Our board member Larissa was elected as a member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe last April by the member organisations of the European Youth Forum. Here she gives a short overview of the role of the Advisory Council and the start of her mandate:

Nominated by OBESSU for this position, I will contribute with my expertise to the 2018-2019 mandate of the Advisory Council and strongly advocate for the recognition of the role of democratic, inclusive education and school student unions in Council of Europe’s youth policy and activities, as well as young people’s rights overall.

What is the Advisory Council on Youth?

The Advisory Council on Youth is a Council of Europe body made up of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks in Europe which provides opinions and input on all youth sector activities. It also ensures that young people are involved in other activities of the Council of Europe.

Twice a year, it meets with representatives of member states in the Joint Council on Youth where all Council of Europe youth policy is being discussed. The famous model of co-management comes into action: representatives from non-governmental youth organisations and youth networks cooperate closely with government officials from the European Steering Committee for Youth to establish the standards and work priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector and make recommendations for future priorities, programmes and budgets. All decisions must be made with consensus.

My role

This March 26th-28th, I attended the first official meeting of the Advisory Council and the Joint Council on Youth in Budapest. The meeting had much on the agenda, including the allocation of portfolios in the Advisory Council. From now on, I will be closely following the implementation of the Recommendation on Young People’s Access to Rights and contributing to the development of a monitoring process. This is an important recommendation to the member states adopted in 2016 which includes various specific measures on topics that I have worked on in OBESSU including access to quality education, access to mobility, smooth transition from education to the labour market and more. You can find the original text here. This is also a useful tool for OBESSU’s member organisations to advocate for quality education and school students’ welfare. Besides that, I will be following and contributing to the work of the EU - Council of Europe partnership in the field of Youth. This is a unique partnership which aims to create synergies between youth policy in both institutions, focusing mainly on the topics of participation, social inclusion and youth work. This partnership has been particularly valuable to youth organisations like OBESSU because of their focus on the creation of tools such as the pedagogical T-Kits - a must-read for any current and future youth trainer/facilitator! Another interesting output is their online Coyote Magazine, to which we have contributed to in the past. You can find more information on the other activities and publications of the partnership on their website here.

Let’s keep in touch!

I am keen to inform the OBESSU membership as much as possible about the ongoing work of the Advisory Council and the Council of Europe’s youth sector more generally. If I have education-related questions, I will not hesitate to reach out to you for input.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at any point.

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Written by Larissa Nenning, Board member and member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe
larissa@obessu.org