Young Active Citizenships – EU Meeting 1–4 July 2006 Hyvinkää, Finland Conclusions by the Presidency The Young Active Citizenships EU Meeting was organised by the Finnish Ministry of Education, the Finnish Youth Research Network, the Finnish Youth Co-operation Allianssi and the City of Helsinki Youth Department in Hyvinkää, Finland, from 1 to 4 of July 2006. The aim of the meeting was to strengthen the tripartite cooperation between youth administration, youth research and young people in European decision-making. A second goal was to explore the different forms and contents of young active citizenships. The meeting was organised right at the beginning of the Finnish Presidency with the aim of making full use of the outcome of this meeting when preparing the Council resolution on information for and participation by young people, to be adopted by the Youth Council in November. The Presidency intends to include in the resolution - as far as possible - the ideas expressed both at the plenary sessions and in the working groups. This meeting should contribute to the process of intensifying the implementation of open method of coordination. In order to consolidate the status of youth research in European decision-making, the Presidency will prepare a discussion paper for ministers responsible for youth and submit its conclusions on youth research (better understanding and knowledge of youth). The Presidency will invite the coming Presidencies to take full note of these conclusions and to translate them into actions. The traditional Presidency youth event was integrated into this meeting with the aim of involving all actors of the youth field and recognising each of them with their own competences. Defining the concept of active citizenship and creating a forum for genuine interaction was one of the main aims of this meeting. The Finnish Presidency welcomes the Austrian Presidency conclusions of the Bad Ischl Ministerial meeting and Youth Event held in March 2006, and the proposal on creating an informal forum composed of the current EU Presidency troika, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Youth Forum. It was clearly stated that the concept of active citizenship should be broadened up to involve also cultural, social, economic and digital dimensions of citizenship. If effectively implemented, the European Youth Pact provides a tool for creating conditions for different forms and contents of active citizenship. We reconfirm our proposals as expressed in the Statement by the Finnish organisers. We propose the following measures for developing youth policies capable of meeting the needs and expectations of European young people:
Young Active Citizenships – EU Meeting 1–4 July 2006 Hyvinkää, Finland • • •
improving the impact of EU and national youth policy objectives on decisionmaking at local level; identifying the gaps between the common objectives and their implementation at national level; involving all actors in the youth field in this process.
We welcome the Commission’s initiative to encourage the youth organisations and national youth councils to come up with concrete and detailed proposals on the implementation of structured dialogue. We also warmly welcome the long-term policy agenda proposed by the Commission and the idea of guaranteeing the continuity between the Presidency youth events. They should be clearly linked with the EU agenda. The themes of the structured dialogue should be crucial for young people's own lives, such as employment, starting a family, education etc. We propose following measures enhancing dialogue between various actors in the youth field from local to European level: • • • •
youth policy processes involving all relevant actors in the youth field, policy makers, youth researchers, those active in the youth field and youth organisations; establishing a dialogue between young people, decision-makers and youth researchers at local, national, European and global levels; developing structures for an open dialogue and implementation of youth policies; establishing cross-sectoral youth policy strategies and programmes with concrete objectives, in cooperation with local and regional authorities.
Cooperation and contacts with regions outside the EU are increasing in significance. The challenges of globalisation should be taken into account also in the EU youth policy as far as they concern citizenship. We are convinced that all possible actions should be taken to support the global youth cooperation benefiting all parties and increasing global responsibility of young people in Europe and in other parts of the world.