EU Youth Conference: Youth participation is key to social inclusion
The EU Youth Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, is in full speed as the event unfolds with discussions focusing on social inclusion of all young people.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania opened the conference on 10th September. She highlighted that young people promote positive changes at both national and EU levels by partaking in the activities of non-governmental organisations and being active in political agenda. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou’s welcome speech also emphasised the effectiveness of “accumulating social and human capital” through volunteering.
In her opening speech, Minister of Social Security and Labour Algimanta Pabedinskienė underlined the importance of youth involvement in policy formation. Youth Forum Vice President Lloyd Russell-Moyle followed by stressing the need for improving the implementation of policy measures for social inclusion of young people, while Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT) President Loreta Senkute pointed at the need to strengthen youth organisations’ roles.
Following inspirational keynote addresses by Eurofound, Microsoft, European Institute for Gender Equality and a Lithuanian youth worker, youth delegates and representatives of the ministries in charge of youth from across the EU started talks in the seven joint workshops culminating in a set of Joint Conclusions that were adopted as a collaborative outcome of the conference on 12th September. The Joint Conclusions will be endorsed and passed to the Lithuanian Presidency to inform the EU Council Conclusions on enhancing the social inclusion of NEETs (to be adopted in November) and feed into the next dialogue phase during the incoming Greek Presidency.