Interview with Matthew Johnson

Strasbourg 17 May 2017
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Interview with Matthew Johnson

The EYF produced 5 short clips extracted from an interview with Matthew Johnson, Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation. In this series of videos, Matthew Johnson talks about the youth sector in general but gives also details about the youth programme of the Council of Europe (, stressing the symbolic dimension of the two European Youth Centres in Budapest and Strasbourg, which he qualifies as the “beacons of the Council of Europe’s values”. Considering the EYF as “an innovative fund”, he also explains how the European Youth Foundation (EYF) has implemented its “shift away from a donor to a partner” (

When talking about the Council of Europe youth strategy 2020-2030 (, Matthew Johnson pointed out that young people consider the increase of migrants and refugees as “a challenge” and admitted that one of the recurring themes during the Joint Council on Youth’s discussions in Budapest at the end of March 2017 on drafting a Council of Europe youth strategy 2020-2030, was the need to promote activities that encourage integration and inclusive societies.

He also thinks that to face the challenges of youth work (, “we have to make sure we set priorities with our stakeholders”, and also “try to help member states fill the gaps that arise”, such as “young people’s disengagement”, the lack of a “dedicated ministry of youth” in some member states, “a clear co-ordination of youth policy” and of a “common understanding of some basic concepts around the youth sector”.

Finally in the clip about his vision for the future (, Matthew Johnson insists that “youth policy should not be seen as something done to young people but done with young people”, stressing that young people have to take an active part in it.

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