Youth - Young people building Europe

8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth
(Kyiv-Ukraine, 10-11 October 2008)



1. The 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for youth was held in Kyiv on 10 and 11 October 2008 on the invitation of the Ukrainian government.

2. Mr. Yuriy PAVLENKO, Minister of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sport was elected Chair of the Conference. Ms. Edit RAUH, State Secretary of Equal Opportunities – Hungarian Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour – was elected Vice-Chair.

3. The theme of the Conference was “The future of the Council of Europe youth policy: Agenda 2020”. The main aim of the Conference was to develop priorities and a medium-term strategy for the Council of Europe’s policy and action (2010-2020), based on the Action Plan adopted by the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government.


4. Delegations from 39 members states and other States Parties to the European Cultural Convention took part in the Conference. Twenty-one Ministers, Deputy Ministers or Secretaries of State attended the event. The list of Ministers and other Heads of Delegation appears in Appendix II. The full list of participants is available on the Intranet.

Opening session

5. The Conference was opened by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms. Maud de BOER-BUQUICCHIO. The agenda was adopted as it appears in Appendix I.

6. The President of Ukraine, Mr.Victor IOUCHTCHENKO underlined the importance he attaches to the European integration of his country and his willingness to encourage Ukrainian youth to take a more and more active part in international and European life. He also re-affirmed his commitment to the development of youth policy in Ukraine, including through the support to youth movements.

7. The Minister of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sport, Mr.Yuriy PAVLENKO reported on the progress in securing young people’s rights in Ukraine and on the most recent developments concerning youth policy in his country. In this respect, he underlined how important it was for the Ukrainian government to invest in youth and support their contribution to the building of society, including through increased co-operation with youth NGOs.

8. The Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe underlined the crucial role of young people in promoting the core values of the Council of Europe and examined the options for supporting these efforts through youth policy. She also stressed the importance of ensuring an effective mainstreaming of the youth dimension throughout the Organisation.

9. Ms. Nyamko SABUNI, the Minister for Integration and Gender Equality of Sweden, representing the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, underlined the important role of the Council of Europe’s instruments in the youth field as well as the co-management practice in empowering young people to promote the core values of the Organisation. She also emphasized the need for effective mainstreaming of the youth dimension and increased co-ordination and co-operation between child and youth policies. She announced that, as an immediate follow up of the adoption of the Declaration, the Swedish Presidency will prepare a Committee of Ministers’ draft Resolution for adoption in the near future.

10. Mr. André SCHNEIDER, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Youth and Sport of the Parliamentary Assembly, referred to the ongoing interest and involvement of the Assembly in the Council of Europe youth policy and action. He invited the European governments to develop youth policies with the active participation of young people; the parliamentarians to enable young people to participate in their activities; and youth organisations to make use of the possibilities offered by the Council of Europe in terms of co-operation with parliamentarians.

11. Mr. Yavuz MILDON, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, said that the Congress was paying strong attention to the inclusion and participation of young people in society. He recalled the past and present contributions of the Congress in this respect. He re-affirmed the Congress’ willingness to contribute to the implementation of the three priority areas set out in the final Declaration.

12. Mr. Pierre MAIRESSE, Director of Youth, Sport and Citizenship/DG Education and Culture – European Commission, expressed his satisfaction in respect of the good co-operation between the Council of Europe’s youth sector and the Commission, and stated that the latter fully shared the vision of youth policy developed in the draft Declaration of the Conference. He confirmed the commitment of the Commission to the present partnership programme in the youth field.

13. Ms. Bettina SCHWARZMAYR, President of the European Youth Forum presented the results of the youth event, which took place two days prior to the Conference. She called upon policy-makers to co-operate with youth organisations and to provide young people and youth NGOs with reliable participation structures. She asked the governments as well as the Council of Europe to live up to the commitments expressed in particular in the Conference Declaration and to start discussing youth rights.

14. Professor Vladimir FILIPPOV, Rector of the People’s Friendship University of Russia, as the keynote speaker, introduced the general theme of the Conference, presenting his vision of the present and future challenges for European societies. He outlined possible responses to be developed by the Council of Europe ‘s youth policy focussing on the challenge of globalization, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, social inclusion and a discrimination-free society, the role of youth organisations, mainstreaming of youth policy and its interaction with other policy areas.

15. Dr. Gavan TITLEY introduced the Agenda 2020 background document, which had been prepared by the secretariat, in view of the future discussions about the implementation of the Declaration within the co-management bodies.

Conference debates

16. The afternoon of the first day was dedicated to the holding of four panels which enabled Ministers, Members of the Parliamentary Assembly and youth organisations to discuss among themselves as well as with the other participants the following topics linked to the main theme of the Conference:

- Promoting equal opportunities for girls and boys, young women and young men;
- Empowering young people to promote cultural diversity as well as intercultural dialogue and its religious dimension;
- Supporting young people’s access to social rights;
- Promoting intergenerational dialogue and solidarity.

The reports on the main outcomes of the panels were presented at the beginning of the closing session, the next morning. They are available on the Intranet.

Closing session

17. Following the presentation of the main results of the four panels, the Chairman of the European Steering Committee on Youth (CDEJ), Mr. Jan VANHEE (Belgium) introduced the draft final Declaration, stressing the importance of youth policy within the Council of Europe and the role of the youth sector, with its specific approaches, for implementing the Council of Europe’s objectives in this policy area.

18. The Chairman of the Joint Council on Youth, Mr. Georg BOLDT, drew attention to the importance of securing young people with the possibilities and opportunities to shape their own future. In the context of ageing societies and increased risk of precariousness, he supported the suggestion of the President of the European Youth Forum to start discussing the issue of youth rights.

19. Mr. Ralf-René WEINGAERTNER, Director of Youth and Sport – Council of Europe, recalled the importance of the Conference for the future Council of Europe policy and action in the youth field, pointing out the practical implications of the Agenda 2020 on the operational priorities of the Directorate of Youth and Sport in future years. On behalf of the Secretary General he thanked the Ukrainian hosts for their outstanding achievement and the Conference participants for a lively and productive debate.

Final Declaration

20. The final Declaration adopted by the Conference sets out the priorities for the Council of Europe youth policy for the coming years ,i.e. human rights and democracy; living together in diverse societies; social inclusion of young people, whilst re-affirming the specific mission of the Organisation in this field, bearing in mind the essential role of young people in promoting its core values. The Declaration highlights in particular the need for effective mainstreaming of the youth dimension throughout the Organisation, and of increased co-ordination and co-operation between child and youth activities. It also underlines the essential elements which constitute the identity of the Council of Europe’s youth sector, such as the co-management principle and practice, the essential role of the European Youth Centres and Youth Foundation, the training of multipliers in the youth field, the promotion and recognition of non-formal learning and the specific co-operation mechanism with the European Commission. The final Declaration appears in Appendix III.

Follow up of the Conference

21. The Swedish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, with the support of the CDEJ, took the initiative to invite the Committee of Ministers to adopt a Resolution on the youth policy of the Council of Europe, based on the final Declaration of the Conference. This Resolution includes the essential elements of the Declaration, in particular the priorities of the youth sector for the coming years as well as the approaches and methods for their implementation.



I. Opening session

Opening addresses

Election of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Conference

Adoption of the Agenda

Introduction to the main theme of the Conference

Presentation of the background document “Agenda 2020”

Presentation of the results of the youth event preceding to the Conference

II. Afternoon sessions (Panels)

    Panel 1: “Promoting equal opportunities for girls and boys, young women and young men”;

    Panel 2: “Empowering young people to promote cultural diversity as well as intercultural dialogue and its religious dimension”;

Panel 3: “Supporting young people’s access to social rights”;

Panel 4: “Promoting intergenerational dialogue and solidarity”.

III. Closing session

Presentation of the results of the Panels

Presentation and adoption of the final Declaration

Closing addresses


Ministers and Heads of Delegation

Mr. Artur POGHOSYAN, Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia

Dr Andrea KDOLSKY, Federal Minister, Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth

Mr. Azad RAHIMOV, Minister of Youth and Sport

French Community / Communauté française
M. Marc TARABELLA, Ministre de la Jeunesse et de la formation professionnelle
Flemish Community / Communauté flamande
Mr Jan VANHEE, Head of Delegation
German Community / Communauté germanophone
Mme Isabelle WEYKMANS, Ministerin für Kultur und Medien, Denkmalschutz, Jugend und Sport

Mr Sredoje NOVIĆ, Minister of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mr Michail BALABANOV, Vice President, State Agency of Youth and Sports Bulgaria

Mr Stjepan ADANIć, State Secretary; Ministry of Family, Veterans’ Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity of the Republic of Croatia

Mr Nemos KOUTSOKOUMNIS, Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors’, Youth Board of Cyprus

Mr. Jan KOCOUREK, Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic

Mr Uffe SVEEGAARD, Head of Section. Ministry of Education, Department of Primary, Lower Secondary and General Adult Education

Mr Tõnis LUKAS, Minister of Education and Research

Mr Olli SAARELA, Director, Ministry of Education, Youth Policy Division

Mr Alexis RIDDE, Chef de la mission de la coopération européenne et internationale - jeunesse, vie associative, Ministère de la Santé, de la Jeunesse, des Sports et de la Vie associative

Mrs. Karin REISER, Head of Department Participation of Young People, Federal Ministry of Family affairs, The Elderly, Women and Youth
Ms Angeliki ATHANASOULI, Department of International Cooperation, General Secretariat for Youth

S.E. Mgr. Josef CLEMENS, Secrétaire du Conseil pontifical pour les Laïcs

Ms Edit RAUH, State Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour

Mr James O’DONOVAN, Assistant Principal Officer in Youth Affairs, Department of Education and Science

Ms Giorgia MELONI, Minister for Youth Policy, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Department for Youth

Mr Ainars BASTIKS, Minister of Children and Family Affairs

Ms Violeta MURAUSKAITE, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour

Mme Marie-Josée JACOBS, Ministre de la Famille et de l’Intégration

Mrs Larisa ŞAVGA, Minister of Education and Youth

Ms. Marga DREWES, Deputy Director for Youth and Families, Ministry of Youth and Families

Mr Kjell Erik ØIE, State Secretary, Ministry of Children and Equality

Mr Grzegorz CHORĄŻY, Deputy Director Department for International Cooperation, Ministry of National Education

Ms Helena ALVES, President Youth Portuguese Institute

Mr Mihai SEBE, Head of Bureau European Affairs,  International Relations Division, National Authority for Youth

Mr. Oleg ROZHNOV, Vice-minister, Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation

Mme Paola CASADEI, Adjoint au Ministre de la Jeunesse, Segreteria di Stato per la Gioventù

Mrs Snezana SAMARDZIC-MARKOVIC, Minister of Youth and Sport

Mr Peter DEBELJAK, Director, Ministry of Education and Sport, Office of Republic of Slovenia for Youth

Ms Pilar Bonilla Manzano, Deputy Director General of the Institute of Youth

Ms Nyamko SABUNI, Minister for Integration and Gender Equality

Mme Rosmarie WIDMER GYSEL, Regierungsrätin, Ministerin, Conférence suisse des directeurs cantonaux de l’instruction publique (CDIP)

Mr. Dragan GJURCEVSKI, Director of the Agency of Youth and Sport

Mr Adnan GÜL, Director of Youth Services Department, General Directorate for Youth and Sports

Mr Yuriy PAVLENKO, Minister of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sports

Mr Andrew McCully, Director, Supporting Children and Young People Group


Committee of Ministers / Comité des Ministres
Ms Nyamko SABUNI, Minister of Integration and Gender Equality representing the Swedish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

Parliamentary Assembly / Assemblée parlementaire
Mr André SCHNEIDER (France), Président de la Sous-Commission Jeunesse et Sport

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe / Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux de l’Europe (CLRAE / CPLRE)
Mr Yavuz MILDON, President of the Congress

Development Bank / Banque de développement
Mr Lars KOLTE, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Council of Europe Development Bank

Conference of International NGOs of the Council of Europe / Conférence des ONG internationales du Conseil de l’Europe
Ms Anna WIDEGREN, Representative of the INGO Conference

European Co-ordination Forum for the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 / Forum européen de coordination pour le Plan d'action du Conseil de l'Europe pour les personnes handicapées 2006-2015 (CAHPAH)
Ms Slobodanka LAZOVA-ZDRAVKOVSKA, Head of Unit for protection and employment of persons with disabilities, European Co-ordination Forum for the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015

Advisory Council on Youth / Joint Council on Youth
Conseil consultatif sur la Jeunesse / Conseil mixte sur la Jeunesse
Mr Georg BOLDT, Chairperson


European Commission / Commission Européenne
Mr Pierre MAIRESSE, Director for Youth, Sport and Relations to the Citizens, DGAC – Education and Culture

Mr Jeremy HARTLEY, UNICEF representative in Ukraine

World Bank / Banque Mondiale
Ms Katerina PETRINA, Senior Social Protection Specialist (World Bank Office in Ukraine)

Ibero-American Youth Organisation (OIJ) / Organisation ibéroaméricaine de Jeunesse
Ms Trinidad GARCIA, Programme Officer

Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)/ Comité exécutif de la Communauté des Etats indépendants
Mr Aliaxandr SASNOUSKI, Head of Division


European Youth Forum / Forum Européen de la Jeunesse
Ms Bettina SCHWARZMAYR, President

European Youth Card Association (EYCA) / Association Européenne des Cartes Jeunes (AECJ)
Mr Wolfgang SCHICK, President

European Network of Youth Centres (ENYC) / Réseau européen des centres de jeunesse
Ms Vivienne MCKEE, Director of Policy and Research, The National Youth Agency

European Youth Information Counselling Agency (ERYICA) / Agence européenne pour l’information et le conseil des jeunes
Mr Davide CAPECCHI, Director


Prof. Vladimir FILIPPOV, Rector of the People’s Friendship, University of Russia

Dr. Howard WILLIAMSON, Professor of European Policy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Glamorgan

Dr. Gavan TITLEY, Director of Media Studies, School of English, Media and Theatre Studies

Prof. Carol HAGEMANN-WHITE, Faculty of General Pedagogy and Gender Studies, University of Osnabrück, Germany

Mr Davide CAPECCHI, Director, European Youth Information Counselling Agency (ERYICA)

Guest / Invité
Mr Stefan BECSKY, Coordinator of the Editorial Board Forum21


Ms Maud DE BOER-BUQUICCHIO, Deputy Secretary General

Mr.Ralf-René WEINGÄRTNER, Director of Youth and Sport


Final Declaration

We, the Ministers responsible for Youth from the 49 States party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe, meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 10 and 11 October 2008, on the occasion of our 8th Conference, are committed to actively promote, in all the member states of the Organisation, the development of youth policies which are likely to result in the successful integration of all young people into society.

In this regard, we are determined to pursue the objective of ensuring young people’s access to quality education and training, to decent work and living conditions, as well as developing the conditions to enable them to contribute to the development of society.

Having regard to the Declaration and Action Plan adopted by the third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in Warsaw in May 2005, which, in particular, stated that “The Council of Europe will further develop its unique position in the youth field…”, thus reaffirming the pan-European character of the Organisation;

Having regard to the Parliamentary Assembly's Recommendation 1844 (2008) on refreshing the youth agenda of the Council of Europe;

Underlining the specific contribution of the Council of Europe’s youth sector, since 1972, to the objectives of the Organisation and its capacity to develop appropriate responses to new situations and challenges;

Bearing in mind that the aim of the Council of Europe youth policy is to provide young people, i.e. girls and boys, young women and young men with equal opportunities and experience which enable them to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to play a full part in all aspects of society;

Bearing also in mind the cross-sectoral dimension of this policy and the importance of involving young people in its formulation, implementation and follow up;

Considering the challenges young people face, both in terms of greater opportunities offered to them as well as increased risk of precariousness, but convinced nevertheless of their considerable potential and therefore fundamental role in promoting the Council of Europe’s core values;

Convinced of the need for a dynamic youth policy in the Council of Europe, which includes children as well as young people;

Stressing the importance of following up the Action Plan adopted in Warsaw in 2005, particularly the youth Campaign on diversity, human rights and participation “All different-all equal” as well as the programme “Building a Europe for and with children”;

1. We agree that the following issues should be regarded as priorities for the Council of Europe youth policy and action :

1.1. Human rights and democracy, with special emphasis on:

    · Ensuring young people’s full enjoyment of human rights and human dignity and encouraging their commitment in this regard;
    · Promoting young people’s active participation in democratic processes and structures;
    · Promoting equal opportunities for the participation of all young people in all aspects of their everyday lives;
    · Implementing effectively gender equality and preventing all forms of gender-based violence;
    · Promoting awareness education and action amongst young people on environment and sustainable development;
    · Facilitating the access of all young people to information and counselling services.

      1.2. Living together in diverse societies, with special emphasis on:

    · Empowering young people to promote, in their daily life, cultural diversity as well as intercultural dialogue and co-operation;
    · Preventing and counteracting all forms of racism and discrimination on any ground;
    · Supporting initiatives of young people and their organisations in conflict prevention and management as well as post-conflict reconciliation by means of intercultural dialogue, including its religious dimension;
    · Supporting youth work with young refugees, asylum-seekers and displaced persons;
    · Further encouraging the development of sub-regional youth co-operation in Europe and beyond;
    · Encouraging young people to promote global solidarity and co-operation.

      1.3. Social inclusion of young people, with special emphasis on:

    · Supporting the integration of excluded young people;
    · Ensuring young people’s access to education, training and the working life, particularly through the promotion and recognition of non-formal education/learning;
    · Supporting young people’s transition from education to the labour market, for example by strengthening possibilities to reconcile private and working life;
    · Supporting young people’s autonomy and well-being as well as their access to decent living conditions;
    · Ensuring young people’s equal access to cultural, sporting and creative activities;
    · Encouraging intergenerational dialogue and solidarity.

2. We agree that the implementation of above priorities should be based on the following approaches, methods and instruments:

As regards youth policy development and co-operation

    2.1. intergovernmental and international co-operation on youth policy development, with particular focus on setting standards and supporting their implementation ;

    2.2. service to countries, in particular through international reviews of national youth policies and youth policy advisory missions;

    2.3. co-operation with the European Union;

    2.4 partnerships with other stakeholders and services involved in areas which are relevant to the Council of Europe youth policy;

    2.5 co-management, as a unique and valuable co-operation mechanism between governments and youth organisations;

    As regards youth work, education and training,

    2.6. multilateral youth co-operation as an appropriate way of promoting international understanding in the spirit of the core values of the Council of Europe;

    2.7. working with multipliers as well as supporting the development of quality youth work and its recognition;

    2.8. intercultural learning as a non-formal educational/learning method particularly relevant for promoting intercultural dialogue and combating racism and intolerance;

    2.9. the European Youth Centres and European Youth Foundation as unique instruments for developing European youth co-operation;

    As regards youth research and knowledge of youth

    2.10. youth research and co-operation between youth researchers and policy makers in order to promote evidence-based youth policies and support the work of practitioners in the youth field;

    2.11. the realisation of studies, publications as well as educational and training material in order to support youth work and policy;

    2.12. the further development of the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy;

3. In view of the above, we recommend to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe,

    3.1. to support the present Declaration as a contribution to the further implementation of the decisions adopted at the Warsaw Summit in 2005;

    3.2. to invite the relevant co-management bodies of the Council of Europe’s youth sector to develop programmes of activities based on the present Declaration;

    3.3. to invite these bodies to review, where appropriate, the working methods of the youth sector, and, if necessary, to submit their proposals to the Committee of Ministers;

    3.4. to strengthen the Council of Europe’s youth sector and further enhance co-ordination and co-operation on administrative as well as political levels between child and youth – related activities;

    3.5. to take the necessary political and administrative measures to encourage all Council of Europe sectors, in co-operation with the youth sector, to take into account a youth dimension when defining and carrying out their programmes of activities;

    3.6. to further support the role of the European Youth Centres and European Youth Foundation;

    3.7. to foster the Partnership with the European Commission in the youth field as an example of good co-operation between the two partners;

    3.8. to further develop a communication strategy to ensure the best possible visibility of the youth sector of the Council of Europe, inside and outside the Organisation;

    3.9. to endeavour to secure, when planning the annual work programme, adequate budgets for the youth sector.

4. We will take the present Declaration into consideration in the development of our youth policies, and support the contribution of young people and youth organisations to the implementation of the priorities included in it, at local, regional, national and European levels.

5. Furthermore, we will encourage and support the development of youth mobility, voluntary activities and exchanges across Europe and beyond.