EU Youth Conference concludes in Malta with concrete plans on how enable young people to engage in an inclusive Europe
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release, 24/03/2017
This week over 200 young people and policy makers from across Europe agreed in Malta on an implementation action plan to develop policies enabling young people to engage in an inclusive Europe.
The EU Youth Conference (which took place in Malta from 20th - 23rd March) concluded with an implementation action plan for use by member states. It will also be presented to the Council of Ministers for Youth. This is the final result of an 18-month policy making process that took into account the suggestions made by more than 65,000 young Europeans who took part in the process known as the Structured Dialogue.
The Conference concludes the V cycle of the Structured Dialogue, an innovative and unique participative process where young people contribute to EU youth policy. In order to enhance a continuous dialogue between policy-makers and young people, the three EU Youth Conferences of the cycle of the current trio Presidency (The Netherlands, Slovakia, Malta) focused on the common theme “Enabling all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe: Ready for Life, Ready for Society”.
The outcome of the conference in Malta is a set of concrete recommendations as well as an implementation toolkit, which lays out how to achieve full youth political participation. These include:
- Organise youth festivals for European engagement the local and national levels
- Include a chapter on Youth Work and Youth Spaces in the Youth report of the European Commission
- Have life-skills classes in school curricula
- Develop mental health first aid kits
See below the full list of recommendations of the Vth cycle of the Structured Dialogue
Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta said:
“The spontaneous show of solidarity across Europe towards London yesterday, clearly shows there will be no Brexiting from Solidarity. There is a bond that cannot be dissolved between EU and Britain.’
‘We cannot shift the blame of European problems on each as this is not the way forward for the EU. Let us come with solutions ourselves. Delegates should be ambitious when attempting to tackle the future of Europe. Not only big issues matter, we need to find solutions to everyday problems of regular citizens.”
Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport of Malta said:
‘I am proud of what we have achieved in the youth sector in Malta over the last number of years and I am honoured that Malta has not only played its part in the creation of the recommendations for further policies in this sector but also hosted such an important event in the history of this Structured Dialogue.’
Carina Autengruber, Chair of the European Steering Committee for the Structured Dialogue with young people and Vice-President of the European Youth Forum said:
“Few days before the Rome Summit where EU leaders will discuss the “Future of Europe” at the 60th anniversary of the European Union, it is essential to ensure that young people can have a say in all decisions taken for them.
This is what we want to achieve with the Structured dialogue with young people. Now that concrete policy proposals are on the table, the onus is on the political leaders: the Structured Dialogue can be a success only if it leads to policy change.”
Michael Piccinino, President of the National Youth Council of Malta said:
"Lets hope that what happened in Malta doesn't stay in Malta, so as to
ensure the resolutions we've all decided upon through the process of structured dialogue brings about a positive change in policy for all European Youth."
The implementation action plan will be finalised and disseminated to all relevant stakeholders by the end of the Maltese presidency, with the aim of increasing the capacity of policy makers in the implementation of the recommendations.
Besides youth delegates and policy makers, also at the EU Youth Conference were high-level speakers, including Joseph Muscat, Maltese Prime Minister, Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary of Youth and Jens Nymand, European Commission Deputy Director of DG Education of Culture.
Ahead of the Rome Summit taking place this 25th of March, 25 delegates also took part in a unique experience during the conference: a 24 hour brainstorming on the Future of Europe.
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Notes to editors
To read the Joint Recommendations from the Vth Structured Dialogue cycle, see below.
Photos from the event: https://www.facebook.com/euyouthconf
More information about the Structured Dialogue can be found below.
About the Structured Dialogue with young people
The Structured Dialogue with young people originates from the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field adopted in 2009. Since then, this tool of joint reflection on the development of youth policy, which is meant to engage equally young people and decision-makers, has been repeatedly revised. The current Team Presidency of Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta decided to further strengthen the link between Structured Dialogue and processes taking place in the Council. In three successive EU Youth Conferences, youth representatives and decision-makers together will transform the vast amount of input received from young people across the EU into a set of concrete proposals.
More information about the Structured Dialogue can be found here.
About the European Youth Forum
The European Youth Forum is the platform of youth organisations in Europe. Independent, democratic, youth-led, it represents over 100 National Youth Councils and international youth organisations from across the continent. The Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations towards the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. For more information, visit www.youthforum.org
As Malta's National Youth Council, KNZ is an umbrella organisation that represents over 40 youth-led organisations across the country, and directly represents over 20% of it's country's population. KNZ is tasked with providing a forum of dialogue for young people across various topics, whilst aiming to keep the interests of all Maltese and Gozitan youths at heart. KNZ also acts as the official channel of information between the nation's youths and government officials.
Press contact: Alexandre Beddock, (European Youth Forum, e:firstname.lastname@example.org / tel: +32 4 87 34 32 50)