Kyiv, Ukraine, 2008


What are ministerial conferences?

Conferences of specialised ministers are an important instrument of intergovernmental co-operation as they provide ministers with an opportunity to meet in order to discuss topical policy issues and develop orientations for the work of Council of Europe.

In the youth field, such conferences are organised occasionally, they bring together ministers responsible for youth from the 50 States Parties to the European Cultural Convention as well as different organisations and bodies involved in youth issues.

One specific feature of the Council of Europe conferences of ministers responsible for youth is that they actively involve youth organisations, both in the preparation and in the discussions during the conferences.

Prior to each conference, a youth event is organised, bringing together youth NGO representatives and the youth representatives who participate in the conference as part of the national delegations.

The results of the youth event are presented at the opening session of the conference. The final declaration adopted at the end of the conference is submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which decides on the follow up to be implemented by the CDEJ.


A brief look back

The first European Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth took place in Strasbourg in 1985. Together with the European Youth Week, the Conference was a highlight of the Council of Europe's contribution to the International Youth Year – one of the memorable events of this year in Europe.

Since then, ministers have met periodically (Oslo 1987, Lisbon 1990, Vienna 1993, Bucharest 1998, Thessaloniki 2002, Budapest 2005, Kyiv 2008, St Petersburg 2012) to exchange views and co-ordinate national youth policies, and recommend joint action at European level, particularly in the areas of youth mobility, participation, information and advice and research.

In 1995, a first informal meeting of European ministers responsible for youth was held in Luxembourg on "Appraisal of and prospects for youth work at the Council of Europe". Co-operation with INGYOs (International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations) which co-operate with the European Youth Foundation and European Youth Centres is not only visible by their active role in conferences but also by their involvement in the evaluation of the said conferences. A close dialogue can be developed between the decision takers and those who are directly concerned.