THE AFRICA-EUROPE YOUTH COOPERATION (AEYC) AT A GLANCE: Empowering young people and youth organisations and fostering co-operation and youth policymaking in Europe and Africa.

1. The milestone in the work of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe (NSC-CoE) in AEYC was the 1st Africa-Europe Youth Summit, organised in December 2007. The final declaration presented in the Summit of Heads of State and Government called for an Africa-Europe Youth programme that would allow the exchange and capacity-building of youth organisations, creating the framework and conditions for their active participation in the development of their societies, in decision/policy-making and in the implementation of the EU-Africa Strategic partnership.

2. In 2008, the NSC-CoE negotiated together with the European Commission the first Joint Management Agreement – JMA (2009-2011) that would be essential for the development of an Africa-Europe dimension of the Youth Co-operation programme of the NSC-CoE. The work developed during the first JMA allowed the development of sustainable partnerships and good practices between both continents and several institutions, including the African Union Commission. Apart from the JMA, the NSC-CoE was also responsible to implement Africa-Europe activities under the framework of the EU-CoE youth partnership until 2012. That year was also a JMA extension year, allowing the continuation of the work developed until the signature of the new JMA in September 2012 for the period 2013-2015.

3. After the 2nd Africa-Europe Youth Summit, in 2011, and in the framework of the Youth Leaders Meeting on Youth Policies in the context of the AEYC, it was defined a 2012-2015 Action Plan which was the basis for the continuation of the JMA agreement beyond 2012 that involved a large group of partners.

4. AEYC was a reference at regional co-operation level that served as example for Euro-Arab/Med co-operation. In fact, this programme was also a contribution for the Southern Mediterranean co-operation for several reasons:

  • Five countries of Southern Mediterranean (Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt) are already participating because they are framed in the North-Africa region as well;
  • The contact of youth organisations from the Southern Mediterranean region with their peers both from Africa and Europe, with different and relevant experiences in democratic political participation are an inspiration and efforts are being made to contribute for the development of national youth structures in those countries;
  • Youth organisations from North-Africa region are participating in all Africa-Europe activities and also Seed Funding was granted in the region.

A quick overview of the Joint Management Agreement features for Africa-Europe Youth Co-operation: