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New centres for Europe’s young people

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Many countries have developed youth centres for their own young people. Most of these serve particular neighbourhoods or particular groups of young people. Some may have a regional or national role. Some have an inter-cultural or international character. All can play a part in giving young people a greater sense of being European, and world, citizens. Such youth centres can simulate a harmonious Europe so that one day it will exist.

What is a Youth Centre for Inter-cultural and International Learning?

A youth centre which consciously promotes intercultural and international understanding has a number of key features:

It uses participatory methods and non-formal learning;
It deliberately engages in international and intercultural exchange and learning;
It promotes awareness and encourages the development of Europe’s diverse cultural identities;
It shares the Council of Europe’s values of universal human rights and pluralist democracy;
It seeks solutions to such problems as xenophobia and racism.


Better Places for young people

EUROPEAN NETWORK OF YOUTH CENTRES FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INTER-CULTURAL LEARNING
The Council of Europe

Resolution CM/Res(2008)23
on the youth policy of the Council of Europe


The Council of Europe’s main goals for young people are:

  • To encourage young people to play an active role in strengthening civil society in Europe
  • To promote and develop youth policies in Europe, with special emphasis on youth participationThe Council of Europe has set the following priorities in the youth sector
  • The promotion of intercultural dialogue and peace
  • Human rights education and the promotion of human dignity and social cohesion
  • Participation and democratic citizenship
  • Support in defining and developing appropriate youth policies

The Council of Europe pursues these goals through the wide range of activities including training courses, symposia and study sessions. The existing European Youth Centres, in Strasbourg and Budapest, play a vital role in delivering these goals. But they do not stand alone.

New centres for Europe’s young

Many countries have developed youth centres for their own young people. Most of these serve particular neighbourhoods or particular groups of young people. Some may have a regional or national role. Some have an inter-cultural or international character. All can play a part in giving young people a greater sense of being European, and world, citizens. Such youth centres can simulate a harmonious Europe so that one day it will exist.

What is a Youth Centre for Inter-cultural and International Learning?

A youth centre which consciously promotes intercultural and international understanding has a number of key features:

  • It uses participatory methods and non-formal learning;
  • It deliberately engages in international and intercultural exchange and learning;
  • It promotes awareness and encourages the development of Europe’s diverse cultural
    identities;
  • It shares the Council of Europe’s values of universal human rights and pluralist
    democracy;
  • It seeks solutions to such problems as xenophobia and racism.

Given the great diversity of youth provision in Europe, youth centres in different countries vary greatly in the scale of their involvement in these matters. To be a member of the European Network a Centre is expected to have facilities of a high quality, including easy access to residential accommodation. It will also have staff who are able to engage young people in learning about inter-cultural and international matters through their acjive participation. As they develop, these centres may well offer forms of accredited training for young people and youth workers in the nature of intercultural learning.

How does the European Network operate?

The Network is a voluntary association of centres which subscribe to the goals and methods set out above. It was established in 2003 and is still developing its work.

The Network proposes to:

  • Develop standards for local, regional and national centres as a means of demonstrating their quality while preserving pluralism and diversity
  • Provide support to individual centres as they develop their work
  • Facilitate study visits and other exchanges so that centres can learn from each other
  • Promote study of the processes of inter-cultural and international learning in non-formal settings.The Network, which is formally constituted in French law, is governed by an Annual Assembly and an Executive Board. ENYC runs also a Mobility Operational Office in Greece. Its working language is English.Membership and subscription
    The annual fee for affiliation is €600. Application form