working groups in each of the European countries. These groups are made of the following actors:
- Representatives of youth ministries;
- National youth councils;
- Local and regional youth councils;
- Youth organizations;
- Youth workers;
- Young people from all backgrounds;
- Youth researchers.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
At the first EU Youth Conference of each cycle, youth representatives and policymakers agree on a guiding framework for the national consultations organized in each country.
At the second conference, the outcomes of the national consultations are debated and Joint Recommendations, aimed at increasing the participation of youth people in politics, are endorsed.
At the third and final conference of the cycle, the recommendations are debated by Youth Ministers from national governments, before being endorsed.
The final recommendations form the basis of a Council Resolution addressed to European institutions and national authorities, to be endorsed by youth ministers at the end of the 18-month cycle.
EU Youth Dialogue is governed at EU level through a European Steering Committee which changes during each cycle and that is composed of:
- Youth Ministry representatives of the three EU Presidency countries;
- Representatives of national youth councils of the three EU Presidency countries;
- Representatives of the Erasmus+ National Agencies of the three EU Presidency countries;
- Representatives of the European Commission;
- Representatives of the European Youth Forum.