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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Press Release
The Council agrees to optimise cooperation in the area of youth and undertakes to increase youth participation in democracy

Date of release : 24-05-2005

Policy area : Education, Youth and Culture Education, Youth and Culture

Event : Education, Youth and Culture Council

The EU "Youth" Council, which met on 24 May under the chairmanship of Marie-Josée Jacobs, Luxembourg Minister for Family and Integration, adopted three resolutions. Firstly, a resolution on the assessment of actions carried out within the context of European cooperation in the area of youth; secondly, a resolution on youth participation in representative democracy; thirdly, a resolution on the implementation of the common objective of improving youth access to the information that meets their specific requirements.

At the end of the Council’s "Youth" session, Marie-Josée Jacobs stated that "the first resolution on "actions carried out within the context of European cooperation in the area of youth" assesses the first cycle of implementing this open method of coordination following the Commission’s communication of 17 October 2004. The Ministers for Youth have just decided that it is important to specify the procedures for implementing some still-unspecified aspects of this method. This specification pertains mainly to the analysis of the initial situation relating to the implementation of a common objective. The planned adaptation should ensure greater effectiveness of this method, while retaining the flexibility necessary for all the Member States to adapt it to their situation." The resolution also provides for appropriate consultation with young people at different stages of the procedure and for identifying priority lines of action.

"The other two resolutions provide greater details on the common objectives of the open coordination method. The resolution on the common objective of "Increasing youth participation in representative democracy" underlines the essential role of youth in supporting our representative democracy. This participation is an important issue in every country in Europe. This resolution highlights the factors that sometimes facilitate but also sometimes present obstacles to youth participation. The resolution asks the Commission and the Member States to do their utmost to facilitate this participation at every level of representative democracy," Marie-Josée Jacobs stated.

The Minister for Family and Integration added that "the resolution on the implementation of common objectives on information for youth asks the Commission and Member States to work towards greater networking of youth information in Europe, especially by networking of national and local youth information structures and by developing quality assurance tools for services provided by professionals in this area."

"We also exchanged views on the European Employment Policy Guidelines and the European Youth Pact. At our most recent Council in February of this year, we made a contribution to the European Summit in this area. Since then, the European Youth Pact has become an integral part of the revised Lisbon Strategy, especially since we have agreed to consult youth in this area. Our discussion gave rise to interesting exchanges on how the Member States plan to involve youth in the Lisbon Strategy, but also on how the European Ministers for Youth intend to implement the revised Lisbon Strategy in their respective Member States," Marie-Josée Jacobs concluded.

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