At the Assembly of European Regions (AER), we are fully aware that bringing together young people from 270 European regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations cannot go unnoticed.
Following its two meetings in Wiesbaden and in Krzyzowa, the AER Youth Regional Network proved that the young voices of European regions are heard better at the European level. That is why this time young participants, actively involved in their home regions, will focus on various topics related to youth employment - a highly important issue especially during financially difficult times. The meeting will take place in the region of Il-de-France and will held at the premises of Disneyland Paris.
Apart from involvement in the AER activities, YRN members discuss during their meetings issues that are mostly relevant to young people’s concerns and interests. 'YRN's Take on Youth Employment' is the next step following 2 previous meetings:
‘The future belongs to us - but how should we handle this?’ 23-25 November 2009, Wiesbaden (D) - during the founding meeting in Wiesbaden over 90 young participants stated, when filling in a Wiesbaden questionnaire, that the biggest concern in their life is youth employment. They could also participate in the working session on Youth Entrepreneurship.
‘Shaping the future of Europe - on the eve of the European elections‘ 20-22 May 2009, Krzyzowa (PL) - therefore during the second in Krzyzowa meeting not only did we establish the Youth Committee on Professional Life and Youth Entrepreneurship, but also involved them in Eurodyssey programme - the AER oldest initiative targeting young people. Young participants took part in ‘Talking Europe’ programme, a debate on youth employment covered by Europarl TV. The debate was moderated by a representative from the European Commission. The question was: Should the EU support young people in getting their first job?
Following a three-year-long period of decline, the unemployment rate in Europe started to rise already in the wake of the economic crisis. In the first quarter of 2009, the youth unemployment rate in the EU (people aged 15-24) was 18,3% in comparison to the total unemployment rate of 8,2%. According to which there are over 5 million young people without jobs only within the EU, not mentioning wider Europe. It has also been noted that youth unemployment rate rises faster than the total unemployment rate.
The first contact between AER and Euro Disney was established in 2008 due to Disneyland Paris’ involvement in AER Eurodyssey programme.
With 14 500 employees from more than 100 countries, Disneyland Paris gives young Europeans the opportunity to get a first professional experience in an environment of quality and excellence and is committed to help them grow professionally in the pursuit of rewarding careers in the tourism and leisure industry within Europe and beyond, thus encouraging European mobility, diversity and multiculturalism. Given that, AER has decided to organise the third meeting of the AER Youth Regional Network at Disneyland Paris.
Established in 1985, the AER Eurodyssey programme is the oldest AER initiative targeting yout, aiming at helping young people gain professional experience in another European region. For more information, please go here.
... and an ANIMATED press release!
3rd meeting of AER Youth Regional Network photos
Watch all videos reports from the meeting on AERyouthRN Youtube channel!
Helping policy makers improve youth policies? With your input - yes, we can!(Paris, 10-12 December 2009). Available also in ES and IT.
The conference consisted of 2 plenary sessions organised in the mornings and that were followed by 4 workshops on topics related to youth employment.
The second day of the meeting was devoted to setting up a tool to provide youngsters and regional authorities with a source of reference when improving their regional policies in terms of youth employment.
Therefore AER Peer Review methodology was presented. The methodology was developed to allow regional authorities to assess and improve their performance in key areas of regional responsibility. Young people thus had the opportunity to contribute to the shape of the Peer Review on Youth Employment by contributing with their own ideas and expectations in this respect during the workshops and the Plenary Session on the 2nd day of the meeting.
LOJIQ - Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (with english subtitle)
During 4 working groups, young participants discussed various issues related to youth employment, such as formal, non-formal, informal means of education, first employment and school-to work transition, youth entrepreneurship as well as youth mobility on the European labour market.
Each workshop followed a similar format: Introduction to the topic; Exchange of experience; Brainstorming about possibilities of cooperation within the Network and in home regions; Contribution to the AER Peer Review on Youth Employment.
Developed by AER a new European-wide ‘peer review’ methodology has allowed regional authorities to assess and improve their performance in key areas of regional responsibility. The methodology has been implemented sucessfully in other areas of AER’s work, such as alcohol policies and renewable energies. Now it can also prove useful in the area of youth employment policy.
The aim of the initiative is to develop a comprehensive peer review system for regional employment youth policies throughout Europe. The key objectives of the project are to: encourage the development of better regional youth policies throughout Europe; allow an exchange of experience between European regions on youth policy; develop new methodologies in regional youth policy.
During the meeting, young participants brainstormed on key areas to be covered by AER peer review teams on youth policy.
1. What? A tool enabling AER member regions assessment and improvement of their regional performance in the field of youth employment.
2. Why? The review aims at identifying both the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the host region’s youth employment policies. The key objectives of the project are:
3. How? It is organised in the form of a maximum 5-day long study visit to a host region that would like to improve the situation in youth employment in their region. It involves an international experts’ team selected from AER member regions which developed a number of successful initiatives boosting youth employment. Experts will be selected upon submitting a questionnaire by the host region in order to ensure mostly relevant exchange of information between regions involved in a peer review.The AER Peer Review on Youth Employment aims at involving regional authorities, the private sector and youth groups (such as regional youth councils).
4. Methodology: A multinational team of experts will provide some advice on enhancing regional policies and practices in the field of youth employment on the following basis:
Step 1. Portfolio building - a host region fills in a questionnaire that outlines their youth employment projects and policies.
Step 2. Study visit - visit by an experts' team to a host region in order to exchange practices and identify the regional potential in the field of youth employment.
Step 3. Monitoring and evaluation - Regional responses to the list of recommendations on the basis of the list submitted by the experts' team upon their visit to the host region.
Fabienne Baise – Junior Achievement, Les jeunes entreprises
During her communcation studies, Fabienne Baise discovered her taste for information and media.
For three years she worked as a writer, specialised in press magazines on entrepreneurship, multiculturalism and human rights.
Currently she is a Head of Communication of Junior Achievement, Les jeunes entreprises -
Junior Achievement is allows young people (students from primary schools to Universities) to discover the business world, the spirit of entrepreneurship and to acquire entrepreneurial skills ('learning by doing'). Junior Achievement has been active in 43 European countries.
Philipp Boetzelen – European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy
Philipp Boetzelen holds a Masters degree in Political Science and Hispanistics. He is currently coordinating the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy within the Partnership on Youth between the European Commission and the Council of Europe. His areas of interest include youth policy, globalisation, ethnic conflicts and social movements. He is a co-editor of the Partnership research publication "Social Inclusion of young people: breaking down the barriers".
The virtual European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP) was developed within the framework of the Youth Research Partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission and follows the knowledge based approach to youth policy making shared by both institutions and expressed in their relevant political documents and strategies.
Drew Gardiner – Youth Employment Network
Drew Gardiner is a technical officer with the Youth Employment Network, an interagency partnership of the International Labour Organisation, World Bank and United Nations dedicated to finding new solutions to the global youth employment challenge. Before joining YEN, Drew lead youth and child development projects in Zambia and Senegal. He has an MBA from the University of Geneva.
Pascal Lejeune – European Commission DG for Education and Culture, Head of Youth in Action Programme
Pascal Lejeune joined the European Commission in 1986, after studies in management in Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris and a first professional experience at the Headquarters of the oil company Total in Paris. His first position in the Commission was in Directorate-General for Budget. In 1993 he joined the then Task Force for Human Resources, Education, Training and Youth, now Directorate-General for Education and Culture. He occupied various positions related to financial and budgetary issues. Since 2006, he is Head of the Unit in charge of the implementation of the Youth in Action Programme.
Sergio Nava – Radio 24, ‘Young Talents Fleeing Italy’
Sergio is an Italian journalist and writer. As a journalist, he often covers EU issues, among them regional ones. As a writer, he wrote the book "La Fuga dei Talenti" ("Young talents fleeing Italy" published by Edizioni San Paolo, 2009). This book denounces the modern emigration of young and skilled people from Italy, which is not balanced by an equivalent immigration of foreign "talents".
Christiane Westphal – European Commission DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
Christian Westphal has over 10 years work experience in EU employment and education policies. She is currently a policy co-ordinator for youth, human capital and social inclusion at the European Commission's Directorate General for Employment, Social Policy and Equal Opportunities. Her work focuses mainly on youth employment within the European Employment Strategy / Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. She has been co-responsible for a Commission Communication on youth and a Commission Staff Working document on youth employment, both published in September 2007. Before joining the Commission, she worked from 1995 to 1998 in the Federal Ministry for Agriculture in Germany and dealt with fisheries and international trade affairs (US, Canada). Christiane is from Krefeld (Germany) and holds a degree in Classics and German Language and Literature from the University of Cologne.