Meeting with the European Youth Forum
Foto: DBJR (CC0)
The thematic focus of the exchange was the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which Germany will take over for six months on from 1 July 2020. Within the framework of the German Presidency, substantive priorities can be set in the Council. We agree with the YFJ that the involvement of organised civil society is of central importance for the success of European youth policy. This should be done at various levels, for example at the Conference on the Future of Europe, at the Youth Work Convention and with the instruments of the EU Youth Dialogue.
Together with the YFJ, we will work to ensure that youth rings and associations are perceived as strong political actors and are effectively involved in decision making processes. Especially in the fields of climate policy, social Europe, mobility, youth work, democracy, asylum and migration, the involvement of youth associations is necessary and important. Formats such as the Conference on the Future of Europe and the EU Youth Dialogue should be used by the EU to involve civil society in political processes and to use and promote existing structures. In addition, we are organising a meeting of the national youth rings in July 2020, which is supported and accompanied by the YFJ.
One development that both the YFJ and we continue to observe with great concern is the increasing shrinking of civil society spaces. In many Member States, civil organisations are coming under increasing pressure. These shrinking spaces pose great challenges, especially for youth organisations. Together with the YFJ, we will fight to draw attention to this problem and to continue to counteract it. Civil society structures need space and recognition. We want to work together to secure and strengthen free space for democratically organised youth organisations.