Long-term Strategy of the European Youth Parliament

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The first long term development strategy for the European Youth Parliament.

The European Youth Parliament - Schwarzkopf Foundation Sophienstrasse 28-29 – 10178 Berlin – Germany











DEVELOPING - realising EYP Network’s full potential


INSPIRING - towards an inclusive EYP


ACHIEVING - a culture of academic professionalism








“Where are we today as an organisation, and where are we going in the future?”

FOREWORD The European Youth Parliament turned 25 years in 2012. At this turning point, we asked ourselves, where are we today as an organisation and where are we going in the future? The EYP is the largest European programme for non-formal political education of young people, but in many ways we are still a young organisation. In fact, we are only now starting to expand EYP activities beyond our traditional formats and to define longer term strategic aims for the network as a whole.

This strategy is built around three main focus areas: improving inclusivity, increasing academic professionalism and developing the EYP network. For each of these areas, specific means and success indicators have been definied. For the first time, EYP has also agreed on a mission statement to focus and explain its main aims and activities.

EYP is undergoing a period of very rapid development and growth - in this situation, it is necessary to further define the aims, the mission This document outlines the strate- and the goals of EYP. This strategy gic prioritries for developing EYP will answer most of these quesfor the upcoming 2-3 years. The tions and provide a platform for process of creating this strategy further development of the Eurohas included consulting all stake- pean Youth Parliament. holders of EYP: the National Committees, the alumni, the Schwarzkopf Foundation as well as the repsentative body for all of them, the Governing Body. This process was begun by the Governing Body Ville Vasaramäki already in 2011 and finally after Executive Director more than one year, the strategy was approved in spring 2013. In the future, the strategy will be regularly updated and its implementation evaluated.



AIMS AND MISSION Our Mission The National Committees, the Governing Body and the Schwarzkopf Foundation have agreed on a mission stament for EYP based on the aims laid down in the EYP Charter:

“Our mission is to support the development of young people into politically aware and responsible citizens by involving them in European political thinking and promoting intercultural understanding�

Our Aims According to its Charter, the European Youth Parliament has four aims: a) Raise awareness of European issues and encourage active European citizenship, and to motivate students to get engaged in European politics. b) Promote international understanding, intercultural dialogue and diversity of ideas and practices. c) Contribute to the personal skills development of European youth. d) Provide a forum in which young people of Europe can express and debate their own opinions, without reverting to role-play.



“EYP needs a strategy - a coherent vision for developing the organisation in the next years.� Robert Torvelainen, Member of the Governing Body

NEW DIRECTIONS Strengthening our human resources to develop Outreach and Inclusiveness methods

Ensuring the continued growth of the EYP Network Increasing the visibility of EYP towards the general public

Establishing sound delegate preparation system within the NC and on IS level, including teacher involvement

Looking for outside expertise, involving teachers and other NGOs

Introducing workshops and training modules on the EU and European Affairs in EYP events

Ensuring further Academic quality and high-level cultural-educational impact of International Sessions



“When really considering how far EYP has come, we realise what a colossal organisation we are nowadays and how many people are involved and inspired.� Sophie Debrunner Hall, Coordinator of the Board of National Committees

OUR IMPACT EYP offers its participants a very effective and many-sided learning experience in an international environment.

Every year, EYP events organised in more than 40 European countries have more than 20 000 new participants.

+ 20 000

In one generation of Europeans - about 20 years - more than 400 000 Europeans have gone through EYP.

+ 400 000

EYP does not reach only its participants: family members, friends and colleagues are also reached through the direct engagement of EYP alumni.

+ 6 000 000

DEVELOPING REALISING THE EYP NETWORK’S FULL POTENTIAL Vision To build a stronger EYP Network in order to allow further development in terms of quality and quantity and thus realise EYP’s full potential.

Aim The European Youth Parliament has National Committees (NCs) in almost 40 European countries - from Russia to Portugal, from Norway to Turkey – and thus it seems the geographical limits of the EYP Network have almost been reached. While we already involve thousands of young people annually, there is still a lot of potential for the further development of this network in terms of both quantity and quality. While many of our well-established NCs are successful and thriving NGOs, we see other NCs struggling to move forward or even continue their current level of activities – often they are facing similar challenges that other NCs have managed to overcome. We believe the support and coordination structures within our EYP Network should be strengthened to allow further development in terms of quality and quantity of our activities. We believe that EYP should aim at building international level structures that are engines for the future development of the whole EYP. At the same time, NCs should increase their engagement on the international level of the EYP, since so far involvement on the international level is too often put aside in favour of national matters. EYP needs to create a framework that facilitates and stimulates international involvement of NCs. Until now our activities and sessions are almost always based on the same principle: one NC organises an activity and other NCs send participants there. We believe that there is room for increased ‘multilateral’ NC cooperation between NCs, where different groups of NCs organise common activities and projects.


Success indicators

Strengthening the basic activities of the NCs.

At least 40 NCs organise an NSC and send delegates to at least 2 IS a year.

Improving thesupport given to volunteers on a daily basis.

One third of the NCs have an office with permanent support staff to assist them in their work.

Assuring the continued growth of the EYP Network.

EYP reaches 30.000 young people every year. EYP organises 300 events every year.

Improving best practice sharing and developing solutions to common challenges.

Organising at least one event every year where NCs come together and share best practices. Organising at least one training event on National Committees Management and Development annually.

Involving the NCs on the international level on a more regular basis.

All bi-annual meetings of the Board of National Committees attended by at least one representative of every NC or Initiative.

Improving and increasing training given to alumni on the national level.

Every NC organises at least one training event for EYP alumni annually.

Developing a strategic culture throughout the EYP network.

EYP implements an international long-term strategy and updates it regularly. All NCs and Initiatives implement a long-term strategy, which is updated regularly.

Increasing the visibility of EYP towards the general public.

EYP covered in major regional and national printed and online press five times per year in each active country.

Increasing the recognition of EYP’s activities among decision-makers.

Creating and implementing a PR strategy for the EYP. At least 50 MEPs and 3 European Commissioners attend EYP events every year.

INSPIRING TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE EYP Vision Our vision is that EYP shall become a truly open and inclusive youth organisation, involving all young people who wish to take part in our activities.

Aim The European Youth Parliament is not an NGO that is made to deal with social emergences or disabilities, but it can open new perspectives to young people that would not have otherwise had these opportunities due to their social, economic or educational situation. We have identified a range of obstacles that could prevent a youngster from taking part in our activities - note that these will probably vary according to the National Committee – including: social obstacles, disabilities, economic obstacles, educational difficulties, geographic obstacles and cultural differences. Though we are seeing how more and more National Committees have been organising inclusivity projects during the last years, we have identified two reasons to explain why EYP is not as inclusive as it could be. Firstly, EYP lacks the information to evaluate the state of the EYP Network in terms of inclusivity. Hence why we should thoroughly evaluate and research the profile and background of EYP participants, something we have not done before. It is time for EYP to develop outreach methods tailored to our projects and goals, using external information, but also sharing the already available knowledge which some National Committees have built up. Secondly, the very nature of EYP could hold some young people back from taking part in our activities. Some youngsters might be scared by their initial limited knowledge of politics, the high academic level, participation costs or even be hesitant of speaking a foreign language or travelling abroad. To deal with this, we need a two-branch approach. For one, we need to work on including so-far-excluded youth into our already existing events, while also further build our range of activities in order to offer educational events to all young Europeans. We realise that EYP Outreach and Inclusivity projects will often be even more resource-intensive (HR, time-wise, costs) than some of our other events, but feel that in order to fulfil our mission statement, EYP needs to increase its inclusiveness on all levels.

“It is time for EYP to develop outreach methods tailored to our projects and goals.”


Success indicators

Evaluating EYP’s State of Inclusiveness, aimed at identifying existing barriers to inclusiveness inside NCs.

At least three reports on the “State of EYP’s Inclusiveness” have been published and presented at BNC Meetings.

Writing a toolbox for the NCs - on how to develop and strengthen their inclusiveness programmes - tailored to EYP activities.

A first version of a toolbox for the NCs - on how to develop and strengthen their inclusiveness programmes - is finished and spread around the EYP Network.

Look for outside expertise, involve teachers and other NGOs.

At least two international events have been organised aimed at developing EYP-specific outreach and inclusivity methods.

Support international training events on Outreach and Inclusivity Methods.

At least 15 training events on inclusivity methods have been organised by the NCs.

National Committees develop their own Outreach and Inclusivity programmes.

Two thirds of the NC’s should have a country-specific outreach-programme.

Coordinate a European project and accessory fund for NCs with an inclusiveness programme.

At least two long-term partnerships have been set up to run an international EYP Outreach programme.

Strengthening our human resources to develop Outreach and Inclusiveness methods.

The EYP/SF Office in Berlin has hired an extra Project Manager to work on Outreach and Inclusiveness programmes and projects. Every NC Board has at least one Board member with the Outreach/Inclusiveness in their portfolio.

ACHIEVING A CULTURE OF ACADEMIC PROFESSIONALISM Vision Our vision is that EYP establishes a culture of academic professionalism, throughout our organisation and in everything we do.

Aim One of the core elements of the European Youth Parliament is that is a volunteer-based organisation, all EYP events are organised and run by young people, for young people. Because of this, we sometimes lack the resources – time, human resources, etc. - to adequately prepare for the tasks we take on in this organisation. Though this has advanced a lot already during the last years, we feel that there is still a lot of room for improvement and we strongly believe that our volunteerism can go hand in hand with a strong culture of academic professionalism in all we do. We see room for improvement on a number of levels. On an organisational level we want to spread a culture of academic professionalism throughout EYP – raising the levels of professionalism and academic quality of the work of our National Committees and the international governance bodies of the EYP – the Board of National Committees and Governing Body. We feel it is vital to work on our organisational learning processes, by more sharing of knowledge and best practices throughout the network and thus striving for synergies. At the same time, we should be looking more to what is going on outside of our network by consulting other organisations, seeking solutions elsewhere and truly reflect on our needs together with other stakeholders such as teachers, experts, etc. We are also aiming to continue the development of the academic quality of our sessions and events. Our flagship events International Sessions are recognised to be of an excellent academic standard, but we should not stop striving to do more and better in terms of academics. We should also further spread the best practices and knowledge used at International Sessions to our other events, where there is more room for improvement. We aim that all our events and sessions are of a comprehensive educational quality, with well-designed topics; in-depth and informative topic overviews; top quality resolution booklets; resulting in a very high standard of debates and participation. We feel that if we provide even better prepared, well-trained chairpersons, our delegates will profit in terms of preparation, the level of debates and discussions they will have and deepened learning processes.


Success indicators

Establishing a learning culture by gathering solutions to commonly encountered problems of NCs and alumni; and sharing them.

An up-to-date knowledge platform with information relevant to NCs, GB and session officials is created, updated and available to all.

Publishing the agenda and minutes of all meetings on the international level at least two weeks prior to/after the meeting.

The agenda and minutes of all the GB and BNC meetings are published two weeks respectively prior and after the meeting from 2014 onwards.

Publishing positions of GB and NCs in advance of BNC meetings.

The positions of NCs and the GB on discussion items concerning the agenda of BNC meetings are published at least one week prior to the meeting for all meetings.

Introducing workshops and training modules on the EU and European Affairs in EYP events.

At least 40 workshops and training modules on the EU and European Affairs are included in the events of NCs.

Boosting the learning process of EYP alumni by contacts with European institutions, politicians, and experts and the private sector.

At least 50 MEPs and 3 European Commissioners attend EYP events every year. Every Natinoal Session has at least one relevant politician, expert or private sector representative in attendance. Trips and visits which are open to EYP alumni are regularly organised to European institutions.

Ensuring further Academic quality and high-level cultural-educational impact of International Sessions.

Criterion of “Academic quality and cultural-educational impact of the session� is added to the guideline for assessment of Bids to host International Sessions.

Conscious topic choices of delegates and constructive research of delegates for IS.

Explanatory paragraphs, suggesting research areas and briefly explaining the issue at stake, added to the IS topic lists before the delegates and chairs choose their preferred topics for all sessions.

Constructive input of experts participating in international and national sessions.

Expert briefing for experts participating in EYP events prepared and circulated for all IS and relevant NC events.

EYP sessions follow good quality, debatable topics, specifically tailored to the need of specific EYP events.

Pool of topics and rationales (45) specifically tailored to the need of IS is provided every year by the Council for Academic Quality.

Guides and all other (academic preparation) material is regularly updated.

NCs or Session Presidents can also ask the Council for assistance with topics for national and regional events. Guide on topic formulation for presidents and a harmonised guide on topic overviews is prepared.

Establishing sound delegate preparation system within the NC and on IS level, including teacher involvement.

Position Papers and Fact Sheets are used in all International Sessions. If Position Papers and Fact Sheets are not used, thorough delegate preparation is guaranteed in a different way.

Sharing of best practices on delegate preparation within the NCs.

At least one third NCs use Position Papers and Fact Sheets in their delegate preparation. Best practices of delegate preparation in the NCs are gathered and compiled. NCs introduce the best practices within their events.

A timely selection of IS delegates allowing sufficient time for academic preparation.

All delegations for International Sessions are selected at least two months in advance.

Introducing debating culture in the GA.

Debating training introduced as a part of GA Preparation of at all International Sessions and at least 15 national events.

Ensuring high level of the Chairs’ Academic Training (CAT) of International Sessions.

CATs follow the updated guidelines of the GB and have sufficient modules on EU, Europe and topics. When necessary trainer or external expert is invited to CAT for specific modules

Allowing for further development of EYP alumni: organising Alumni forums, T4ET etc.

At least one alumni Forum and one Training for EYP Trainers (T4ET) is organised every year for experienced EYPers.

Sharing of best practices on academic elements of the sessions: resolution typing process, using position papers and facts sheets in committee work, topic preparation, etc.

A separate section on these topics is developed in the renewed Knowledge Bank.

Advanced training for Presidents and Board members.

Training events for Session Presidents are organised.



IMPLEMENTATION The long-term strategy of the EYP sets the main aims for developing the organisation for the next two to three years. Based on this strategy the National Committees and the GB annually derive short- and mid-term objectives to set a framework towards meeting the long-term strategy aims. According to EYP’s policy on long-term strategy, it is the National Committees (NCs) and the Executive Director who define the implementation. On the national level, the NCs take actions to meet the aims and on the international level, the Executive Director of EYP defines the actions to be taken by the International Office and other actors such as the Councils on implementing the strategy. The progress of the implementation of the long-term strategy is annually evaluated by the GB and the BNC, respectively.

Developing the Strategy

Implementing the Strategy

The Governing Body

National level:

The Board of National Committees

National Committees

The Schwarzkopf Foundation

International level: Executive Director and the International Office Councils



UPDATING No strategy can be valid for ever and also EYP’s long-term strategy is meant to be updated on regular intervals, approximately every two or three years. The process is governed by the policies of EYP. Among other things, the policies state that “EYP must have a long-term strategy that establishes the overarching aims and long-term goals which direct the efforts of all actors within the EYP network. This strategy is a public document.”

Developing the long-term strategy The Governing Body (GB) leads the process of drafting and renewing the long-term strategy, and consolidates input from EYP alumni, the National Committees and the Schwarzkopf Foundation. The long-term strategy and all updates to it are adopted by the GB, and must also be endorsed by the BNC and the Schwarzkopf Foundation.

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