On Friday 16th April, our Outreach & Projects Officer Ismael Paez Civico represented YEU International at the Youth Working Party meeting at the Council of the European Union giving testimony, experiences and a general view on youth participation in democratic processes. Presenting the inspiring initiatives undertaken by our Member Organisations, Ismael highlighted that “We, youth organisations, do the heavy lifting when it comes to really engaging young people in a democratic Europe”.
The overall intervention consisted of a 15 minute presentation of the issues young people are facing when it comes to participation in european democratic processes but also when it comes to youth participation in youth organisations all across. In addition, a whole list of initiatives undertaken by YEU and member organisations throughout the pandemic for the further inclusion of young people in the digital era we are living in today.
Following the COVID19 pandemic outbreak of early 2020, our whole network had to adapt to the measures implemented by the government, this left us with very little time to innovate in our strategies and approaches to include young people in Non-Formal Educational activities like we have done over the past 40 years. The mere fact that we all managed to adapt in such a short period of time shows the resilience, creativity and hard working people YEU and our member organisations have. All of the young people that are involved in our network, from the governing board to the grass-root volunteers played a key role in making this transition possible.
We wanted to bring forward our real-life stories of successful management in the inclusion of young people in every aspect of european participation. There were more than 30 decision makers from EU member states, European Commission and Council of the EU. Our intervention was a wake up call that youth organisations are doing a lot in this aspect and that we need more government support towards our local organisations for the successful implementation of all the projects taking place.