Council of Europe and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention of Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The organization is composed by seven main institutions, one of which is the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is responsible for strengthening local and regional democracy in its 47 member states. Composed of two chambers – the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions – and three committees, it brings together 648 elected officials representing more than 200 000 local and regional authorities. With its responsibilities expanding in every year, the Congress; main purpose is to support cooperation and policy exchange amongst member states.
Youth and the Congress
Since 2014, the Congress, has decided to welcome young delegates in its Sessions (one in March and one in October). Therefore, in cooperation with the Youth Department of Council of Europe, one Youth Delegate per member-state is selected each year to be present in the Sessions with the aim to represent the youth perspective of each member-state. Youth Delegates are trained in order to be motivated to give speeches and have their voices heard in the Congress; meetings and debates, ask questions to the Congress members. And the idea of the YouthUS initiative emerged…
What is YouthUS and what’s the aim behind it?
YouthUS was an initiative, firstly, begun by the Youth Delegates of Armenia, Greece, Finland, Ireland and Poland in 2016. For the 2017, the project is continued by the Youth Delegates of Armenia, Boulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Romania.
The program aims at raising awareness of young people about youth active participation in local and regional level, inform youth for the opportunities the Congress is offering to them, as well as prepare the ground for the next generation of the Youth Delegates at the Congress.
YouthUS = use US (the youth), we want those in power to use our ideas, our opinions, our strength and potentials
In the following weeks, in cooperation and coordination with Cyprus Youth Council, we will give you more information on the work of Council of Europe as well as the Congress in relation to youth empowerment, presenting good practises and tools youth have at their disposal to become more active and make the change. In addition to this, you will have the chance to express your own views on the issues of the agenda of the 34th Session and those views will be presented during the Session.
For more info please fill the form HERE