AC 2012-2013 No. 2 February 2013
The AC Newsletter The best is yet to come!
In this issue The Youth Assembly 2012
Award Ceremony “European Drug
The Youth Event in St. Petersburg
Roma Youth Action Plan
Young People combating 3 Hate Speech Online Cooperation in the Field of Youth with Ukraine
Exchange of View Gender 4 Equality Commission Courtesy Visits
Almost six months after the very important Ministerial Conference of Ministers responsible for youth in St. Petersburg and the Youth Event prior to it, we continue our work to better facilitate young people’s access to their rights. Τhe conference’s theme, “Young people’s access to their rights: development of innovative youth policies”, reflected crucial questions for young people and for Europe, particularly in this moment of deep crisis. Right after the Conference, we worked hard to ensure that the conclusions of the Youth Event are implemented and that youth policies are based on rights and evidence.
In a joint hearing of PACE committees dealing with youth issues (AS/Cult and AS/Soc) on 21st January, a draft report was presented based on the Youth Event conclusions which appear in the Appendix. We expect that the draft report “young people’s access to fundamental rights” will re-launch the agenda in a more democratic and participatory way. Maria Paschou, Chair of the AC
The Programming Committee on Youth (2012-2013) The Programming Committee (PC) Youth elected Mr Ruben Loodts from Young European Federalists (JEF) as its Chair and Ms. Miriam Teuma from Malta (CDEJ) as Vice-Chair for 2012. Benefiting from a highly transparent structure and working mechanisms, Ms. Teuma will be chairing the PC in 2013 and Mr. Loodts will be the Vice-Chair. The Programming Committee on Youth is a subsidiary co-decision body made up of eight members each from the CDEJ and the Advisory Council. It establishes, monitors and evaluates the programmes of the European Youth Centres and of the European Youth Foundation.
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The Youth Assembly 2012 - The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy The Youth Assembly 2012 brought together 150 young people (aged 16-25) from all over Europe to reflect on youth's current challenges to democracy and to formulate common recommendations on how young people can better benefit from, and develop more democratic and inclusive societies. On Friday 5 October 2012, the Youth Assembly was opened by a plenary session in the Hemicycle of the Parliamentary Assembly (Palais de l’Europe building). After an official opening session, a debate took place between young people and parliamentarians.
On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October, the participants worked in thematic working groups, and met in the Youth Centre in Strasbourg. The themes reflected the topics of the World Forum for Democracy and partly addressed youth specific challenges. The event was linked to The Strasbourg World Forum for Democracy which brought together reformers and global leaders to identify democratic responses to the economic, social and political challenges which affect our societies today. Thorbjørn Jagland, Council of Europe Secretary General. an-
nounced that “By confronting conventional concepts with new realities the Forum will gauge how democracies can satisfy the expectations of citizens and how they can be adapted to their different values and traditions". The event had strong follow up by the participants not only during the World Forum for Democracy itself but also afterwards by joining together forces in creating the European Youth Council, a youth-led think-tank of the youth, by the youth, and for the youth, that aims to develop a culture of democracy and active citizen participation.
The Youth Event in St. Petersburg
Award Ceremony “European Drug Prevention Prize 2012 Ms. Ivica Alpeza from OBESSU (The Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions) and Mr. Gerard Tosserams from YMCA (European Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations) represented the Advisory Council on Youth at the Award Ceremony “European Drug Prevention Prize 2012”, organized by the Pompidou Group, which took place on 14 November, 2012 in Strasbourg. Three innovative winning projects received their Prize 2012 composed of a Diploma, a Trophy and a Prizemoney of € 5,000. The 3 projects received a certificate of recognition of their work in drug prevention with the active involvement of youth. More information about the event and about the projects available at: http:// www.coe.int/t/dg3/pompidou/default_en.asp Page 2
The Advisory Council on Youth, together with the European Youth Forum and the National Youth Council of Russia organised a Youth Event on 2223 September 2013 prior to the 9th European Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth. Held in St.Petersburg at the end of September, the event carried the same title as the Ministerial Conference: “Young people’s access to rights: development of innovative youth policies”. The event brought together some 150 youth representatives including representatives of national delegations and representatives from national youth organisations, national youth
councils, international youth NGOs and AC members. Working in plenary sessions and working groups over two days, the participants were able to agree on conclusions outlining young people's proposals for a better access to their rights. The results of the Youth Event have already been put into good use and were debated during the Ministerial Conference itself. The conclusions were also communicated to different bodies of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers, the Secretary General and the Parliamentary Assembly. You can find the results online at http://tinyurl.com/ youtheventresults
AC 2012-2013 No. 2 February 2013
Young People combating Hate Speech Online During its meeting in Strasbourg, the AC took note of Mr. Rui Gomes' report on the project 'Young People Combating Hate Speech Online.' In 2012 the project focused on preparatory activities such as research, education and campaign preparations. Mr. Gomes reminded the AC that the project, which is one of the flagship initiatives of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, is not about limiting freedom of expression but about creating an environment allowing all young people to express themselves without fearing such things as cyber-bullying or cyber-hate.
During the Joint Council meeting an expanded follow-up group was entrusted to advise and support the project, and in particular to oversee the implementation of the European-level activities and their budgetary implications. The new follow-up group, including three members of the AC and three members of the CDEJ, met in Strasbourg January 22-23. The Joint Council also agreed that Mrs. Ilaria Esposito should follow the campaign in her capacity as Gender Equality rapporteur.
In 2013, activities like trainings and study sessions will continue, but the main focus will shift to the campaign aspect of the project: The No Hate Speech Movement. The European campaign will be launched in Strasbourg (and online) on March 21 and will continue for one year, including action days, the creation of activist toolkits and education packs and a campaign conference. Additionally, CDEJ members have been invited to take the initiative in setting up national campaign committees in their countries, in cooperation with youth organisations and other stakeholders. The campaign is based upon human rights education, youth participation and media literacy.
Framework Programme of Cooperation in the Field of Youth Policy for 2012-2013 (Ukraine) The Joint Council in its November 2012 meeting, approved the Framework Programme of Co-operation between the Council of Europe’s Youth Department and the State Agency for Youth and Sport of Ukraine for 2012-2013 with the amendments proposed by the Advisory Council. The Framework Programme will contribute to the development of youth policy in Ukraine, primarily on matters pertaining to the development of youth mobility, participation of youth in the life of the society, recognition of cultural diversity, struggle against all forms of discrimination, and promotion and strengthening of healthy life styles among children and youth. The 2012 and 2013 activities under the Framework Programme of Cooperation include the following activities: a “50-50” training course Page 3
on youth policy development in Ukraine (2012), a training course for trainers and multipliers on human rights education in Ukraine (2012, the e-publication and nationwide dissemination of the Ukrainian version of Compass (2012 - 2013), International review of the Ukrainian national youth policy (2012-2013), national and international hearings on the youth policy review (2013), an interim evaluation meeting of the cooperation activities carried out in 2012 (2013), a training course for youth leaders and youth workers on participation (2013), printing and nationwide dissemination of the manual “Have Your Say!” in Ukrainian (2013), a national seminar on young people’s access to social rights (2013), strategic evaluation of the cooperation and preparation of 2014-2015 (2013).
Congress resolution on Youth and Democracy In its 23rd Session on 17 October 2012, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 346(2012) “Youth and Democracy: the changing face of youth political engagement”.The AC Chair was invited to make a 10 minute intervention on the topic. During the intervention special attention was given to 3 aspects, that: 1) participation in democratic life and political engagement of young people should in no way be minimalised and limited only to voting, 2) the online participation, its importance but also the need to be structured and understood as a tool not a means in itself, 3) the role of local and regional youth
councils is crucial but not limitless. In addition, the AC Chair stressed that the comanagement system should be promoted at the local and regional level and thus encourage youth participation in all democratic processes. As a result, the final Resolution states “opportunities should be offered to young people to enter into a structured dialogue with local and regional authorities and to participate in politics and policy-making by setting up joint decisionmaking mechanisms, mirroring the Council of Europe’s co-management system, in the form of joint councils composed of elected local/regional councilors and youth representatives”.
Flagship Projects During the meeting in Strasbourg in November, the Advisory Council endorsed new proposals regarding flagship projects for 20142015. The themes proposed for flagship projects should include the issue of young people’s access to the labour market and the right to work, youth participation as well as gender equality. The
Joint Bureaus meeting held in January 2013, agreed on two proposals which should be further promoted and these are “Beyond the Crisis: young people’s access to rights” and “Youth participation in decision-making on local and regional levels”. These two proposals should be adopted by the Joint Council in April 2013.
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Exchange of Views between the Gender Equality Commission and the General Equality Rapporteurs “In each committee there should be a goal set in relation to gender equality” (The Chair of GEC). The Transversal Programme on Gender Equality was launched by the Secretary General to improve the visibility and impact of the Council of Europe’s work on gender equality in the member states; to move from legal equality to real equality as member states were called upon to do by the Committee of Ministers in its Declaration, «Making Gender Equality a Reality». The programme has several objectives, including the mainstreaming of gender equality at the level of policy and practice in the member states and within the Council of Europe. In this context, the programme will seek to mobilise all Council of Europe bodies and its external partners. The Gender equality rapporteur for the youth sector (representing the Joint Council on Youth) is a member of the AC – Ms Ilaria
Esposito. She was invited to share what was happening within the Joint Council and what attempts were being made to mainstream gender equality. An unveiled context analysis was requested since the GEC needed to see clearly how to work in certain contexts and with which strategy. The debate moved around the experience of the Gender equality rapporteur; the biggest subject on the agenda of the youth sector; the expectations the Joint Council had regarding the GEC or cooperation with other committees and the possibility to invite a representative of the GEC to the Joint council meetings. As GER for the Joint Council on Youth Ilaria reported how gender had been mainstreamed so far in the youth sector highlighting achievements and shortcomings since the beginning of her appointment, mentioning specific projects or toolkits (Gender matters, Compass, new outline of the application form, HRE/EDC conference). She mentioned the decision of the Joint Council to use the Hate Speech Online project to work on the issue especially after the 9th Ministerial Conference results. It would also be useful to cooperate
with the communication committee on hate speech online and with the Education Unit. She distributed some youth publications and posters during the meeting. At the same time, she reported the fact that in each country there is a different sensitivity about the gender issue and that illustrating a clear framework on gender (gender equality, equity, gender-based violence, equality between men and women, LGBT..etc) will be useful in the context. However, even in the GEC the journey could be long, because despite clear interventions by the committees’ representatives, the focus of the first meeting was still high only on equality between men and women. The idea of this first meeting was to collect specific data and issues before venturing into other areas concerning gender. The GEC was already aware of the resistance to working on this issue, and that is why it wanted to hear the rapporteur’s point of view. Finally, there was a need for a common understanding on all the gender issues before talking about gender equality in order to avoid discrimination and to consider the individual when the issue.
Campaign during his visits to the Member States and he was very interested to discuss further with the AC the the casecompilation regarding violation of young people’s rights which the AC had received from the European Court of Human Rights and was hoping to receive from the European Social Charter Department. Maria Paschou also met Ambassador Luís Filipe Castro Mendes (Portugal), Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C) with whom she discussed
the results of the Ministerial Conference and the Youth Event and the forthcoming Hearing in the GR-C (14 March 2013) in the presence of the two Chairs of the CoE statutory bodies concerned with youth (the CDEJ and the Advisory Council).
Courtesy Visits Before the Bureau meeting of 24-25 January 2013, the AC Chair, Maria Paschou, had the opportunity to meet with different personalities in the CoE to further strengthen cooperation with the different bodies. The AC Chair met the Commissioner for Human Right Mr. Nils Muiznieks and discussed with him the support he could give to Campaign “Youth People combating Hate Speech Online” and to the implementation of the Youth Event results. The Commissioner expressed his willingness to meet the National Coordination Bodies of the
The AC Chair also met the Secretary General of the Congress, Mr. Andreas Kiefer and exchanged views on how the implementation of the Congress resolution 346(2012) “Youth and Democracy: the changing face of youth political engagement” could be further promoted.
The Advisory Council (AC) is made up of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks who can formulate opinions and proposals on any question concerning youth dealt with in the Council of Europe. With its governmental partner – Fiind us on Facebook the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) – it http://www.facebook.com/AdvisoryCouncilOnYouth forms the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ) to develop a common position on the political priorities and programme Email address to contact us: of the youth sector. The next meeting of the AC will take email@example.com ce at the European Youth Center in Budapest- 3 – 5 April. Youth Portal of the Council of Europe: http://www.coe.int/youth
The 2nd edition of the AC Newsletter for the current mandate has been compiled by Adina Marina CALAFATEANU – AC Member – Center for Sustainable Community Development – Romania Ilaria Esposito - AC Member - World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Maria PASCHOU – AC Chair – Hellenic National Youth Council Mihai Floran – AC Bureau Member - JECI-MIEC European Coordination