Highlights of February in YMCAs across Europe

Newsletter No. 32

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On February 23rd-26th YMCA Europe´s Executive Committee met in Bratislava. For the first time ever, our governance body was able to meet at the YMCA building in the city center after it was formally recovered by YMCA Slovakia. After a long and challenging legal process, our Member Movement YMCA Slovakia has now achieved the full ownership of the building and by holding its meeting there, YMCA Europe honored and congratulated the Board, members, volunteers and staff represented by Dalibor Perasin, National Secretary General. On behalf of our working platform and the whole European YMCA movement, President Mike Will thanked our Slovak hosts for their achievements, hospitality and developments. Learn more
Youth - finally on the World`s agenda

"This generation of young people is the first generation in modern history to be poorer than their parents." This is how the 2017 ECOSOC Youth Forum began at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, through the words of Ahmad Alhendawi, UN's first Envoy on Youth. Over 700 delegates came from around the globe to attend the Youth Forum, including the World YMCA's delegation, having 24 representatives from different countries. LEARN MORE
Celebrating 25 years of "Maastricht"

2017’s YO!Fest, a key highlight of Europe Calling - a year of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Maastricht treaty ( The Maastricht Treaty transformed the European Community into the European Union as we know it today) - brought together 3,000 young people to debate key topics on the future of Europe. LEARN MORE about the experience of the YMCA delegation here.
Youth Policy Group:
Youth Empowerment in Action!

From Friday 10th of February to February 12th, the Brussels Office hosted the first face-to-face meeting of the Youth Policy Group (YPG) of YMCA Europe.

Read more about the members of YPG, about the meeting outcomes and the policy papers HERE.

The Advisory Council on Youth is a Council of Europe body which provides opinions and input on all youth sector activities, and it ensures that young people are involved in all activities through a strong system of co-management. After 2 years of faithful service, our own Tinna Ros Steinsdottir is leaving her place in the AC: YMCA Europe will need a new candidate, to be approved by the European Youth Forum, who will be represented by it. Martina Vitezova, member of our Youth Policy Group, volunteered to represent YMCA Europe in this role. She has a deep understanding of all challenges young people face, and is fully committed to youth empowerment, conflict transformation and the recognition and respect of human right and equality. Her candidature which we going to introduce officially during the YFJ COMEM event, which will take place at the end of April. The Brussels office and a strong YPG team will be there to support her through the election. If successful, Martina will cover this position for a period of two years. For more information concerning this election or the role the Council of Europe, please contact our office.
Impressions from Youth Policy Group meeting

What do you do as a Pan-European organisation when you have to speak out about certain issues? You form a new Youth Policy Group with people from across the continent to develop four strong policy papers that clearly state YMCA's position on certain key issues. We invite you to read Janette and Eliza blog posts on this issue.
Janette`s Blog                                  Eliza`s Blog

On March 6th, YMCA Europe had the opportunity to participate to the first consultations of the European Commission regarding the next EU Youth Strategy, organized by the European Youth Forum. The current Youth Strategy will last until 2018, and it has been implemented since 2010, for 8 years: for more information on it, you can consult it here. Our YPG discussed in advance our main points to be brought to the European Commission: the length of the strategy and its coherence with other programmes, more support for youth employment and the possibility of co-management. Our YPG Representative Phillippa Lewis, along with the Brussels Office, went to the meeting, and brought these points to the Commission, finding agreement among other youth organizations present. The Commission was very open to discuss them as well, and we will be participating to further consultation between now and the presentation of the new Strategy, being able to influence it further. If you would like more info on this, please contact our office.

From 21st until March 26th, the first session of the leadership academy is taking place in Litomysl, Czech Republic. The Leadership Academy is the new flagship programme of YMCA Europe training Young Board members (or potential and promising young leaders in 3 seminars dedicated to democratic governance, human rights, project management, social relevance, advocacy and communication. 30 young leaders from more than 20 European countries will participate: stay tuned to discover their experience, following our Facebook page and our Twitter. If you want further information related to the Leadership Academy, please contact us.

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