Welcome to the work of the European Youth Forum for 2017. We are the platform of youth organisations and the voice of young people in Europe. We advocate for the rights of young people towards European institutions (European Union & Council of Europe) and the United Nations. We identified the following main areas of action in 2017:
These five key priorities are supported by our internal development in terms of governance, communications and our work with our Member Organisations.
With UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stating his support to advance youth rights in the world, our work has gained momentum!
Our main achievement was the lodging of our first ever Collective Complaint under the European Social Charter against Belgium on the issue of unpaid internships. We are now following-up on this key piece of work to lead to an essential change in legislation for so many young people in Europe!
We also worked thoroughly with our Member Organisations – National Youth Councils of Romania (CTR) & Germany (DNK) to fill in submissions for the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of these countries, and with the National Youth Councils of Lithuania (LiJOT), Moldova (CNTM) and Finland (Allianssi) to put forward youth-specific recommendations towards the UN Human Rights Council.
We have also been supporting the implementation of the Council of Europe Recommendation on young people’s access to rights, but there is still a lot to be done!
Strong Youth Organisations
In 2017, youth organisations were at the heart of many political processes.
Youth organisations were central in the dialogue between Europe and Africa, adopting the Abidjan Declaration ahead of the 5th AU-EU leaders summit which focused on investing in youth.
Youth organisations and the European Youth Forum were key partners in organising the European Regional Consultation on the UN Security Council resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.
Through our tireless efforts, we became an essential stakeholder when it comes to the European Solidarity Corps, making sure that this initiative is helpful for young people and youth organisations and that they are now part of the process, which was unfortunately not the case at its inception.
The adoption by the Council of Europe of the recommendation on youth work was also a major success!
When it comes to funding, we secured investment in youth in the EU 2018 budget and we will continue working to bring the voice of youth into the negotiations of the next Multiannual Financial Framework!
With sustainable development being a renewed and strengthened area of work, we developed our expertise and have laid down the basis for our future advocacy.
This led to the recognition of our role as the voice of young people by being appointed by the European Commission as a key stakeholder in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Europe.
At the High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, we called on global leaders to make more effort to implement the 2030 Agenda. National Youth Councils from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, the Netherlands and Slovenia presented their recommendations in the framework of the Voluntary National Reviews.
We lead a delegation of Member Organisations at the COP23 in Bonn, the UN Climate Change Conference, bringing the voice of youth for climate action!
We kept working with SDG Watch, the civil society platform monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Europe.
Social & Economic Inclusion
2017 was marked by the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, defining the founding principles for a more Social Europe. The European Youth Forum worked intensely to ensure a strong youth focus in the final text. We also led a delegation of Member Organisations at the Social Summit in Gothenburg, where our President directly addressed all European leaders calling on them to ensure social and economic inclusion of all young people in Europe.
Our work for fair and paid internships continued, with a Global Interns Strike all over the world and by pushing the European External Action Service to change its internal policy for internships!
We launched Transparency at Work, allowing young people to rate their professional experience, together with Interns GoPro and partnered with the UNHRC to launch the European Youth Initiative Fund, which will support the integration of young refugees in host communities through actions of youth organisations.
The debate on the Future of Europe has put a strong emphasis on the need to engage more with young people. The European Youth Forum did not remain silent and managed to get that message through. Leaders and decision-makers cannot shape our future without us anymore.
Starting with a successful Yo!Fest in February, gathering 1500 participants, we have engaged in several discussions and processes concentrating on the future of our continent. Working with several partners, this is paving the way for 2018 and the 2019 European elections.
Youth participation continued gaining traction with the first vote at 16 local elections in Estonia and its 10th anniversary in Austria.
Celebrating Varna as the 2017 European Youth Capital, we launched the 2018 European Youth Capital in Cascais and awarded the 2020 title to Amiens!
All along the year, we have highly influenced the next EU Youth Strategy, expecting to see the results this year!
For any question, contact us.