Deadline: 5 February 2016
Open to: People between 16 and 30 years old coming from the Council of Europe member states
Dates: 22 – 24 March and 18-20 October 2016
“Conscious that direct involvement of youth in the affairs of society remains essential, as a safeguard for democracy and for sustainable development in the municipalities and regions”, and in view of the apparent disengagement of young people from conventional political participation in recent years, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has been taking a closer look at the issue of youth participation. Its work over the past three years has concluded that, contrary to popular belief, young people are still committed to participating in society, however they are engaging differently in a society in which they feel marginalised from the political process.
Since October 2014, the Congress has been inviting young people from different backgrounds – youth activists, youth workers, students, young politicians – to take part in its sessions, to have their say in the debates and to exchange with Congress members on the issues on the agenda.
The Congress is a pan-European political assembly, its 648 members hold elective office (they may be regional or municipal councillors, mayors or presidents of regional authorities) and represent over 200,000 authorities in 47 European States. Its role is to promote local and regional democracy, improve local and regional governance and strengthen authorities’ self-government. It meets in session twice a year.
The youth delegates, one per national delegation, should meet the following criteria:
- be open, committed and motivated to develop and strengthen dialogue between young people and elected representatives at local/regional level;
- be between 16 and 30 years old;
- have been resident in one of the Council of Europe member States for a minimum of five years; 2
- be a member of a local/regional youth council or parliament, or local/regional council or assembly or executive, or a representative of a youth NGO, or a youth-led structure, or involved in youth work, or a local or regional elected representative;
- be available and motivated to engage in the whole of the activity;
- have an interest in actively participating in policy making at local and/or regional levels;
- be able to multiply the information obtained during the session on their return home;
- speak English fluently (NB: during the sittings they may also speak in one of the official or working languages for which interpretation is provided (English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Turkish)).
The youth delegates’ travel and subsistence expenses will be covered jointly by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the European Youth Foundation according to the Council of Europe’s rules. Accommodation will be provided and paid for by the organisers, in single-occupancy or shared rooms according to availability. The organisers cannot cover the cost of accommodation elsewhere.
Those wishing to apply to take part in the 30th and 31st Congress sessions must do so by means of the application form enclosed. Participation in only one session is not possible.
Applicants must also submit a short video, for example via YouTube, of no more than 30 seconds, to support their application. The link to the video should be sent together with the application.
The deadline for submitting completed applications is Friday 5 February 2016.
The application form is available at the official webpage. Completed application forms must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.