Youth Policy Watch Issue 52
- Tuesday, 17 April, 2012
In this issue of Youth Policy Watch, read about the recent Eurostat youth unemployment figures which reveal a significant disparity in Eurozone youth unemployment rates. Also in this issue, read more about the condition of young Roma in Europe, the current status of ACTA, and the situation of youth organisations working in Turkey.
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The European Youth Forum
Eurostat Figures Reveal Disparity in Eurozone Youth Unemployment Rates
In February Eurostat figures revealed that 21.6 percent of young people in the Eurozone are out of work. Youth unemployment costs Europe 100 billion euro every year. The highest youth unemployment rates (50.5 percent and 50.4 percent and over 35 percent) were in Spain, Greece and Portugal; countries without youth guarantees or training programmes.
The New Advisory Council of Youth Elects New Leadership
The Advisory Council on Youth held their 27th meeting on 28th March in Budapest. The Advisory Council on Youth discussed its priorities for the 2012-2013 mandate. In the next year a number of process will be followed, including the preparation of the ninth Conference of Ministers responsible of Youth in Russia and the Youth Event and a Partnership between the EU-COE, the Strategy for the online human rights defenders. The Council will also examine the outcomes of the Enter!
European Institutions Call for Regeneration of Trust in Europe’s Social Model
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in February, President of the European Bank, Mario Draghi declared that the European social model has already disappeared as youth unemployment rates are prevailing in some EU countries. In February, the Eurozone experienced its highest unemployment rate in almost 15 years with more than 17 million people out of work. Furthermore, this rate is expected to rise by 0.2 percent at the end of the year.
Getting the Ball Rolling on the Formation of a Volunteer Alliance
Following on from the success of the European Year of Volunteering (EYV) 2011, a coalition of organisations involved in volunteering, including the European Youth Forum, have been working together to set up a new volunteer Alliance to succeed the EYV Alliance. Such an alliance would facilitate continuous collaboration between more than 60 civil society organisations at the European level. A questionnaire will soon be sent to potential member organisations, asking them to propose, among others, a possible name for the new alliance.
Council of Europe Recommends Human Rights Protection on Social Networks
In the past number of years questions have been raised as to whether human rights are adequately protected when using social networking sites. In this context, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a recommendation on 4th April. The recommendation urges CoE Member States to develop and promote articulate policies to protect human rights on social networking sites, in line with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Communication stressed that users must be must be made aware of the potential challenges posed when using social networking services.
An End to Discrimination Urged on International Roma Day
8th April marked International Roma Day as European institutions renewed their calls to Member States to integrate Roma into communities and make good on their Europe 2020 commitments. Early school leaving in primary and secondary education is a major problem that leads to a lack of employment opportunities later in life. Roma children face segregation at school in many EU countries, leading to prejudice amongst both sedentary and Roma populations.
European Court of Justice to Provide Opinion on ACTA
In late January, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), was signed by the EU and 22 Member States. Questions were raised as to whether the bill could restrict freedom of speech on the internet. A surge of demonstrations across the EU and intense debates in the European Parliament followed, with some member states coming out against the agreement. On 4th April, the European Commission took the step to formally request an opinion on ACTA from European Court of Justice (ECJ).
In preparing for the Rio+20 Summit, to take place in June of this year, the first European “Sustainable Energy for All” summit took place on 16th April in Brussels. The event, hosted by the European Commission and Danish Presidency, brought together representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, developing countries, industry and civil society organisations. With this year being the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, the aim is to ensure full access for all people to renewable and sustainable energy by 2030.
The Council of Europe's 'Enter!' enters its Evaluation stage!
Since 2009, a project has been run by the youth sector of the Council of Europe to share experiences and develop innovative and effective youth work and youth policy responses to exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people in multicultural disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The Enter! Project used non-formal learning approaches to explore ways of responding to the challenges faced by young people and youth work institutions.
Structured Dialogue: Third Phase of Consultations Launched!
The guiding questions for the third and final phase of national consultations of the structured dialogue’s second cycle were presented at the closing plenary session of the EU Youth Conference in Sorø. The third Member State in the current Presidency Trio, Cyprus will succeed Denmark and Poland in holding the EU Council Presidency on 1st July. At this final plenary, a representative of the Youth Board of Cyprus introduced the guiding questions, which focus on youth participation with particular emphasis on the Presidency’s chosen topic of social inclusion.
Focus Turkey: In Conversation with Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TOG)
Youth Policy Watch conducted an interview with Yörük Kurtaran from TOG to gain an insight into the situation of youth organisations in Turkey.
The Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sport has initiated local talks through youth centres to establish a national youth strategy, with meetings involving young stakeholders from across Turkey being set for Youth Week in May. Young people were recently invited to participate in a discussion on the creation of a new Turkish constitution at a meeting in Ankara. Many youth organisations however were excluded from this process.