Youth sector strategy 2030
On 23 January 2020, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Ambassador Irakli Giviashvili, President of the Ministers' Deputies, launched the Youth sector strategy 2030.
The new strategy will provide policy guidance and a broad political roadmap, or mission statement, for the period 2020-30, and will be the framework within which the next five biennial Youth for Democracy programmes will be implemented.
The Youth sector strategy 2030 was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 22 January 2020 and is to be found in Committee of Ministers' Resolution (2020)2.
An accompanying background document introduces the Strategy, putting it into the context of young people’s lives and of youth policy. In this document, you will find out more about the Council of Europe youth sector, as well as about the strategy's vision, mission, thematic priorities and expected outcomes.
A new mission statement
This new strategy has been designed to be general enough so its policy orientations do not become quickly outdated, and to provide the framework within which the next five biennial programmes will be implemented. It is based on the Council of Europe's core values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The strategy development process:
- built on previous achievements of the Council of Europe youth sector;
- sought continuity with Agenda 2020, learning from its shortcomings;
- took into account the broader mission of the Council of Europe and the track record of the Youth Department;
- considered 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;
- has been designed so that the Joint Council on Youth can periodically take stock of its implementation.
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 which revealed relevant background to inform deliberations during the consultative meeting 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 were 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 were 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 were examined by the Joint Council on Youth, which decided 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 was 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 would 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 were the foundations for the new strategy.
The drafting group was 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 developed 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.
Read the meeting report.
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) was invited to endorse the proposed thematic priorities during its meeting on 19 and 20 March in Budapest. The next stage was then to develop expected outcomes and indicators at a third meeting.
Read the meeting report.
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 informed the drafting group's future work.
Fine-tuning and preparation of a political document
The drafting group met again on 4 and 5 June 2019 in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg to review and finalise the preliminary draft background document on the strategy and the preliminary draft political document, that is to say the preliminary draft resolution to be adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
These proposals were then submitted to the members of the Joint Council on Youth for their final comments which were examined during a meeting of the chairs and vice-chairs of the CDEJ and the CCJ on 16 September 2019.
Read the meeting report.
The complete youth sector strategy 2030 was presented to the CMJ at its 41st meeting (October 2019) for examination and possible adoption.
Consultation and finalisation
CMJ and the chairs and vice-chairs of the CDEJ and CCJ
Over the summer 2019, the drafting group's preliminary draft background document and political document were submitted to the members of the Joint Council on Youth for final comments. The chairs and vice-chairs of the CDEJ and CCJ met on 16 September 2019 in Strasbourg to examine and discuss the comments and proposals received.
The resulting draft background document - the explanatory memorandum - and draft political document - the Committee of Ministers' resolution - were examined by the Joint Council on Youth during its 41st meeting on 15 and 16 October 2019 in Strasbourg.
From left to right: Georgios Chatzigeorgiou (CCJ vice-chair); Joanne Hunting (Youth Department); Miriam Teuma (CDEJ chair); Anja Olin Pape (CCJ chair); Antje Rothemund (Youth Department); Florian Cescon (Youth Department); Ivan Hromada (CDEJ vice-chair).
Endorsement of the final text
Joint Council on Youth
The Joint Council on Youth examined the draft CM resolution and the draft background document at its 41st meeting on 15 and 16 October 2019. The background document was adopted by the CMJ; the draft CM resolution was approved and submitted to the Committee of Ministers for further examination and adoption.
Launch of the new Youth sector strategy 2030
Following the adoption by the Joint Council on Youth at its 41st meeting in October 2019 of the draft Committee of Ministers' resolution on the Youth sector strategy 2030, the text was submitted to the Committee of Ministers' Group of Rapporteurs on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C) for examination at its meeting on 12 November 2019 . The GR-C agreed to submit the draft resolution to the Ministers' Deputies for adoption without further debate on 22 January 2020 (Resolution CM/Res(2020)2 on the Council of Europe youth sector strategy 2030).
Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Ambassador Irakli Giviashvili, President of the Ministers' Deputies, hosted a high-level launch of the Youth sector strategy 2030 on 23 January 2020 within the framework of the Presidency of Georgia of the Committee of Ministers.
On this day, the Ministers' Deputies held an informal exchange of views on "strengthening democracy through youth engagement in the Council of Europe and its member states". Read more here.