Our Mission and Mandate
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CoE and young people
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European Youth Foundation
For more than 40 years, the Council of Europe in the youth sector has been the only international organisation to operate a system of co-management, i.e. decision-making structures where representatives of youth organisations and governments decide together on proposals for its policies and programme.
These proposals are presented for adoption to the Committee of Ministers, the highest decision-making body of the Council of Europe.
The European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ)
The CDEJ ensures the intergovernmental co-operation in the youth field of the Council of Europe.
Members of the Committee are senior civil servants from Ministries responsible for youth affairs from the 47 Council of Europe member states and other states, which have subscribed to the European Cultural Convention.
The CDEJ meets once a year in plenary and has also established topic-based working groups on current issues in youth policy (for example, voluntary service, non-formal education, and youth participation in society).
The Advisory Council
This is the consultative body for non-governmental partners involved in the decision-making process in the youth sector. Its task is to promote non-governmental participation.
The Advisory Council:
• may approach the Committee of Ministers and the CDEJ on youth policy matters and on proposals concerning objectives, priorities and budget allocations for the whole youth sector, within the framework of the common position, if any, developed by the Joint Council on Youth Questions;
• may be invited by the Committee of Ministers to formulate opinions on general or specific questions concerning youth policy;
• may approach other bodies of the Council of Europe on any question of common interest concerning youth policy.
The Advisory Council has thirty members, who are designated by the Committee of Ministers for a period of two years:
• thirteen are representatives of international non-governmental youth organisations (INGYOs), proposed by the European Youth Forum
• seven are representatives of national youth committees properly constituted in the member States of the Council of Europe, proposed by the European Youth Forum
• five are representatives of structures involved in various areas of youth work relevant to Council of Europe youth policy
• five are representatives of international non-governmental youth organisations or networks, which are not members of the European Youth Forum.
The Joint Council on Youth Questions
This is the supreme decision and policy-making body for the Council of Europe’s governmental and non-governmental part&Úners in the Directorate of Youth and Sport.
It is composed of all members of the CDEJ and all members of the Advisory Council. It meets once a year.
The task of the Joint Council, in a spirit of co-management, is to develop a common position on:
• the youth sector’s overall priorities, annual/pluriannual objectives, main budget envelopes and necessary budget specifications, within the political and budgetary framework established by the Committee of Ministers;
• a mandate for the work of the Programming Committee.
The Programming Committee
This is also a joint decision-making body representing the Council of Europe’s governmental and non-governmental partners in the youth field. It meets twice a year and has 16 members:
• eight governmental representatives, who are members of the CDEJ representing governments from the member States of the Council of Europe, in a well-balanced geographical distribution.
• eight non-governmental representatives, who are members of the Advisory Council.
The composition of the Programming Committee changes every two years.
The main tasks of the Programming Committee include:
• establishing the various programmes of the Council of Europe’s work in the youth sector, in particular those of the European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest and the European Youth Foundation. This includes decisions on applications for study sessions at the EYCs and grants of the EYF.
• monitoring the execution of the Centres’ and the Foundation’s programme;
Decisions require a two-thirds majority, and each member has one vote.
It is a unique feature of the co-management structures of the Council of Europe’s youth sector that representatives of governments and of non-governmental youth organisations and associations decide together about the use of budgetary allocations.