Newsletter #38 - June 2016
Symposium '(Un)Equal Europe? Responses from the youth sector’
In the framework of our specific theme “Social Inclusion”, the EU-CoE youth partnership organised the symposium ‘(Un)Equal Europe? Responses from the youth sector’, on 30 May - 2 June 2016 in Budapest. Goals of the event were to understand the multiple facets of inequalities young people face in today’s Europe and to take forward the discussion on social inclusion and learning from practice from within the youth field and from education, health, labour market, justice, and across the different sectors. Special attention was given to the situation of young refugees in Europe.
The symposium came up with several conclusions. It called for strengthening the communication between policy, research and practice in the youth field in order to find common understanding and agreement on approaches to support young people to reduce inequalities. It reaffirmed that income inequalities within a society produce a lower level of wellbeing, lower trust and diverse scarring effects; therefore, there should be a general strive towards more equal and socially just societies. Cross-sectoral approaches are a must to addressing multiple discrimination and social exclusion of young people. Bridges with healthcare, employment, education and other relevant sectors should be sustainable and offer young people experiencing social exclusion individualised paths for attaining their learning and development potential. Generous social protection schemes empower people receiving benefits to reduce dependency and integrate into the labour market faster. Some of these schemes still need to reflect the situation of young people who are transitioning from education to work and to independent adulthood. Young refugees need to be directly involved in developing support measures for them and participate in the democratic life of their new communities.
All the contributions are uploaded on the partnership webpage dedicated to the symposium, as well as video recordings from all input sessions of the symposium, live streamed during the event. Information was also disseminated on social media via the Facebook page and Twitter #UneqEY16
Expert Meeting on a Quality Framework on Learning Mobility
The expert meeting gathered twenty experts and representatives of NGOs, as well as of the two partner institutions, in Tbilisi, Georgia on 16-17 June. The meeting was opened by Mr Revaz Javelidze, Deputy Minister for Youth and International Cooperation, from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia. Mr Javelidze presented the efforts made by the Government of Georgia in youth policy development and encouraged enhancing learning mobility programmes for young people who live in non-EU Member States, essential for their professional and personal development. The outcome of the event is a systematic collection of principles aimed at organisers of learning mobility projects for young people. The quality framework is meant to cover all possible types of transnational mobility consciously organised for learning purposes in the field of youth. It states, e.g., that there must be clearly formulated learning objectives, and that those are known to all involved parties; that the type of learning mobility chosen needs to be conducive to the formulated learning objectives and be suited to the type of participants involved. The draft framework will be passed over to the Steering Group of the European Platform on Learning Mobility for further consideration.
European Platform on Learning Mobility (EPLM)
The report of the 2015 EPLM bi-annual conference was published on our website. The Istanbul Conference “Learning Mobility in the Youth Field: towards opportunity for all: evidence, experience, discourse” took place on 7-9 October 2015 and brought together a hundred experts representing researchers, practitioners, volunteers, policy makers, institutions and organisations in the youth field working on the topic of learning mobility, as well as representatives of the corporate sector, the European Youth Press, the Orange Magazine and the Coyote editorial team. The conference focused on analysing the current extent of inclusiveness of learning mobility programmes in Europe and provided some indications on how to improve it. Based on outcomes of the Istanbul conference the EPLM Steering Group concluded, intra alia, that stronger inclusion requires extra efforts and extra resources: time, money and people. European programmes supporting learning mobility should ease access to funding for young people with fewer opportunities. Innovative political and/or administrative frameworks are needed, reinforcing the cooperation between policy, research and practice and enlarging interaction, communication and dialogue in the European youth field. The next meeting of the Steering Group of the European Platform on Learning Mobility will take place in Paris on 30 June – 1 July.
Training Course on Youth Policy
A first residential seminar of the 2nd training course on participatory and knowledge based youth policy was held in Bremen, Germany, on 7-9 September 2015 in cooperation with the Erasmus+ / Youth in Action National Agencies of Germany and Turkey. 6 countries (Armenia, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Serbia, and Turkey) have appointed 4-5 participants each, representing practitioners, policy makers and researchers to learn more about the process of youth policy making. On 3-6 May a second seminar took place in Istanbul, completing the training course. Its curriculum can be found here. The course evaluation and follow-up will be discussed by its organisers on 5 July in Budapest.
MA European Youth Studies (MA EYS)
An exploratory meeting on a potential revival of the MA European Youth Studies took place on 11 and 12 February 2016 in Brussels. Former members of the MA EYS consortium and other interested parties discussed possibilities of a revival of the university degree based on the concept and curriculum developed between 2006 and 2011. In particular the group considered renewing a short course MA EYS, first organised in early 2011 as a pilot activity within the larger MA project. The short course gathered youth policy makers, researchers and youth work practitioners who jointly enhanced their knowledge and skills in contributing to a comprehensive cooperation within the youth field. Developing a “Massive Online Open Course” (MOOC), reaching out to a much wider audience than the course participants, was considered. Some lessons learned from the short course may be transferred into the above mentioned training course on youth policy.
European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP)
The EKCYP is an on-line access point to knowledge about young people's situation across Europe. It enhances knowledge transfers between the fields of research, policy and practice through the collection and dissemination of information about youth in Europe and beyond. Cooperation between the EKCYP and the Youth Wiki, a database on youth policies in Europe to be launched by the European Commission in 2017, has been agreed in the work programme 2016 and pilot projects are being launched.
Since January, updated country sheets with information on national youth policy in Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia have been published in EKCYP.
Several analytical papers have been uploaded (see more information here).
Some of the papers as well as a thematic questionnaire on inequalities, launched among the correspondents of EKCYP, contributed to the preparation of the symposium “(Un)Equal Europe? Responses from the youth sector”
Report of the Seminar “Beyond Barriers”
Steering Group of the European Platform on Learning Mobility, Paris, 30 June – 1 July;
Annual meeting of the Pool of European Youth Researchers and of EKCYP correspondents, Budapest, 5-9 September;
Seminar on the History of Youth and Social Work, Malta 21-23 September;
Peer-learning Seminar on Cross-sectoral Youth Policy in the Western Balkans, Montenegro, 26-27 October.
"Healthy Europe: Confidence and uncertainty for young people in contemporary Europe"
March, 2016. ISSN 2313-0997