Advisory Council on Youth and Financial Control Commission, Elections 2023
Discover the candidates for the Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth and the Financial Control Commission of the Youth Forum.
The Advisory Council on Youth is one of the best examples of meaningful youth participation in the world. Mandate January 2024 to December 2025.
The Financial Control Commission is responsible for the internal audit of the finances of the Youth Forum. Mandate January 2023 to December 2024.
Advisory Council on Youth
International Non-Governmental Youth Organisation (INGYO)
My main driving force to be part of the Advisory Council on Youth is to strengthen the role of youth representation in policy making processes. Youth has faced many challenges in policy making such as or limited seats in the discussions which represents an exclusionary process that generates passive and disengaged forms of citizenships. As youth represents 30% of the world’s population it is crucial to promote democratic legitimacy & intergenerational justice. For these reasons, in my mandate I will work to showcase not only the importance of youth representation in policy making but also its added value.
My motivation to join the AC is to advocate for a multicultural Europe by promoting youth rights in the context of minority youth and other marginalised communities. With being part of the Sorbian minority in Germany and the additional knowledge I gained about various national, ethnic and linguistic minority youth in Europe through my engagement in YEN, I want to share the experience to not be part of the majority and hence advocating for the rights of marginalised youth in general. Furthermore, I want to continue the work of YEN’s representative in the AC, to ensure continuation of the Roma Youth Action Plan etc.
Coming from a small city, where we have a huge number of youngsters with fewer opportunities, I always felt that their needs and desires did not matter and were not represented at any level. Having this in mind, I started to make my path to be their voice wherever I would go. Nowadays, after having the opportunity and (big) responsibility to be that person at different levels (Board of ground-based NGYO, Board of National Federation of Youth Associations, and Board of INGYO), I feel that it is time to step forward and fight for the real needs of our youngsters by fostering youth policy cooperation at the European level, promoting intercultural dialogue and inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social, and cultural background.
As a youth development worker, advocate and activist, I am very passionate about young people's development, access to political and civic space and the empowerment of young people to be critical thinkers to take active roles in society. As my individual and professional priorities are directly aligned with that of the COE Youth sector and given my six years experience working with international youth organisations, I believe I have deep knowledge and experience of the challenges young people face in Europe and broader perspective on the priority areas to contribute meaningfully to its achievement.
Secondly, as a black, young woman, immigrant and part of a minority group, I believe I bring along critical insight and perspective as a result of my background that would prove very resourceful in the work of the Advisory council. Apart from my indepth knowledge and experience, I have a journalistic background and can contribute immensely in areas of communication.
My main motivation is to foster a climate of respect, empathy, and inclusion among people. Combating hate speech and discrimination in all manifestations, especially online, is essential to achieving this. To overcome these difficulties, education and awareness-building are crucial to empower youth to become the change leaders. Creating efficient strategies and solutions to these problems involves working with governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, promoting stringent laws and regulations. I want to use technology to oppose hate speech online and spread uplifting ideas by employing algorithms and other technology and by creating online campaigns that encourage respect and tolerance.
Since an early age I was driven by a wish to contribute to my local community and to make a change. I feel compelled to take a stand in support of youth and their rights and to create spaces and opportunities for their participation. From volunteering locally to raising voices of youth at national level, new challenges await - advocating for young people at the European level. I would like to bring forth to the Council of Europe the challenges rural youth and other vulnerable groups face. Having experience, motivation and holistic approach, I believe I can greatly aid in overcoming these issues.
I am very passionate about advocating for the interests and rights of young people. I am eager to contribute actively in the Advisory Council in order to ensure that the perspectives of young people are taken into account. Furthermore, as a member of the AC, it would be important to me to continually remind policy makers and Council of Europe bodies that young people should not only have their say in relation to supposedly specific "youth issues", but instead young people need to be involved in every single policy issue, as all policy is youth policy.
As a person with Asperger’s syndrome, we’re normally invisible in most discussions. I want to change that. We must be heard in all topics that affect us. I want to join the AC to give people with non-visible disabilities the possibility to raise our voice. We have a democracy crisis in Europe and in the US, where right wing populists and radicals spread tons of hate towards marginalised groups. People in Iran, Thailand and other countries are life threatened for their fight for democracy. And there is war in Ukraine. I want youth to be heard. Especially in this time.
After the very intense learning experience of the first mandate, my goal for the second mandate would be to intensify my engagement in my chosen portfolios, uphold the high quality collaboration we have achieved together with all stakeholders, and continue to represent the diversity of European youth.
The influence of the pandemic and current crisis in Europe affected Youth Work and Youth mobility strongly. As a volunteer youth worker, I want to help bring the voices and needs of young people, contributing to the revitalization of youth work, youth mobility, and young people’s rights in Europe. I bring volunteering, academic and professional experience and expertise in youth education, project management and interculturalism research. Living between Serbia and Sweden, I understand the different perspectives and needs of young people and active citizenship education in very different European realities. In my second mandate, I want to continue working on revitalizing youth work, youth mobility and young peoples’ rights.
I believe that the work within the Advisory Council is fundamentally important for the progression of young people's rights in our region. Within my current mandate I have been able to take initiative and to be an active and contributing member of the AC. I would like to continue doing that in order to meaningfully contribute to better youth policies and youth funding in Europe. My key focus areas are:
• Accessible funding for youth and strengthening the EYF
• Young people's access to rights
• Youth work
• Communications & Advocacy
I have been a volunteer youth worker and trainer in the YFU network for 12 years, and involved with the Youth Forum since 2020. I have worked closely with numerous international grants and projects, which led me to serve as an intern at the CoE Youth Department in 2019, specifically at the European Youth Foundation. I have strong knowledge of the Council of Europe’s bodies and processes, specifically in the field of Youth. It would be an honor to serve on the AC and specifically contribute to the work of the CPJ and other portfolios assigned.
My decade of work with youth organisations has taken me across Europe, and I have come to specialise in understanding the needs and demands of young people in disparate political contexts, and then representing those needs through advocacy to decision-making institutions. This work has ranged from co-writing with 4 other people the statement on behalf of Global Youth at COP27, to taking part in European Commission youth dialogues.
I would be honoured, in particular, to represent young people’s concerns on climate in what I consider one of the most impressive examples of youth inclusion in governance in the world.
I am motivated to apply for the Advisory Council, as my deep passion for youth work constantly inspires me to learn more, speak up and represent the voices of young people. Throughout my life I have been mostly working directly with youth and while this has provided me with plenty of practical experience, I feel eager and prepared to apply the acquired competences on policy level. I would contribute on the topics of gender equality, democracy and human rights education, as I am able to do so in a comprehensive way - from a legal, academic, volunteering and professional perspective.
We are in the middle of a watershed moment for the future of European youth. The pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting crises of energy and cost of living across the continent are unprecedented, but they also provide us with an opportunity to truly transform Europe.
I want to fight to give young people a real say in shaping their own future. Young people are already changing the world, taking climate action, demanding equity, social justice and effective measures to improve young people's well-being. In the AC, I will continue to fight the good fight.
I’m passionate about contributing with ideas to work for the furthering of youth rights and improving society. For 13 years I’ve been a volunteer and a youth activist, and I feel it’s time to put that experience to work on a new level. In addition, JEF’s policies and campaigns, in whose drafting I’ve participated as a member of its Federal Committee, broadly cover the Youth Sector strategy’s priorities, thus I feel that including a voice from JEF would guarantee a partner with useful expertise. It’s for those reasons that I consider myself a valid candidate to join the AC.
The past few years showed the danger of taking peace and democracy for granted by not only Europe but the whole world. The war in Ukraine, the biggest war in Europe after the second world war, has revealed the weaknesses of the very foundation of our societies. The conflict has caused many young people to flee from their homes, and the cost of conflict is hurting particularly marginalized and vulnerable youth. Therefore I would like to put forward my candidacy for the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe and continue the tremendous historical work done by the Council of Europe in promoting youth, peace, and security in Europe, by contributing to strengthening the foundations for an inclusive and pluralistic democratic society.
National Youth Council (NYC)
Young people are more than just beneficiaries and voters. If provided the opportunity they can also be stakeholders and decision-makers. For this reason, my biggest motivation to be part of the AC is the space it gives to driven young people to as equal partners to government representatives make decisions that have a positive impact on young people across all parts of Europe.
During my mandate, I would utmost like to contribute to the cooperation with the YFJ and National Youth Councils, as well as Youth Peace and Security.
As a young woman, an activist and because of my passion for youth equal rights, representation, and participation of young people in the democratic life of Europe and beyond, I am committed to further amplify the voice of young people to the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. I strongly believe that all young people need to be empowered to fully participate in the democratic life and become active citizens. My contribution to the AC of the CoE will be to offer my first-hand experience, expertise, and knowledge in working with young people both on a national and on a European level. In addition to my personal interest regarding the CoE’s work, my position as Secretary General of the Cyprus Youth Council gives an added value to my candidacy since my daily work is related to and promotes each of the council’s four strategic priorities and the pressing issues of the youth.
I wish to contribute to the mainstreaming of youth policy, as well as the continuous inclusion of youth perspectives in all policy areas. I want to focus on acknowledging youth as crucial defenders of democratic values, especially within the education sector. Following recent political developments in Europe, youth must be included in peace and security efforts at all political levels. Overall, the democratic space for youth (organisations) is shrinking, meaning that we must ensure not only knowledge of our rights, but also access to exercising our rights. There must be an emphasis on reaching and including a wider group of youth.
As someone who is passionate about ensuring that young people have access to the resources, support, and opportunities they need to thrive, I am eager to work tirelessly on initiatives that promote youth development and empowerment.
I am committed to making sure that young people have the tools they need to succeed both now and in the future. In addition to this, I believe that strong cooperation between the European Youth Forum and the Advisory Council is highly essential, thus I will strive to strengthen and take active part in the cooperation between these two bodies.
After seven years of experience in the youth sector, I had the opportunity to work for some YFJ Mos – including four years with CNAJEP.
Interacting with various MOs has strengthened my knowledge on youth work and youth rights in Europe and reaffirmed the importance to foster the cooperation between young people and decision-makers. I am experiencing the co-management system within the AC for a year and I am convinced that I can continue to contribute to the topics I would like to focus on: youth work, CoE-EU youth partnership, mobility and the Programming Committee on Youth.
Advocating and working for Youth Rights, Youth Participation, and Youth Work is my passion since I started in a local rural youth club more than 15 years ago. I would love to continue to use my experience in the youth field and my knowledge of policy and politics in the AC to ensure that young people can develop in non-formal settings, gain experience, skills, and leadership abilities, and grow as personalities as I did. I would love to continue contributing my knowledge and experience on rural youth and combating shrinking civic space in the upcoming mandate.
I, as the Chairperson of Belarusian National Youth Council RADA, am determined to represent the needs of young people in Belarus on the Council of Europe's Advisory Council on Youth. Under an authoritarian regime, the voices of young people are often silenced, but I will use my position to advocate for their rights and participation in decision-making processes. My experience in youth leadership and advocacy has given me an understanding of the challenges young people face in education, employment, and social inclusion. I am keen to collaborate with other members to create innovative solutions and ensure that Belarusian youth perspectives are heard.
Given the rising authoritarian and populist tides that have gripped Europe, I am running for the AC to further the youth agenda and help uphold the humanitarian principles that have come to define the CoE.
Central to this, I plan to use my years working in the youth, peace and security field to advocate and facilitate meaningful and inclusive youth participation mechanisms that safeguard youth rights and deliver for all young people, particularly marginalised communities such as Roma youth and young refugees.
This is my vision, and this is what I will devote my mandate to if elected.
When I was applying for a first term my main drive was to start a cooperation between CCJ and the ECHR as there had been no improvement in that field for the last 5 years. I prioritized having the research report “Selected case-law of the ECHR on young people" created in 2012 to be updated and on 22.11.2022 a new version was published. In relation to the new version, an analysis will be conducted alongside the assistance of the Pool of European Youth Researchers and I envision strengthening the cooperation between CCJ and CDDH and between CCJ and PACE.
I want to utilize 7 years of my experience with work and advocacy in the youth sector from local, national, EU and UN level to push for a change in state’s policies towards a real inclusion of youth into the decision-making and equal access to rights and opportunities for all.
I see CoE and AC as unique platforms that can bring a positive change to the lives of young Europeans. I want to contribute to this change and ensure that it does not stay just on paper as it is often the case, but it materialises in our every-day reality.