The EU Youth Dialogue
Young people all over Europe have ideas, hopes and concerns about their future. They have the best understanding of their own lives, what currently works and what adversity they face, and importantly how things can change for the better!
However, there is often a big gap between young people and decision-makers that makes it difficult for these ideas to be heard.
What is the EU Youth Dialogue?
The EU Youth Dialogue (previously called the Structured Dialogue) is a way of making young people’s voice heard in European policy-making processes. The aim is to create a dialogue between young people and youth organisations with policy and decision makers, as well as experts, researchers and other members of civil society.
So far, there have been 7 cycles of the Dialogue. Each cycle lasts 18 months and focuses on a different theme set by the Council of Youth Ministers.
We started cycle 8 in July this year, and it will run until July 2021, with the theme “Europe for YOUth – YOUth for Europe: Space for Democracy and Participation”
- It is estimated that over 290,000 young people have taken part in the EU Youth Dialogue so far! (2011-2020).
- There have been 21 EU Youth Conferences hosted by 21 EU Member States.
- As a result of cycle 6, eleven EU Youth Goals were established.
How does it work?
The Trio Presidency takes the lead role with regard to steering the implementation of the EU Youth Dialogue, in close cooperation with the European Commission, European Youth Forum and other youth civil society representatives, within a coordination group. Input is gathered from young people through different forms of consultations and outreach, debates and discussions and at EU Youth Conferences.
Interested to get involved?
• For youth organisations: all National Youth Councils of the EU Member States are part of the National Working Groups. A number of selected international non-governmental youth organisations also actively participate in the EU Youth Dialogue process.
• For individuals: As an individual, you can take part in the EU Youth Dialogue 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 EU Youth Dialogue process.
The process that we know as EU Youth Dialogue is the result of the White Paper: A New Impetus for European Youth (2001), which outlines the importance of consulting 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 organisations, 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 recognises young people as key actors in society. 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 structured dialogue between decision makers, young people and youth organisations.
The EU Youth Dialogue process is the evolution of the Structured Dialogue on Youth and in a way a result of the European Union Council Resolution on the future development of the Structured Dialogue adopted in May 2017 that invited the Member States and the European Commission to undertake a review of the Structured Dialogue process and its objectives for the European Cooperation in the Youth Field Post 2018. The EU Youth Dialogue took its name with the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field, EU Youth Strategy (2019-2027) adopted in 2018 through the Council Resolution that put emphasis on including more decision makers and young people, especially from marginalised and disadvantaged groups, into the EU Youth Dialogue process.
The European Youth Forum is part of the European Steering Group of the EU Youth Dialogue. The European Steering Group is governing the process on the EU level by e.g. providing the overall guidance of the EU Youth Dialogue; providing input, tools and support for the EU Youth Dialogue implementation where appropriate and ensuring wide dissemination of the EU Youth Dialogue results. Its detailed functions are outlined in the Council Resolution on the Governance of the EU Youth Dialogue. It consists of representatives from the European Commission and of the Trio presidency (Ministry representatives, National Youth Council representatives). In a nutshell, the role of the European Steering Group is to make sure that the Youth Dialogue is implemented correctly, to ensure the follow-up.
Among other things, as a member of the European Steering Group the Youth Forum provides support to the work of the communicates 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 European Steering Group.
For each cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue, young people and decision-makers have met to reflect on the result of the online and offline consultations and develop joint recommendations on the given topic. When possible, implementation activities also take place.
Among the most visible outcomes is the development of the European Youth Goals. During the 6th cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue – Youth in Europe: What’s next? which took place in 2017/2018 – young people were called to gather their ideas and contribute to create the EU Youth Strategy 2019 – 2027.
The result of this dialogue has been the development of 11 European Youth Goals. The EU Youth Strategy aims to contribute to realising this vision of young people by mobilising EU level policy instruments as well as actions at national, regional and local level by all stakeholders