On 19 of May 2011, the Council of the European Union, the European forum that brings together all the 27 Member States of the European Union, has adopted two resolutions which complete the first phase of the Structured Dialogue, between youth representatives and European decision-makers.
The first resolution relates to encouraging new and effective forms of participation of all young people in democratic life in Europe. It aims to enhance civic engagement and democratic participation of young people and to motivate them to participate fully in the education system, in the labour market and in Community life. The overall scope is for young people to become active citizens of the societies they live in.
The second document adopted refers concretely to the Structured Dialogue with young people on the issue of youth unemployment. The Council and representatives of the governments of member states have taken note of the latest evaluations regarding youth unemployment and they have set out policy priorities for the next team presidency of the Council which will be lead by: Poland, Denmark and Cyprus.
The overall thematic priority for the next 18 month cycle (1 July 2011-30 December 2012) will be youth participation with a special emphasis on participation in democratic life in Europe. Moreover, at the end of 2012 the European Commission is expected to present an EU Youth Report that will evaluate the first two phases of the structured dialogue with young people.
Also during the meeting, Ministers have discussed about the voluntary activities of young people and their contribution to the development of local communities. The Hungarian and Polish presidencies have stressed out their commitment to promote and improve conditions for volunteering in the EU and raise awareness on the value and importance of these activities.
Present at the discussions, Commissioner for Education and Culture, Androulla Vassiliou has presented the ministers an interim evaluation on the “Youth in action” programme (2007-2013) and shared her impressions on the 2011 European Youth Week events, currently taking place in Antwerp, Belgium.
The full press release can be found here: