What does representation mean? Who do school student organisations represent and how? Is there a “right” to representation? Do individual have to choose or organisations have a duty to represent everyone? How to ensure that organisations truly reflect the voice of its members/school students?
From 23rd to 24th September 2014, the European Commission organised the biennial European Business Forum on Vocational Training in Brussels, at which OBESSU Board member Luke Shore spoke on a panel. The conference brought together participants from multinational corporations, national chambers of commerce, vocational education providers and Commission officials, together with social partners.
Although the forum carried the predictable tagline ‘Business & VET- Partners for Growth and Competitiveness’, OBESSU was pleased to note a slight shift in the Commission’s discourse at this event. Senior DG Education and Culture (DG EAC) officials such as Joao Santos, Pierre Mairesse and Silva Mendes began to frame the vocational education and training (VET) question in terms of the inseparable, mutually complementing social and economic missions of education, instead of a pure question of jobs, growth and competitiveness.
In September, OBESSU was represented at a European Youth Forum (YFJ) taskforce meeting on Vote@16 in Brussels. The meeting brought together different YFJ Member organisations campaigning in favour of lowering the voting age to 16.
During the two days, participants discussed about the situations in their Member organisations, what has been happening and what might happen in the future. Many of the participants were from National Youth Councils from countries that also have Member organisations in OBESSU, so synergies were quickly noticed.