From 23 to 26 of March 2015 the European Youth Conference took place in Latvia, which held the Presidency of the EU. The conference was held in the Latvian capital, Riga, with 220 participants attending from all EU Member States to discuss and focus on issues related to Youth Empowerment and their participation in the political profile, both at national and European level. This was the 2nd in the current TRIO Presidency (Italy – Latvia – Luxemburg) and focused on the results of the consultations that were launched by the EU Youth Conference that took place in Rome in October 2014.
The Cyprus Youth Council as the coordinator of the National Working Group of the Structured Dialogue, represented Cyprus at the European Youth Conference with a three-member mission consisted of Mr. Sergios Poizi – General Secretary of CYC, Ms. Maria Kola – Vice President B’ and Ms. Chloe Constantinidou – Member of the Cyprus Youth Diplomacy. The government side was represented by the President of the Cyprus Youth Board Mr. Panagiotis Sentonas and Youth Officer A’ Maria Christodoulou.
All participants of the conference, whom represented both youth and policy makers in each country, were concerned through group discussions, were guided by the questions created after the Youth Conference in Rome (October 2014) and resulted in a number of common proposals, in seven topics which are as follows:
- Create a Culture of Participation at School
- Involving young people in political decision-making
- Enhancing policy makers’ engagement and commitment with young people
- Strengthening the role of youth work for political empowerment of all young people
- Developing youth friendly tools for political participation
- Developing local and direct democracy
- Increasing synergies and cooperation between different actors
After the conference in Riga, the discussion will continue at national and EU levels and will conclude with the 3rd Conference of the current cycle that will take place in Luxemburg in coming September.
Feel free to read HERE an article prepared by Chloe Constantinidou about her experience at the Conference and you can also watch videos from the Riga Conference below: