Europe Goes Local went virtual

June 2, 2020

Europe Goes Local went virtual

The Europe Goes Local network had planned to meet in Paris this spring to exchange views about the current state of play and to share thoughts about the future of the project.  These plans had to change and the initial ideas were transformed into an on-line process which included a virtual meeting on the 28th of April which brought together 50 participants from the participating countries of the project network.

The participants of the seminar worked together on recommendations regarding the future of the project. The key messages of the group are the following:

Recommendations on the future aims and objectives of Europe Goes Local at the European Level

  • Emphasize on policy impact through reinforced advocacy activities at the European, national and local levels.
  • Develop structured and coordinated activities at the European level (conferences, trainings, study visits, online activities, networking and partnership building, peer learning etc.) and support network members in the development and implementation of activities that address specific needs of the diverse local youth work realities.
  • Further develop the concept of the European cooperation platform to support quality development in local youth work, keep the doors open for possible new partners and strengthen cooperation with international stakeholders (YFJ, EU-Coe partnership, etc.).
  • Develop a strategic communication plan and implement it at the European and national levels.
  • Implement and/or support researches of local youth work to enhance evidence-based youth work development and advocacy. Explore the possibility to cooperate with educational institutions to put youth work on the agenda of the educational sector.
  • Use the Change-makers’ toolkit as a starting point for building an online knowledge-database (good practices, researches, funding opportunity etc.) on quality youth work at the local level.
  • Put more focus on bringing additional municipalities to Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes with activities like mapping and showcasing of successful projects implemented by municipalities, presenting benefits for them.

Reflections on future training offers for youth workers and members of the network

A training for Charter Ambassadors (for the European Charter on Local Youth Work)

  • Majority of the National Working Groups expressed support for the Charter Ambassadors training concept.
  • Ambassadors should support National Agencies in the dissemination and exploitation of the Charter (presenting the Charter, help to incorporate Charter principles in training activities, etc.) and provide feedback to the European level regarding the use of the Charter.
  • Ambassadors should be youth workers or youth trainers who have an excellent knowledge of European and national youth work, have a sound knowledge of non-formal methodology and are able to advocate, lobby and communicate for the quality youth work development.
  • It is important to keep in mind the diversity of the local youth work realities when preparing the final proposal of the activity.
  • Address the concerns and questions from the National Working Groups on mission, objectives, representation, sustainability and motivation of the potential ambassadors to further elaborate the proposal.

Modular Training on Local Youth Work

  • The proposal received very strong support from the National Working Grouips. The common opinion is that it represents the next step in the evolution of the Europe Goes Local network activities and supports the implementation of the European Charter on Local Youth Work.
  • It should be strongly considered to provide more than 1 participant per country the opportunity to participate in the modular training. Modular design also provides an option to have different participants for each module.
  • Structure and methodology should be based on youth work activities and non-formal methodology. The length of the modules should be between 2-4 days (consider the time investment of participants) and there should be 3-5 different modules. To fully utilize modular design, modules should be standalone units.
  • Important question is how to develop the content that is relevant for all the participants. Some proposal on concrete activities are peer-learning, sharing and discussion activities.
  • Topics for the training: (1) horizontal themes (participation of young people, cross-sectoral cooperation, etc.) and (2) specific topics: lobbying, work conditions of youth workers, knowledge based youth work, etc.).
  • Exploit available resources and activities to create synergies (or use the same approach) when developing the modules. These activities are organized by network members or others: youth workers 101 (Estonian NA), lobbying training course (German NA), Charter Ambassadors training, European Solidarity Corps General Online Training (DG EAC). These and additional options should be further researched.

These recommendations will now be discussed by the Steering Group of Europe Goes Local and a new vision, aims and objectives will be finalized.

Find more information about the seminar at the Events section of our website.