Youth - Young people building Europe


Building Europe together for 40 years - 1972-2012


Key Youth Events 2012

The Council of Europe is this year celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Strasbourg European Youth Centre and the European Youth Foundation – both created in 1972.

The following are the four key events.

1) Parliamentary Assembly Session June 25-29

The 40th anniversary is being launched during the June (25-29) Parliamentary Assembly Session to mark the important role played by the Assembly in the creation both of the Strasbourg Youth Centre (1) and the European Youth Foundation.

An exhibition (link to panels) highlighting the Council of Europe’s work with & for young people will run from 9am on the Monday through to 1pm on the Friday next to the Parliamentarian’s Bar in the Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg. This includes a 5-minute video on the subject, Young People Building Europe – a democratic success story, which has been made with young people.

a) Press conference

A press conference, The Parliamentary Assembly – finding solutions to the problems facing young people, is being held on Wednesday 27 June either at 12 or 1pm (Room 1).  It will focus on the Assembly’s role in the Organisation’s work with young people over more than 40 years and its role in the future.
In particular, the press conference will link the problems faced by young people (as outlined in the report “The young generation sacrificed: social, economic & political implications of the financial crisis” (rapporteur Luca Volontè (Italy EPP/CD) and the Council of Europe’s work with and for young people as part of the solution; we have been working on problems of this type for the last 40 years and have developed solutions with young people; what is needed now is the political will to put them into place.

The press conference panel comprises:

  • Parliamentary Assembly President Jean-Claude Mignon
  • The young generation sacrificed rapporteur Luca Volontè (Italy EPP/CD)
  • The Chair of the sub-committee dealing with youth questions Michael Connarty
  • The Chair of the Advisory Council on Youth Maria Paschou
  • Head of the Youth Department Ulrich Bunjes

b) Sub-committee on education, youth & sport

The Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Education, Youth & Sport is holding an exchange of views with young people after the press conference, on Wednesday 27th from 2pm-3.30pm (Room 6).

Two members of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Council on Youth – the Chair, Maria Paschou, & AC member, Hranush Shahnazaryan – will take part.

Parliamentary Assembly President Jean-Claude Mignon and the Director General of Democracy Snezana Samardzic-Markovic will also address the sub-committee.

c) Youth activities

During the week there are two important Council of Europe activities taking place in Strasbourg involving young people:

i) The Peace Camp - 22-30 June
The 2012 Peace camp ( is being held from 22-30 June at the Strasbourg European Youth Centre Strasbourg. This is only the second time it has been held at the youth centre.  For the six years prior to that, it was held at the Europa Park themepark in Rust, Germany. (Europa Park’s owner, Roland Mack, is a Council of Europe goodwill ambassador.)  It was moved to the Strasbourg European Youth Centre to bring it closer to the Council of Europe and to strengthen links between the camp and other Council of Europe activities.

51 young people are involved (42 participants and nine facilitators), from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Kosovo (various communities) Georgia, the Russian Federation and the Palestinian National Authority. The aim of the Youth Peace Camp is to enable young people and youth organisations from conflict-stricken regions to engage in dialogue and conflict transformation activities through human rights education and intercultural learning and to gain positive experiences of living and learning with others.

The environment and educational framework provided by the European Youth Centre helps youth groups from opposing sides of a conflict to live and learn together. Many participants will probably have a chance to talk face to face with young people from “the other side” of the conflict for the first time in their lives.

A video about last year’s camp can be found on Vimeo on:

ii) Seminar with youth leaders and young parliamentarians - 24-30 June
A seminar is being organised with members of youth parliaments & youth leaders from 24-30 June in Strasbourg. There are 25 participants from: Russia (14), Azerbaijan (1), Armenia (2), Ukraine (1), Israel (1), Poland (1), Germany (1), France (2 to be confirmed), Turkey (2). 
2) Open Doors Day

To mark its 40th anniversary, the Council of Europe has selected the Strasbourg European Youth Centre to be opened for “European Heritage Day” on Sunday 16 September 2012. The event will highlight the originality and importance of the building and the work with young people done within it.

3) Ministerial Conference

The 9th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth will be held in St. Petersburg from 23-25 September on the theme: Young people’s access to rights: development of innovative youth policies.

This will be preceded by a youth event on the same theme, running from 22-23 September, organised by the Advisory Council on Youth, the European Youth Forum & the National Youth Council of Russia.

Overview of conferences
organised since 1985

4) Youth Assembly 2012

The Parliamentary Assembly’s Youth Assembly is being held from 5-7 October in Strasbourg (at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg Youth Centre & Palais des Congrès) on the theme: Youth and democracy: the young generation sacrificed?.

(1) It was the Assembly which first called for the creation of a European Youth Centre, in 1960 in Resolution 186 (§§ 14 to 17)
(2) The Advisory Council on Youth is part of the Council of Europe’s unique “co-management” system in which youth leaders sit side by side with government representatives and decide on the Organisation’s priorities, policies and programmes concerning young people. We are currently the only organisation in the world to do this. We want others to follow our lead.