Newsletter No. 31 - January highlights across YMCAs in Europe

Be Real is campaigning to change attitudes to body image and help all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies. Learn more about YMCA England Campaign here.
January 22nd, an important Norges KFUK-KFUM meeting with 40 staff members from all over the country, working towards the long term strategy "YWCA-YMCA 2025".
Craving for an adventure? You’ll have the time of your life with EVS!  Learn more about volunteering abroad through Andreea`s experience in YMCA Bournemouth
January 21st, the National Congress of the Italian YMCA in Siderno, with discussions about strategy and future actions. Represented by its Secretary General, YMCA Europe reaffirmed the support for development  movement.
Organized by YMCA France, the civic training for volunteers on Civic Service missions took place on 20- 22 December in Paris, bringing together 26 young people from 7 European countries and the USA.
Stockholm was hosting on January 28th-29th, the annual meeting of the YMCA-YWCA Nordic Committee: a platform for sharing good practice, experience and make future plans.
80 committed people from all over Germany were in Kassel during the weekend of January, for the meeting of the working groups at the CVJM campus. The purpose of the meeting was to further develop the programs like scouting, sport, TEN SING, missionary work, international work and many other projects in the YMCA.
YMCA Unify Leadership Conference 2017: leaders and multiplicators within the Unify network met during the last weekend of January in Aberfeldly, Scotland.
For future events in Europe, click here.
2017 started very busy for YMCA Europe, but it was the same for Brussels in general. From the start of the Brexit proceedings to a new President of the European Parliament, to the start of the consultations to change the Erasmus+ Programme. For us it was also a month of preparation leading to our first YPG Meeting, producing our first Policy papers, a milestone in our advocacy (read more here). This is also the year that the Erasmus+ celebrates its first 30 years, and we were of course involved in this celebration of 30 years of youth mobility and youth empowerment. We will inform you on our latest advocacy actions, including all our lobbying to improve Erasmus+ and our first YPG meeting.

News from Erasmus +

As we said on our newsletter of August (issue 6), we have kept an eye on the Erasmus+ implementation report through the Erasmus + Coalition. This is an initiative of the European Youth Forum and gathered NGO's to advocate and influence more efficiently all processes related to the implementation of Erasmus +.

During our last meeting at the end of January, we highlighted that all the amendments we suggested have been adopted by the CULT committee (the European Parliament’s committee in charge of reading, amending and approving the Erasmus + report before the rest of the Assembly). We obtained support in our remark that NGOs need more funding to increase their efficiency. We underlined also how Key Action 2 is underfunded and we also highlighted how it should be easier for National Agencies (NA) to move funding between actions, in accordance with the number of relevant project and budget for each action. The Committee also supported us in asking for a more flexible bureaucracy, a simpler one, with a new programme guide more convenient to use, alleviating administrative burden.

But to become operational these amendments still need to be implemented by the European Commission. This authority organises a public consultation on this question on March. We will take part in it, and it would be even better if you and your YMCAs will join us in this effort. The Erasmus + Coalition will launch a web campaign to make sure that all civil society organizations will be involved. We need your input to be able to give our input to useful tools to put pressure on the European Commission and make sure that civil society voices are heard.

From the Erasmus + Coalition meeting we also learnt that the European Commission will increase the budget dedicated to sport programmes and project. That is a great news for us, and we encourage you to contact us to discover how to take part in this new funding opportunities.

Lastly, in May there will also be a consultation about the European Solidarity Corps. To this end, we will circulate more information about it, and we would like to hear your views on it. For more info, please contact the Brussels office at


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