European Youth Centre Budapest

25 – 27 February 2010

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The European Youth Centres of the Council of Europe: Standard-setting instruments and examples of good practice for national and local youth policy


The European Youth Centres are the backbone of the youth sector as they are production units, educational laboratories, and physical and theoretical focal points for future orientation of youth work and youth policy. Their approach to work with ‘multipliers of Council of Europe core values’ has created the EYCs’ fine reputation as ‘Centres of Excellence’: a unique mix of policy, training, research and the creation of a ‘Council of Europe youth identity’.


Provision of competent educational support, residential facilities and a physical space with links to all Council of Europe sectors provide the strategic policy: the EYCs promote in their training and seminar activities the mission of the organisation by awareness raising and provision of information, intercultural education, research and youth policy development. Through the residential nature of their activities, the EYCs can achieve what is not possible through mere financial support: they mark biographies and create memories, sustainable networks and cooperation, and they engage in development and build up consolidated knowledge.



This knowledge serves as a reference point for the youth programmes of member states as well as those of the European Union, the UN and other international organisations and non-governmental partners.


The promotion of the philosophy and approaches practised in the EYCs in member states and beyond has been formulated as a CoE youth policy priority since the early 1990s. Numerous member states offered to host a European Youth Centre in their country, but the Council of Europe’s means would not allow for the establishment of more Centres managed and financed by the Council of Europe. Yet, the Council of Europe youth sector would like to provide support to such initiatives of national, regional and local authorities by providing a clear association with the Council of Europe and the educational and political aims of the European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest. This objective was most recently reconfirmed by the “Agenda 2000”, adopted by the 8th European Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth held in Kiev 2008.


The following proposal aims to establish the possibility for networking and knowledge sharing without the creation of a membership-based formal structure. Rather, it aims to offer a platform for the mutual enrichment of already existing and planned youth centres of national and local authorities wishing to subscribe to Council of Europe values. The option to work towards a Council of Europe youth centre quality label is suggested for those partners who aspire to reach commonly-defined standards in this endeavour, and is a direct response to the Action Plan of the 2005 Warsaw Summit.

The European Forum of Youth Centres

aims to encourage professional exchange for people responsible for youth centres wishing to associate to Council of Europe youth policy.

Objectives of the Forum 2010

  • to provide information on the specificity, role and aim, approaches and educational concepts of the European Youth Centres of the Council of Europe;

  • to introduce the ‘Council of Europe quality label for youth centres’ and to consult on participants’ expectations towards it;

  • to establish contacts for networking and cooperation amongst participants.


The forum will bring together:

  • leaders of youth centres aspiring to receive the quality label1

  • representatives of countries planning to establish a youth centre with Council of Europe philosophy and quality standards

  • members of the statutory bodies

  • selected experts.

All participants should:

    • be prepared and competent to present the structure and concept of the centre they are representing, or

    • be in the position to place the plan for the establishment of a new centre in a youth policy framework

    • be available for the full duration of the forum

    • be able to work in English or French.

Working languages

The Forum will be held in English and French with simultaneous interpretation. Technical facilities for additional languages are available; however, the costs for interpreters for other languages would need to be covered by the participant’s organisation.

Practical arrangements

The Forum will be held from 25 – 27 February 2010 at the European Youth Centre Budapest.


European Youth Centre Budapest

25 – 27 February 2010

Draft programme

Wednesday, 24 February

  • Arrival

  • Check-in at the EYC Budapest

  • 8pm Welcome reception, social evening

Thursday, 25 February

      • Opening

      • Introductions

      • Presentation of the objectives and programme of the forum

      • Participants’ motivation towards and expectations from the forum

      • Presentation of the quality label

      • Presentation of the concept, structure and functioning of the European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest

      • First round of introductions of “applicant centres”; presentations of participants

Friday, 26 February

      • Second round of introductions of “applicant centres”; presentations of participants

      • Plenary input and discussion on quality standards

      • Working groups, Round I (on different dimensions of quality standards)

      • e.g.

  • policy

  • programme

  • educational standards

  • infrastructure

  • cooperation and networking

  • Working groups, Round II

  • Feedback of Working Groups in plenary

Saturday, 27 February

  • Plenary on support structures and future perspectives
  • Time for consultations
  • Expectations towards the Forum 2011
  • Evaluation, Conclusions, Closing (1.p.m)
  • Departure of participants

1 The ‘Council of Europe youth centre quality label’ will offer a framework for self-paced quality development for educational, residential and physical youth centres wishing to use Council of Europe expertise. Such centres should cooperate closely with a national, regional or local public authority and civil society along the objectives, standards, policies and programmes of the European Youth Centres of the Council of Europe. Tourist or holiday centres without educational programme and objectives; youth centres independent of public authorities or commercial establishments will not be eligible.