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Structured Dialogue

What is it?

Structured Dialogue is a means of mutual communication between young people and decision-makers in order to implement the priorities of European youth policy cooperation and to make young people’s voice heard in the European policy-shaping process.

It is a consultative process, implemented by the European Commission, that aims to increase cooperation with civil society and get firsthand input from young people. It is made up of two main kinds of events:

  • EU Youth Conferences, organised by the EU country currently holding the EU presidency
  • European Youth Week, organised by the European Commission
What are the objectives?

Structured Dialogue is organised into 18-month work cycles. Each cycle focuses on a different thematic priority (set by the Council of Youth Ministers)

The current thematic priority is: Enabling all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe

The current cycle runs from 2016 to 2017 over the course of the Dutch, Slovakian and Maltese EU Presidencies.

Tibor Navracics, European Commissioner for Youth on Structured Dialgoue:

"Europe needs the input of its young generation to overcome the big challenges it is facing. I want to give all young people in Europe the chance to have their voice heard."

"The Structured Dialogue has an important role to play in this. I am more determined than ever to reach out to one million young people during my term as Commissioner. Together, we can build an open, diverse, strong Europe."

Who is involved?

The success of Structured Dialogue depends on the direct involvement of young people and youth organisations.

During each 18-month work cycle, a national consultation of young people and youth organisations is conducted in every EU country.

The participatory process in each country is organised by national working groups made up of:

  • representatives of youth ministries
  • national youth councils
  • local and regional youth councils
  • youth organisations
  • youth workers
  • young people from all backgrounds
  • youth researchers
How is it done?

At the first EU Youth Conference of each cycle, youth representatives and policymakers agree on a guiding framework for the national consultations organised in each country.

The first conference of the current cycle was organised by the Netherlands.

At the second conference, the outcomes of the national consultations are debated and Joint Recommendations, aimed at increasing the participation of youth people in politics, are endorsed.

The next conference will be held in Slovakia.

At the third and final conference of the cycle, the recommendations are debated by Youth Ministers from national governments, before being endorsed.

The final recommendations form the basis of a Council Resolution addressed to European institutions and national authorities, to be endorsed by youth ministers at the end of the 18-month cycle.

Structured Dialogue is governed at EU level through a European Steering Committee (renewed for every 18-month working cycle) comprising:

  • Youth Ministry representatives of the three EU Presidency countries
  • Representatives of national youth councils of the three EU Presidency countries
  • Representatives of the Erasmus+ National Agencies of the three EU Presidency countries
  • Representatives of the European Commission
  • Representatives of the European Youth Forum
 

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