The German Presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has put young people and youth work firmly amongst its priorities.
The 3rd European Youth Work Convention, the flagship event, is taking place online from 7-10 December and is being attended by a thousand youth workers, young people and institutional representatives playing a key role in establishing the European Youth Work Agenda as a strategic framework for further developing and strengthening youth work practice and policies in Europe.
In her welcome speech on Monday 7 December, Franziska Giffey, German Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth reiterated Germany’s support for youth work in Europe. “Within the framework of Germany's dual presidency of the EU and the Council of Europe, it was clear to us that we would accept the task and develop a European youth work agenda”, she stated. Minister Giffey went on to explain how Germany had led discussions of a framework for the agenda during its EU Presidency, which resulted in the adoption of a Council resolution a few days ago. A long-lasting implementation process in youth work, the "Bonn Process" will follow the political decisions of the past years with deeds, “we now say "Time to act"”, declared Minister Giffey.
For the Council of Europe, the adoption of its recommendation on youth work in 2017 laid the foundation stone for youth work to become one of the four priorities in its youth sector strategy 2030. “For the first time in its strategic documents, the Council of Europe has made youth work a thematic area rather than an instrument or means of achieving other objectives.”, said Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy at the 3rd European Youth Work Convention.
Minister Giffey announced financial support for the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda, also through the Council of Europe’s instruments. The German government pledged € 400 000, which will be invested well in the European Youth Foundation (EYF) to support youth projects and young people, as well as to the two European Youth Centres in Budapest and Strasbourg. “In this way”, concluded Minister Giffey, “we can ensure that many young people benefit from the results of this convention”.
Germany and the Council of Europe are committed to youth work, it is essential for social cohesion, strengthens young people’s autonomy and their personal development, their participation and their democratic citizenship.