About “Turning Points: towards a consistent voice for Youth”
PROJECT DATES & VENUES:
|Residential (conference + action planning): 10-17 August 2022, 8 days including travel|
ACTIVITIES AND PARTICIPANTS
The main activity is a residential training course plus policy conference, in the UK. There are also some preparatory and follow-up activities for all participants.
Each partner should send 3 participants. They should be young people age 18+, interested in youth policy, European affairs and leadership. They could be active in youth campaigns, democracy projects, EuroPeers networks or similar activities. This project is especially suitable for former EVS volunteers or others with international experience.
This project takes the idea of youth policy dialogue back to first principles: it is a policy dialogue about policy dialogue.
A variety of forums and events enable young people to engage with policy makers, on both youth-specific and general issues. National and international youth parliaments, municipal youth councils, youth boards of charities, student unions and school councils, all present different models of engagement. The Erasmus+ programme also funds policy dialogue events (such as this project). The European Parliament, European Youth Forum, UNESCO and many other bodies fund ad hoc or annual international youth conferences, some of which are generously funded and attract high profile speakers.
Young people have much to gain from taking part in these activities, including development of transferable skills, increased self confidence, intercultural learning, and at best, the opportunity to make a difference. However, both major events and longer term structures inevitably attract well educated and articulate young people; they can become an end in themselves as training grounds for future politicians. Those with the greatest need to be heard are often the least likely to participate. Politicians in particular may have ulterior motives for being seen to engage with young people, which can make this tokenistic.
Among the many varieties of youth policy dialogue, a core question stands out: how to give young people a voice that is consistent, effective and sustainable. This also involves the question of where, when and how such dialogue should happen. Younger and older generations largely inhabit different real and virtual spaces, so the things being said in one space may go unheard, or be lost in translation, in another. Different age groups have different expectations and different styles of working and communicating. Each can be uncomfortable in the other’s territory: adults attempting to participate in youth culture risk appearing false or condescending; but expecting young people to “comply and conform” is authoritarian and off-putting. Adults may hold most of the power and resources, but young people have knowledge and experience that is essential to effective decision-making. A “structured dialogue” (to use the European term) also requires intermediaries, so youth workers have a key role – which raises further questions about capacity, skills and training.
The “Turning Points” project will bring together young people, decision makers and intermediaries to consider these questions, share experience and recommend approaches to policy dialogue in general.
The themes of the European Youth Strategy (Engage, Connect and Empower), which formed the core of the “Youth Work in a Changing World” seminar hosted by the NYA in February 2020, are the principles which should underpin policy dialogue. They will also map onto the 3 stages of this project.
Starting Points (Engage): preparatory phase including:
· Launch of the project (April 2022)
· Selection of participants (young people and youth workers) and identification of policy partners in each country
· Research on varieties of policy dialogue activities and structures, and collection of best practice examples
· Surveys of young people, youth workers and policy makers on purpose, achievements and obstacles to engagement
· Training the conference organising team (young people)
· Preparation for the conference and consultation on main themes
Meeting Points (Connect): one-day conference led by young people to discuss and expand on the findings of the preparation phase, and to make practical recommendations for follow-up action. The conference is now scheduled for 12 August 2022 (UNESCO International Youth Day).
Action Points (Empower): immediately following the conference, the funded UK and international participants (young people) will attend a residential training course with the objective of turning the conference recommendations into concrete action plans for implementation in each country (jointly or severally). NB: the budget of the current project does not cover the implementation of these plans; however, the plans will include options for further funding proposals to Erasmus+, European Solidarity Corps (solidarity projects) or other sources, led by young people and supported by each of the project partners.
A further event to disseminate project results will be held in the UK’s Youth Work Week 2022 (November).
A larger follow-up project (Key Action 2) is also possible, to collect and share best practice, resulting in intellectual outputs such as guides for policy makers and training for Youth Workers. This would have to be led by a non-UK partner.
€275 Estonia, Hungary, Italy, N. Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain
€360 Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey
Visa fees (Turkey & N. Macedonia) will be reimbursed.
Participation fee: €50
|CILL / Momentum World is assisting NYA with the application, delivery and technical administration of the project.|
NOTES ON ERASMUS+ KEY ACTION 3 YOUTH DIALOGUE PROJECTS
Youth Dialogue projects can take the form of meetings, conferences, consultations and events. These events promote the active participation of young people in democratic life in Europe and their interaction with decision-makers. As a concrete result of these events, young people are able to make their voice heard (through the formulation of positions, proposals and recommendations) on how youth policies should be shaped and implemented in Europe.
A Youth Dialogue project has three phases:
- planning and preparation;
- implementation of the activities;
- evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).
The activities are led by young people; the young participants must be actively involved in all the stages of the project, from preparation to follow up. Non formal learning principles and practices are reflected throughout the implementation of the project.
Examples of possible activities:
- national meetings and transnational / international seminars that offer space for information, debate and active participation of young people in dialogue with youth decision makers on issues which are relevant to the EU Youth Strategy and its Dialogue mechanisms;
- national meetings and transnational seminars that prepare the ground for the official Youth Conferences organised during each semester by the Member State holding the turn of Presidency of the European Union;
- events that promote debates and information on youth policy themes linked to the activities organised during the European Youth Week;
- consultations of young people, with a view to find out their needs on matters relating to participation in democratic life (online consultations, opinion polls, etc.);
- meetings and seminars, information events or debates between young people and decision makers/youth experts around the theme of participation in democratic life;
- events simulating the functioning of the democratic institutions and the roles of decision makers within these institutions.