The project is inspired by the achievements and standards of the Council of Europe in the field of the protection and promotion of human rights, intercultural dialogue and democracy, and particularly those related to youth policy in Europe and to the reaffirming young people’s role as active citizens and protagonists of social change.
In the framework of “Agenda 2020” on the youth policy of the Council of Europe, the project contributes to providing young people with equal opportunities and experience which enable them to play a full part in all aspects of society and, in particular:
- empowering young people to promote, in their daily lives, cultural diversity as well as intercultural dialogue and co-operation;
- preventing and counteracting all forms of racism and discrimination on any ground;
- supporting initiatives of young people and their organisations with regard to conflict prevention and management, as well as post-conflict reconciliation by means of intercultural dialogue, including its religious dimension.
The Council of Europe’s youth sector has an outstanding tradition of supporting young people and youth non-governmental organisations as peace-builders and actors in conflict transformation and intercultural dialogue. Previous initiatives include programmes of assistance in the field of youth which focused on conflict prevention and transformation in Caucasus region; the Youth Peace Camp or the Democratic Leadership Programme, a 10-year project preparing the ground for democratic development. The programme of activities of the European Youth Centres has included several training activities on conflict mediation and conflict transformation which have provided the substance for non-formal education manuals such as the Training-Kit on Conflict Transformation, published by the partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of youth, in addition to Compass, the manual for Human Rights Education with Young People. The European Youth Foundation also developed a programme of pilot projects to support youth projects in conflict-struck areas, in addition to the many international activities ran by youth organisations with its financial support which have peace and conflict transformation as an aim.
All these programmes confirmed the need and to further invest in empowering young people to take an active role in peace-building processes, but as well the valuable contribution youth work makes.