The European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP)
The Centre was created in order to enhance knowledge transfers between the fields of research, policy and practice through the collection and dissemination, to as many users as possible, of information about youth policy and research in Europe and beyond. An effort is made to include updated information about national youth policies in each of the Council of Europe's member states, as well as information about a number of topics spanning several countries. In addition, it provides information about various youth research topics and projects, as well as updates on conferences, events and forthcoming activities.
The EKCYP has been developed in the framework of the EU-CoE youth partnership. Both institutions emphasise the importance of a knowledge-based approach to youth policy-making, as expressed in their relevant political documents and strategies.
For the European Commission, better knowledge in the youth field has been a prominent objective since the adoption in 2001 of the White Paper "A new impetus for European Youth". This was confirmed by the Council of the European Union in its Resolution on the European Commission Common Objectives on a Better Understanding of Youth.
For the Council of Europe, policy-making based on evidence has played a crucial role since the adoption of Recommendation 92(7) concerning "Communication and co-operation in the field of youth research in Europe" and was further boosted by the setting up of a mechanism, for carrying out youth policy reviews and policy advisory missions in 1997.
In 2009 and 2008, both the European Commission and the Council of Europe have renewed their strategies in the youth field: for the European Commission: "An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering" followed by the "Council Resolution on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)". For the Council of Europe: "Agenda 2020".
They confirmed the need for investment in research in order to promote the development of evidence-based policy in Europe. Both institutions highlight the relevance of the EKCYP in this context. Youth research is regarded as essential in order to achieve the overall objectives of a youth policy strategy.
As a result of the two new European strategies in the field of youth, a renewed forward-looking strategy for the EU-CoE Youth Partnership has been developed for the period 2010 - 2013. One of the three priorities is "promoting evidence-based policy" through further development of the EKCYP and its tools. The new strategy also calls for the further development of EKCYP through the setting up of national networks, consisting of EKCYP correspondants and all the members of the "youth knowledge triangle" (government representatives, youth researchers and young people).