From the 24th to the 25th of November, the European Youth Forum held its Council of Members (COMEM) in the European Youth Capital for 2018, Cascais.
The COMEM is a unique gathering of more than 150 delegates representing youth organisations from across Europe. Over 2 action packed days, members of the European Youth Forum had the opportunity to discuss key topics, participate in debates and hear important updates on the work and progress of the European Youth Forum.
Key highlights included the adoption of a policy paper on the future of the Erasmus+ programme, unanimously voted for by COMEM delegates. The policy paper outlines the need for more and better educational and volunteering opportunities with the involvement of a strong youth sector. The COMEM also voted to pass a resolution on key issues concerning European Youth, especially marginalised youth – submitted by Youth of European Nationalities (YEN). In addition, delegates voted through a motion in support of the Minority SafePack Initiative, also brought to the agenda by YEN.
As in April, this COMEM again put focus on the European Youth Forum members’ work. Members were invited to showcase their innovative projects and ideas during “Made in MOs” sessions, which allowed for the sharing of best practices and also gave input to the work of the European Youth Forum through a variety of policy commissions.
The Cyprus Youth Council was represented by the Secretary of International Relations Mr. Panayioti Krashia.
Local youth organisations from the surrounding area of Cascais were also present at COMEM to introduce their work and their impact in local communities. In this “From local to global” session, COMEM delegates were able to hear from and connect with: REDE de Jovens para a Igualdade (Portuguese Network of Young People for Gender Equality), Take it!, PALCO DA TUA ARTE – Associação Jovem (Stage of your Art – YOUTH ASSOCIATION Stage of Art), Centro Comunitário de Carcavelos (Community Center of Carcavelos), Rota Jovem and DYPALL (Developing Youth Participation at Local Level).
The European Youth Forum was also very pleased to welcome many special guests to address the COMEM. Head of the Youth Department at the Council of Europe, Antje Rothemund, was present to give an inspiring keynote speech looking back at the progress that has been made for youth rights in Europe and highlighting the challenges that remain. A public debate on “The role of young people leading global change” also took place with Portuguese Secretary of State, João Paulo Rebelo, Executive Director for Youth Cooperation at the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, Antònio Gamito and former Vice-President of the European Youth Forum, UK MP Lloyd Russel-Moyle.
This November COMEM also took place thanks to the incredible hosts of Cascais, Portugal, European Youth Capital for 2018. On Thursday 23rd, delegates attended an Award Ceremony announcing Amiens, France, as the winner of the European Youth Capital title for 2020.