Advisory Council on Youth

The first meeting of the newly-elected mandate of the Advisory Council on Youth (AC on Youth) was held in the European Youth Center in sunny Budapest, Hungary, on 28-30 March, 2012.

The Advisory Council iAC_on_Youth_photos a part of the co-management system of the Youth Sector of the Council of Europe, which, together with representatives of the ministries of youth of the corresponding Council of Europe member states participate in decision-making processes on actual issues of the European youth.

The AC on Youth comprises 30 young people, 20 of whom are elected by the European Youth Forum (YFJ) and another 10 are appointed by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

The agenda, as usual, expected the participants to debate a wide variety of issues. These issues included:

  • the Ministerial Conference on Youth to be held in September 2012, in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • the political overview given by the Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation
  • the presentation of the Belgian Youth Policy Review
  • the priority areas for the upcoming work period

The first day was marked by elections of the Bureau of the AC on Youth, which is supposed to lead the work of the whole body for the next 2 years. Once the elections were over, the newly-elected Chair - Maria Paschou from the Hellenic Youth Council invited the AC to discuss the points on the agenda..
The hottest topics turned out to be the Ministerial Conference in Russia and defining the list of priorities for both the AC, for the period of 2012-2013, and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe for 2013-2014.

The upcoming Ministerial Conference on Youth, which is held once every 4 years, is an excellent opportunity to make the voice of the European youth heard on the highest political level and to mainstream democratic principles of co-management. The two sub-issues discussed were the final declaration to be adopted at the end of the Conference and a Youth event. The Youth event, preceding the Conference, is expected to be a platform of discussion for representatives of civil society, while the declaration is the place to make a statement on the most topical youth issues, including the outcomes of the discussions from the Youth event.

Another hot topic on the agenda was setting out the list of priorities for both Youth Department and Advisory Council. While the process for the Youth Department was just kicked off, the debate on the list of priorities for the AC had been more or less finalized. The list now needs to be further discussed and approved by the newly-elected AC on Youth Bureau during their meeting in May. A good outcome for YEE is that the result of the three working groups on priorities included the proposal to add environmental issues to the list of priorities for the AC of the current mandate. Hopefully, the suggestion will be approved by the Bureau which might further have an influence on the formation of the priority list of the whole Youth Department of the Council of Europe, which will be finalized in November. There were a lot of other issues debated during the meeting.

Generally the meeting left a positive overall impression on both me and my colleagues from the AC. Many decisions were passed that will hopefully have a positive impact on the development of youth policy in the Council of Europe.

Kyrylo Ivliev
YEE External Relations Officer