“Young people are drivers of change and key actors in our societies. But they need help to unleash their full potential” declared Thomas Andersson, Congress spokesperson on youth, speaking at the “Europe goes local, supporting youth work at the municipal level” conference on 6 June 2019. This conference was organized by JINT, the Flemish knowledge center for international youth mobility and international youth policy and the National Agency for the Youth in action program of the European Commission.
“Empowering young people and enhancing their personal and social development are at the heart of what is called “youth work””, he pointed out, adding that local authorities have a key role to play in this regard, by ensuring the exercise of young people's social rights, for example through employment support measures or the prevention of gender-based violence among young people. Including young people in the decision-making process is precisely the objective of the Congress initiative "Rejuvenating Politics", which allows youth delegates from the 47 member States to participate in its debates, along with local and regional elected representatives.
Thomas Andersson also mentioned the European Charter on Local Youth Work that will be launched at the event and which proposes concrete guidelines on the subject. The objective of this Charter, in accordance with the Council of Europe Recommendation adopted in 2017, is to increase the quality of local youth work and to increasingly involve young people in the evaluation of initiatives. ““Youth work” can bring change at the local level”, concluded Thomas Andersson.