October 15, 2014


Rome, 15 October 2014 – The EU Youth Conference has concluded today in Rome (Italy), bringing together young representatives and policy-makers from all over Europe to agree on a two-fold outcome.

Participants drafted the guiding framework that sets a common understanding on “youth empowerment of political participation” and adopted the guiding questions on which the consultations will be carried out. Joint recommendations on “young people’s access to rights” were also drawn up and will feed into Council Conclusions to be adopted in December 2014 by the Italian presidency.

The Italian Presidency of the Council, together with the Forum Nazionale dei Giovani, the European Youth Forum and the Italian Youth Department, hosted the EU Youth Conference in Rome from 13th to 15th October 2014. This EU Youth Conference kicks off the updated format of the structured dialogue (a formal process whereby young people all over Europe feed into EU youth policy). In order to enhance a continuous dialogue between policy-makers and young people, the three EU Youth Conferences of the IV cycle will focus on the common overall theme of « Youth Empowerment for Political Participation ».

In order to reach out to more young people, the European Commission will launch in the end of October an online consultation platform available on the Youth Portal website, to support the National Working Groups in gathering policy proposals, directly from young people themselves, to the challenges outlined in the guiding framework.

Around 180 delegates – young people and policy makers – from all the EU Member States discussed, through workshops and plenary debates, access to rights for youth autonomy, from access to employment and credits, to the importance of information and monitoring of access to rights. Delegates reflected on important issues for the development of full participation in society. The recommendation highlights key elements on youth participation and include:

– The EU and Member States should appoint an independent ombudsperson for youth rights. The role of the ombudsperson should be to increase awareness, to map and point out challenges and discriminatory practices, and to systematically work to protect the rights of young people.

– In order to empower young people to become active citizens, Member States should provide citizenship education at all stages of formal education and support non-formal education providers so that young people are aware of and able to access their rights.

– Member States should implement a continuous cross-sectoral approach, as well as support inter- and national NGOs for awareness-raising activities, in order to ensure outreach to disadvantaged young people and empower them to know and fully exercise their rights, especially on local level.



Guoda Lomanaite Vice-President of the European Youth Forum, said:

“The rights of young people in Europe have been overridden by the crisis and the austerity measures for the past few years. It is essential to guarantee that young people access their rights in order to foster political participation for young Europeans and ensure that they are fully included in the society. The EU Youth Conference has provided a key opportunity for young Europeans to have a strong policy impact on these key issues”

“I am also very pleased that the efforts of the young people and decision-makers into improving the process have finally been translated into reality. This first conference has set the base for further discussion on the question of youth empowerment for political participation, and we are looking forward to continue working with the delegates on these subjects through the structured dialogue with the Latvian and the Luxembourg presidencies.”

Luigi Bobba, Italian Undersecretary of State for Youth Policies commented:

“We had a great deal of input on how to strengthen youth access to leverage their political and social participation and their autonomy. It is crucial for the institutions to monitor the presence of obstacles in order to remove them and to ensure the new generation to access their fundamental rights: access to credit, social housing, and support to youth work to guarantee social, civil and politic inclusion.”

Calogero Mauceri, Head of the Italian Department for Youth and National Civic Service said:

“Attending such an important event with 180 European delegates in Rome demonstrates that more and more importance and attention are given to younger generation. Over these three days, we have shown how it is possible for member states and for the European Union to act in a different way: through an effective interaction with young people on youth policies. I believe this is a necessary condition to implement policies that meet youth expectations. This cooperation needs to be cross-sectoral to be successful”

Giuseppe Failla, the Italian National Youth Forum spokesperson, commented:

“It has been three tough days during which we exchanged several ideas achieving really satisfying outputs. The job is not done yet, today was the first of three steps where have been defined the guidelines for the new format of the structured dialogue which will be developed in the next 18 months. We are looking forward to working with the Latvian and the Luxembourg presidency”



To read the EU Youth recommendations in full, go to: EU Youth Conference Joint Conclusions

To read the Guiding Framework, go to: EUYC2014 -Guiding framework



Graeme Robertson (European Youth Portal) on the structured dialogue:

Simon (German National Youth Council delegate) on participating in the #YouthConf

Melanise (French Youth Delegation) on the importance of the structured dialogue:

Crowd and delegates at #YouthConf 2014:

Notes to editors

The structured dialogue

The new format of the structured dialogue was adopted in the Council Resolution on the overview of the structured dialogue process including the social inclusion of young people, approved on 20 May 2014.


The European Youth Portal

The European Youth Portal is an online portal of  the European Commission providing information and opportunities for young people across Europe.



European Youth Forum

The European Youth Forum (YFJ) is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. Representing 99 youth organisations, both National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, brings together tens of millions of young people from all over Europe, organised in order to represent their common interests.



The presidency of the Council of the European Union

From 1 July to 31 December 2014, Italy is in charge of the presidency of the Council of the European Union; Italy has held the presidency 11 times in the history of the Union, which started on 25 March 1957 with the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). During the six-month term, Italy is in charge of preparing, coordinating and chairing the work of the Council; it shall act as an honest broker in order to promote legislative decisions and policy initiatives, and to negotiate with member states.



Department of Youth and of the National Civil Service  

The Department of Youth and of the National Civil Cervice is the support structure to the President for the promotion and the union of the actions of the Government to ensure the implementation of policies in favor of youth and in matters of national civil service and conscientious objection.



Forum Nazionale dei Giovani

The National Youth Forum is the only national platform of youth organizations in Italy, with 80 organizations on the inside, for a representation of about 4 million young people. The aim of the FNG is to create a representative structure that can make system the network of relationships between youth organizations and be a promoter of the interests of young people in the Government, Parliament, social and economic institutions and civil society. He is a member of the European Youth Forum and working with the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Department of Youth and of the National Civil Service and the ANG, National Agency for Youth.



European Youth Forum AISBL

Rue de l’Industrie 10, 1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 793 75 20
Fax : +32 2 893 25 80

With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe