The Structured Dialogue on Youth is a process enabling young people to be involved in the shaping of policies that affect them, through continuous cooperation among youth representatives and decision-makers.
The process is the result of the White paper A New Impetus for European Youth (2001), which outlines already the importance to consult young people on policy fields that affect them directly. In 2005, a European Union Council Resolution invited the European Commission and the Member States to develop a Structured Dialogue with young people and youth organizations, experts on youth issues and public decision makers.
The biggest boost for its implementation happened with the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018) adopted in 2009 through the Council Resolution that recognize young people as key actors in society that should be considered as an important resource. The framework mentions the importance to defend young people’s right to be involved and to participate in the elaboration of policies that affect them through a permanent structure dialogue between decision makers, young people and youth organizations.
HOW DOES IT WORK
The Structured Dialogue is a means of mutual communication 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, in order to increase cooperation with the civil society, and to get first-hand input coming from, in our case, young people.
It is called “Structured Dialogue’ because it happens in a very concrete frame which has been set by the European Commission together with the European Youth Forum.
The Structured Dialogue process has been recently reviewed, after 3 cycle, in order to increase its efficiency, inclusiveness and coherency.
The new updated process, presented in the presentation below, works the following:
- 1 Cycle lasts 18 month
- Each cycle has a thematic priority on which the dialogue will take place
- Each cycle involves a Trio presidency
- Each cycle has one political outcome: A council Resolution that is based on the outcome of the 18-month Dialogue process.
Read our full comprehensive presentation about the new process of the Structured Dialogue:
Further information of the Structured Dialogue: The Structured Dialogue from A to Z – YEU, publication from YEU (financed with the microgrant of the Youth Forum in 2013)
OUTCOME FROM THE EUYCs
Since 2010, there have been 3 full cycle (18 month) of Structured Dialogue.
For each cycle, the EU Youth Conferences have been a milestone, since it was when young people and decision-makers meet to reflect on the result of the online consultation, and develop joint recommendations on the given topic.
What is the difference between Joint Recommendations and Joint Conclusions?
The Structured Dialogue gives the chance to young people to be directly involved into policy making at all level.
The Council Conclusion that are adopted after each Presidency cycle, should reflect the joint recommendations coming from the continuous dialogue among young people and decision-makers. This shows the direct impact of the SD process in ensuring practical results and better policies for young people.
However, it is also important to understand how many of the policy recommendations that are present in the Council Conclusion, are actually being implemented at National or European level. This is a difficult monitoring and following-up exercise, which needs to be better, carried out by the European Steering Committee, as well as the National Working Groups
This is an on-going process of monitoring and follow-up, which has to be improved.
The European Youth Forum advocates for improved follow-up after a complete cycle. There needs to be a clear commitment of decision- makers made towards the Structured Dialogue with timely regular concrete feedback and a clear visible follow-up at least after every cycle. The Team Presidency and the Commission should regularly communicate the follow-up actions they take to National Working Groups. The Working Groups should be closely associated with the EU Youth Report, as the main reporting tool foreseen within the open method of coordination. The EU Youth Report should continue to be prepared by the ministry responsible for youth affairs, and then discussed and approved with National Youth Councils within the National Working Group. This discussion should take place before the report is sent to the European Commission. The structured dialogue should be an integral part of this reporting and assessment exercise.
ROLE OF THE YOUTH FORUM
The European Youth Forum is part of the Steering Committee of the Structured Dialogue, which means that we are co-coordinating the implementation of the process, together with representatives from the European Commission and of the Trio presidency.
The role of the ESC is to make sure that the Structured Dialogue is implemented correctly, to ensure the follow-up.
More specifically, YFJ coordinates the National Working Groups and INGYOs involved in the process, ensuring that they receive the information they need, supporting them to exchange good practices, as well as bringing their concerns and requests to the ESC.
Read the position paper of the European Youth Forum here.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
- For organisations: All National Youth Councils of EU MS are part of the National Working Groups.
If your INGYO is interested in participating actively into the SD process, please contact
- To promote the Structured Dialogue please use the Structured Dialogue Visual Identity.
- For individuals: As individual, you can take part in the SD process either
– -> at National level, by taking part in the activities and consultations which are led by the National Working Group of your country. To know more, you can contact the NYC of your country.
– -> at European level, through your INGYO involved in the SD process.
News from the Youth Forum on the Structured Dialogue and the EU Youth Conferences:
- 6/10/2016 Joint press release with the Slovak Presidency of the EU and the Slovak Youth Council: EU Youth Conference concludes in Kosice, Slovakia
- 4/04/2016, Joint press release with the European Commission, the Dutch Presidency of the EU and the Dutch National Youth Council: EU Youth Conference in Amsterdam: enabling young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe
- 15/10/2014, Joint press release with the Italian Presidency of the EU and the Greek National Youth Council – The EU Youth conference concludes in Rome
- 13-15/10/2014, Live cover story – LIVE reporting from the EU #YouthConf in Rome
- 18/09/2014, Cover story – Young people’s empowerment will top the agenda at EU Youth Conference
- 12/03/2014, Press release – EU Youth Conference concludes in Thessaloniki
- 11/03/2014, Cover story – From the EU Youth Conference – Thessaloniki, Greece
- 10/03/2014 – Joint press release with the Greek Presidency of the EU and the Greek National Youth Council – EU Youth Conference kicks off in Thessaloniki