A spirit of shared purpose and commitment reigned in the meeting of the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ) in Budapest.
The governmental and non-governmental members voiced their shared hopes for the future of the Council of Europe in view of the current political crisis. For the CMJ, two things are certain: the intrinsic link between the intergovernmental work and the role of the European Court of Human Rights, given that intergovernmental standards tackling emerging threats and challenges to society inform the Court’s rulings; and the fact that the Organisation’s education, youth and culture activities “contribute to repairing the broken links between citizens and decision makers”, as stated by the Council of Europe’s Secretary General.
In an open and inclusive spirit, the CMJ called on all member states to enable the Organisation to continue shaping generations of democracy and human rights-spirited young Europeans, as it has been doing successfully since 1972.
Further building blocks were added to the foundations of the youth sector strategy 2030. Confirming the thematic priorities of “revitalising pluralistic democracy”, “access to rights”, “living together in peaceful and inclusive societies” and “youth work”, the Joint Council gave feedback on the desired impact and expected outcomes for each one. Further drafting work will continue in the coming months.
Two thought-provoking presentations were made by representatives of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) and of Inclusion Europe during the thematic debate on the inclusion of young people with disabilities. The CMJ got an insight into accessibility and how small changes can make big differences, as well as into identity and what it means to be disabled. The results of the discussions will inform the work of the CMJ’s Rapporteur on mainstreaming disability issues.
Finally, the Joint Council members celebrated “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Our Europe” to mark the Council of Europe’s 70th anniversary.