The European Youth Forum and the Bulgarian Ministry of Youth and Sports wish to issue a joint statement, in light of developments since the EU Youth Conference in the Framework of the Structured Dialogue and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The EU Youth Conference took place from the 16th to the 19th of April 2018 in Sofia.
As the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of EU has prioritized the future of young people as a Presidency objective, the main aim of the conference was the creation of concrete European Youth Goals and it was successfully accomplished. The 11 European Youth Goals incorporated the ideas and the opinions of 49,389 young people across the continent through consultations, debates, discussions and events on the topic “Youth in Europe: What’s next?” This is the ultimate outcome of this conference and the contributions of the young people at the conference, as well as the young people from across Europe who contributed to the process, should not be forgotten or undermined by recent events. The work on the Youth Goals will continue at the EU Youth Conference in Austria, where participants will advance plans for the implementation of the Youth Goals.
We acknowledge that there were issues throughout the European Youth Conference process that cast a shadow on the outcome of our common work. Together we will continue working on the process of the Structured Dialogue to prevent such situations from reoccurring in the future. After a long process of evaluation, including the welcome involvement of stakeholders, on the 16th of May the European Commission will release the proposal for a new Structured Dialogue. The European Youth Forum, their member organisations and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, will use our collective experience of the process, not only over the past week but in the many years previously, to ensure that it will better meet the needs of an ever greater number of young people in the future.
We look forward to working together in the future to advance youth issues in Europe.