The upcoming 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government will define the future orientations of the Council of Europe. As such, the Secretary General has proposed to the Committee of Ministers to launch a new four-year programme from 2024 to build on those outcomes.
Consequently, an important item on the agenda of the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ), the co-managed decision-making body of the youth sector, at its meeting in Strasbourg from 13 to 15 March 2023, was to agree on the priorities for the new programming period. The CMJ agreed to retain the current five strategic priorities for this new four-year period, thereby continuing to contribute to the implementation of the Youth sector strategy 2030 and the Secretary General's Strategic Framework for the Council of Europe.
Those priorities are: revitalising pluralistic democracy; young people’s access to rights; living together in peaceful and inclusive societies; youth work; and developing and improving youth policy based on Council of Europe standards. Agreement was also reached on the expected results for 2024-27, which will be submitted later this year to the Committee of Ministers for final approval.
The CMJ also discussed the youth sector's support to young people, youth workers and youth civil society organisations in Ukraine. The members welcomed the youth chapter in the new Council of Europe Action Plan on Ukraine: Recovery, Resilience and Reconstruction, which aims to strengthen participatory youth policies and reinforce youth work in both the war and post-war contexts taking into account the specific needs of young people. Thanks were expressed to the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine and the non-governmental partners in Ukraine for the continued co-operation, resilience and commitment to supporting youth policy and youth work in that country, despite the particularly difficult circumstances.
Regarding the list of activities on capacity-building for advocacy and democratic participation for youth representatives of Belarusian civil society, agreed by the Council of Europe Contact Group on co-operation with Representatives of Belarusian democratic forces and civil society, the CMJ decided to set up a Working Group to exchange views and co-ordinate these activities.
The next plenary meetings will be held in Strasbourg in October 2023.