The sustainability of the Council of Europe’s core values relies also on the creativity, competences, social commitment, and contribution of young people as well as on their confidence in the future.
Youth policies and youth work practice must support young people in realising their full potential as autonomous members of society, enabling them to develop life plans and exercise their democratic citizenship.
Participation is an essential element of citizenship in a democratic society and a democratic Europe. Youth participation is not an end in itself, but a means of achieving positive changes in young people’s lives and of building a better society.
The revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life, adopted in May 2003 by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, was created to support and strengthen youth participation as the basis of a democratic society.
National Training course "Together Have Your Say!"
Youth participation is also central to any youth policy both as an objective and an approach. The Council of Europe and the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan co-organised Together Have Your Say!, a national training-course on democratic citizenship and youth participation for specialists from public authorities working with young people, and for representatives of youth non-governmental organisations from Azerbaijan.
The course was held from 24 to 29 June 2018 at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg. The training course brought together 30 civil servants and representatives of non-governmental youth organisations from various regions of Azerbaijan. The course approach and methodology were based on the concept of 50-50 courses, whereby officials from public authorities and leaders of youth organisations learn together and learn to dialogue and co-operate.The course developed participants’ competences in promoting youth participation and in strengthening co-operation between different stakeholders within the youth field, for further development of youth policy and youth work in Azerbaijan.
As outcomes of the training course, participants committed themselves to strengthening co-operation between different stakeholders of the youth policy field in their communities. They elaborated projects and initiatives to respond to the challenges related to the youth policy and youth work in Azerbaijan today, such as creating the co-management bodies at different levels, developing the network of youth centres / houses, and promoting an inclusive and rights-based approach in educational activities for young people.