Shaping European youth policies in theory and practice. Seminar on youth policy making

The first edition of the training course was organised between December 2013 and June 2014. 30 participants from 6 countries (Germany, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine) and one international team have enrolled in this pilot course on participatory and knowledge based youth policy. Recruitment of interested participants took place based on a call for interest which asked for 5-6 country teams consisting of approximately 4 experts representing policy, research and practice.

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) 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 2016 a second seminar took place in Istanbul, completing the training course.

Objectives

The seminar aspired to

  • introduce European youth policy frameworks and relate those frameworks to the variety of realities from local and regional to national and European levels;
  • analyse youth policy concepts and interrogate its main principles (e.g. evidence-informed, participatory and cross-sectorial) and approaches ( e.g. youth rights, youth needs and youth well-being);
  • facilitate the shaping of manageable strategies for intervention in the contexts of the actors present.

Outcomes

At the end of the seminar, participants were

  • familiar with European youth policy frameworks and their political cornerstones, such as main resolutions and declarations;
  • familiar with the stakeholders involved, their roles and their previous and current activities on youth policy;
  • familiar with the principles underpinning youth policies in Europe, including evidence-informed and participatory approaches;
  • familiar with instruments and approaches to youth policy across various policy domains;
  • familiar with available resources to support youth policy development and implementation across Europe;
  • confident in shaping manageable strategies for intervention.

Methodology

Throughout the seminar, participants

  • explored the numerous experiences of actors present at the seminar with youth policy development and youth policy implementation;
  • considered key socio-political developments that frame youth policy from its development to its implementation, governance and evaluation;
  • examined youth policy strategies, approaches and instruments including relevant aspects of their emergence, formation and development;
  • explored dilemmas inherent in youth policies, such as problem-orientation, intergenerational justice or competing sets of indicators;
  • constructively critiqued youth policy frameworks as well as the strategies and intervention plans developed throughout the seminar.

The seminar consisted of two components: two residential seminars and an in-between phase allowing participants to reflect and possibly implement chosen approaches, ideas and activities in their context.

Residential seminars

The residential seminars served to provide participants with opportunities for personal interaction, mutual learning of respective realities and different contexts of youth policy.

  • Introduction, contextualisation and getting to know each other;
  • Connecting participants: experiences with youth policy development & implementation;
  • European frameworks: introducing youth policy frameworks and their political intentions;
  • Youth policy motives, stakeholders and instruments;
  • Youth policy concepts, principles and strategies;
  • Exploring dilemmas inherent in youth policies, from local through to European level;
  • Developing and evaluating feasible intervention strategies;
  • Reflecting on the outcomes of the learning process and developing ideas for follow-up activities.

Developing strategies for intervention in respective realities

The practice phase in between the two residential events allowed participants to try and verify chosen elements from intervention strategies they developed. This phase foresaw

  • communication on the progress and discussion on the various steps envisaged;
  • peer-learning and exchange within the country teams and among them;
  • the creation of newsletters about the current developments in youth policy in each country represented and in Europe at large;
  • the possibility to ask for constructive feedback from the steering team of the seminar.

Course Curriculum 2013-14Annex to the course curriculum

Course Curriculum 2015-16

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