Health first, of course. But the youth sector works on

Strasbourg, France 18 March 2020
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Health first, of course. But the youth sector works on

Dear friends and partners of the Council of Europe youth sector

I hope you are reading this message in good health and spirits!

In accordance with the recommendations from member states’ national authorities and from the World Health Organisation, and as an expression of civic responsibility and solidarity in these difficult times, the Council of Europe is taking its own emergency measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. By decision of the Secretary General, the Organisation is fully committed to pursuing its activities, making wide use of teleworking.

When it comes to the implementation of the youth programme, the situation in the youth sector is equally as clear: the health and welfare of our young participants, partners and staff comes first.

This is why we cancelled or postponed a number of our activities for the weeks to come and can unfortunately not receive guests in our European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest for the time being. 

However, although we cannot meet, learn and work together in person for the time being, the staff of the Youth Department is at work and we are busy preparing future activities, new publications and resources and staying in contact with our partners as much as possible by means of online communication tools.

The 1 April deadline for applications to the European Youth Foundation is approaching fast and we are looking forward to receiving many quality applications for international youth activities promoting human rights and democratic values.

Calls for applications for activities held in the European Youth Centres and organised by the Youth Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe are published regularly, please check the respective websites.

The co-managed statutory bodies of the youth sector, the CMJ, the CDEJ and the CCJ are taking certain decisions online so to ensure that implementation of the Youth for Democracy programme can continue, at least partially, during these challenging weeks and months.

We are using the digital possibilities at our disposal to the full so please, do not hesitate to contact us. In addition, we are currently looking into ways of creating an online space for exchange and dialogue and for doing what the youth sector is good at: to turn challenges into opportunities for our work with, by and for young people.

So please, do watch this space, where we will keep you abreast of the evolution of the situation in the Council of Europe youth sector.

Stay safe, stay in touch.

Antje Rothemund

On behalf of all of the staff in the Youth Department