Youth sector strategy 2030
A new mission statement
After 2020, the youth sector will need a new strategy that will provide policy guidance and a broad political roadmap, or mission statement, for the period 2020-30. This strategy should be general enough so that its policy orientations do not become quickly outdated and should provide the framework within which the next five biennial programmes can be implemented.
Based on the Council of Europe's core values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the new strategy should draw on existing policy documents while addressing any policy gaps that have been identified, and be as flexible and innovative as possible.
The strategy development process should try to:
- build on previous achievements of the Council of Europe youth sector;
- seek continuity with Agenda 2020 and learn from any identified shortcomings;
- take into account the broader mission of the Council of Europe and the track record of the Youth Department;
- consider the latest political context of the Council of Europe, the interests of its member states and traditional stakeholders, and the changing profile of the youth sector and its stakeholders;
- consider the need for more systematic monitoring and evaluation of youth sector impact.
Below are details of the roadmap that has been drawn up by the Joint Council on Youth.
A new roadmap
Joint Council on Youth
The Joint Council reviewed the implementation of Agenda 2020, looking at the key achievements, the shortcomings, the main challenges and the lessons learned. An extensive list of initiatives, campaigns, trainings, study sessions, educational materials and other activities was examined and revealed relevant background to inform deliberations at the consultative meeting to be held on 15 and 16 May 2018 on key parameters for the new strategy.
A roadmap was adopted thus officially paving the way for a new mid-term strategy which was given the provisional working title of Youth Sector Strategy 2030.
One of the keys steps in developing the new strategy was a consultative meeting on 15 and 16 May 2018. Fifty-one people, all of whom are closely involved in the implementation of the youth sector's programme, gathered in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg to identify and explore parameters for the development of the future Council of Europe mid-term youth strategy 2020-30.
During the meeting, the participants took stock of the current strategy (Agenda 2020), drew lessons from its achievements and shortcomings, and defined the added value of the Council of Europe youth sector in addressing the key challenges facing young people. The input was also key in examining the context and identifying some preliminary ideas for a possible future strategic framework for the Organisation's youth sector (what to maintain, what to develop, how and where to innovate).
At the end of the meeting, the general rapporteur summed up the participants' deliberations, presenting the ideas which would contribute to the next Council of Europe youth strategy.
Further discussions will be held during the meetings of the Bureaux of the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) and the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) on 7 and 8 June 2018. In October 2018, the conclusions of the consultative meeting will be examined by the Joint Council on Youth, which will decide on the next steps in the strategy development process.
Approval of the main thrust
Joint Council on Youth
The Joint Council agreed that the consultative meeting had been extremely useful in helping all stakeholders involved to draw lessons from the achievements and shortcomings of Agenda 2020, to define the added value of the youth sector when addressing key challenges facing young people, and to identify some preliminary ideas for a strategic framework for the youth sector until 2030 (what to maintain, what to develop, how and where to innovate).
The challenge is for the new strategy to find a balance between continuity and change; it should take into account the recently adopted EU and UN youth strategies to avoid any overlaps, but also to seek synergies and to address policy gaps. The Council of Europe’s comparative advantage must be clearly visible in the new strategy.
A drafting group was set up to develop a short, yet bold and innovative strategy that will find a balance between a vision (broad goals that could inspire all stakeholders) and its operationalisation (link to operational programmes and evaluation). Important issues affecting youth should be addressed, e.g. security, climate change, refugees, while bearing in mind that the Council of Europe youth sector cannot tackle all of the challenges facing young people.
The Council of Europe youth sector's achievements and standards will be the foundations for the new strategy.
The drafting group is composed of:
- for the CDEJ: Miriam Teuma (Malta), CDEJ chair and chair of the drafting group, and Katrin Olt (Estonia);
- for the CCJ: Georgios Chatzigeorgiou (vice-chair) and Natascha Skjaldgaard;
- for the European Youth Forum: to be nominated;
- two experts in youth policy and strategy development: Yael O'Hana and Howard Williamson.
Fleshing out the proposal
Filling in the detail
During this period, the drafting group will develop the structure of the Strategy according to the guidelines given by the Joint Council.
The first meeting of the drafting group was held on 6 and 7 December 2018 in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg. Good progress was made with the proposed format and content of the strategy. The group agreed to meet a second time in January or February 2019 in order to be able to present a fuller picture of its work to the Joint Council on Youth at its 40th meeting in March 2019.
From left to right: Antje Rothemund (Youth Department); Joanne Hunting (Youth Department); Katrin Olt (CDEJ); Howard Williamson (expert); Georgios Chatzigeorgiou (CCJ vice-chair); Florian Cescon (Youth Department); Miriam Teuma (CDEJ chair); Natascha Skjaldgaard (CCJ); Yael Ohana (expert); Liva Vikmane (European Youth Forum); Giovanna Montagna (Youth Department).
The second meeting of the drafting group was held on 22 and 23 January 2019 in the European Youth Centre Budapest. The group continued to develop the theory of change that had been sketched out in the first meeting, bearing in mind the need to ensure that this new strategy was formulated in such a way that its implementation could be evaluated. Attention was also given to the strategy's draft thematic priorities. The Joint Council on Youth (CMJ) will be invited to endorse the proposed thematic priorities during its meeting on 19 and 20 March in Budapest. The next stage will then be to develop expected outputs and indicators at a third meeting.
From left to right: Giovanna Montagna (Youth Department); Joanne Hunting (Youth Department); Howard Williamson (expert); Florian Cescon (Youth Department); Miriam Teuma (CDEJ chair); Katrin Olt (CDEJ); Tina Hocevar (European Youth Forum); Georgios Chatzigeorgiou (CCJ vice-chair); Rica Terbeck (Directorate of Internal Oversight); Yael Ohana (expert).
Presentation of the preliminary draft
Joint Council on Youth
The work of the drafting group thus far was presented to the Joint Council on Youth at its 40th meeting held in Budapest on 19 and 20 March. The Joint Council endorsed the group's general approach, in particular the development of the theory of change based on the eco-system model. The preliminary contents of the draft strategy - the youth sector’s vision, its purpose and role, its distinction, its range of services and its draft thematic priorities - also met with the CMJ's approval following some slight amendments. The four thematic priorities of the strategy were confirmed as: “revitalising pluralistic democracy”; “access to rights”; “living together in peaceful and inclusive societies”; and “youth work”. The Joint Council also provided some feedback on each priority's impact and expected outcomes which are to inform the drafting group's future work.
The drafting group will meet again in June 2019 to develop the strategy and the theory of change further, in particular the expected outputs and possible indicators for each thematic priority. The overall strategy document will be presented again to the CMJ at its 41st meeting (October 2019).
Endorsement of the final text
Joint Council on Youth
The Joint Council will examine the final proposal and endorse it.
Adoption and launch
It is proposed to formally adopt and launch the "Youth Sector Strategy 2030" during a high-level conference.
The exact nature of the event will be part of the discussions to be held in the Joint Council.