"Local and regional councils are the public authorities with which young people and disadvantaged youth are in contact in their daily lives. Their role in facilitating quality youth work is crucial," stressed Gianluca Rossino (Italy), Youth Delegate to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, speaking at the online round table "Europe Goes Local: Supporting Youth Work at the Municipal level", organised on 20 October 2020 by Jint vwz, a Brussels based EU National Agency for the Erasmus+.
Presenting the role of the Congress in promoting youth participation, he drew attention to the recently adopted Congress report which provides guidelines to local and regional authorities to strengthen youth work. “There are valuable standard setting texts and tools such as the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People and the European Charter for Local Youth Work and its toolkit" he noted, adding that what is urgently needed is adequate funding to implement their recommendations.
"Our generation will be the next to lead Europe. Youth work is essential to give us the tools we need to build a peaceful future," he concluded underlining the active role young people are playing in finding responses to the current crisis in Covid-19.
Congress youth delegates are currently working on field projects to analyse the role of local and regional authorities during the pandemic. These projects cover topics such as the dissemination of false information about Covid-19, lack of transparency, discrimination and stereotypes in schools, ethnic distancing in conflict and post-conflict countries, and sustainable development.
The Congress initiative “Rejuvenating Politics” aims to promote the participation of young people in public life and in the decision-making process at local and regional levels. Since 2014, this “Youth Delegates” project has allowed young people from the 47 Council of Europe member States to take part in the Congress sessions and in the meetings of its committees, contributing to the discussions on the topics on the agenda.