On the 17th of February, the Steering Group of Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity & Cooperation” endorsed the Guidance Paper for Youth Participation. In doing so, the Danube Strategy reached a milestone in its attempt to support youth involvement in the Danube Region.
Guiding youth and EUSDR stakeholders towards participation
The Guidance Paper for Youth Participation aims at supporting both young professionals and activists as well as established stakeholders of the Danube Strategy in their endeavours to develop and implement effective measures. Hence, representatives from youth organisations, NGOs, research and public administration discussed factors for successful youth participation. As a result, the Guidance Paper offers a set of measures addressing capacity building, communication, and cooperation. These measures help young people to gain the right skills to participate in macro-regional strategies. Likewise, some measures should guide representatives of the Danube Strategy Governance towards more inclusive forms of collaboration.
Good practices and blind spots
The potentials for youth participation are manifold. Therefore, the Guidance Paper aims at providing a simple framework to get an overview of strengths and weaknesses regarding youth participation. This should help stakeholders in the Danube Region to take stock of the measures in place and define good practices for capitalisation or detect “blind spots” that need to be addressed. Against this background, the Guidance Paper presents a “Youth Participation Matrix” that looks at measures at different levels. The levels or dimensions of youth participation look at youth initiatives in the Governance of the Danube Strategy such as Steering Groups or Working Groups. Likewise, this should also launch a discussion of more institutionalised forms of youth participation in the strategy’s governance. Other dimensions address cross-border youth cooperation or local initiatives that could be connected.
6 good reasons for youth participation
Stakeholders from public authorities, civil society, research and business alike acknowledged the need to involve young people in the development of the Danube Region, when revising the EUSDR Action Plan.
But what are the concrete benefits for young professionals and activists to engage in the Danube Strategy? Why should National Coordinators, Priority Area Coordinators or Steering Group members of the Danube Strategy consider to be more inclusive?
This is what youngsters and Danube Strategy “veterans” came up with:
- Youth initiatives gain better access to funding, partners, policy platforms;
- Young people build capacities to engage in transnational decision-making;
- Young people contributing to a cultural shift towards more intergenerational cooperation;
- EUSDR stakeholders improve the quality of their activities, as they get better insights from affected stakeholder groups;
- EUSDR stakeholders increase their innovative capacity;
- Youth participation improves mutual learning and stakeholder mobilisation.
In this spirit, the Guidance Paper for Youth Participation is a great first step to support the young people in the Danube Strategy. Likewise the paper represents a major milestone in Priority Area 10’s target to support the empowerment of young people through strategic guidance.
- Guidance Paper for Youth Participation | Download (pdf)
- Priority Area 10 | Targets & Actions
- Cohesion Policy, local engagement and youth – Looking back on the Danube Participation Day 2020 | Article, 4/11/2020
- Manifesto for Young People by Young People to Shape the European Cooperation Policy, European Commission-DG REGIO
- Joint Statement of Ministers responsible for the implementation of the EUSDR | 22/10/2020