From the 23rd-25th November, OBESSU attended the European Youth Forum Council of Members (YFJ COMEM) in Cascais, Portugal. This meeting is one of the two YFJ annual statutory meetings and it gathers International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations and National Youth Councils from all over Europe. Cascais will serve as the European Youth Capital for 2018 - a suitable setting for this gathering of youth organisations.

Check out the main outcomes of the event below!

European Youth Capital Award Ceremony
On the eve of the 23rd November the town of Cascais welcomed COMEM delegates to commence their year as the European Youth Capital in 2018. The European Youth Capital for 2020, however, was also to be announced at this opening event. The town of Amiens, France was declared victorious - with even President of France Emmanuel Macron sending his best wishes through a congratulatory tweet.

“Made in MOs Sessions” - Showing OBESSU’s Work & Practices
Consisting of over 100 organisations working with youth on either a national or international level, the European Youth Forum is a melting pot of experience, talent and enthusiasm. The opportunity to share some of our work came about through a timeslot in the agenda entitled “Made in MOs”. OBESSU led two sessions, presenting our CGrow “Coloured Glasses” project with European Educational Exchanges - Youth for Understanding (EEE-YFU) and Youth for Exchange & Understanding (YEU), and also sharing our Seeds for Integration programme and in particular the Joint Declaration of the University of Youth & Development with the Spanish Youth Council (CJE).

Policy Paper on the future of the adoption of Erasmus+
This policy paper - with some minor amendments - was unanimously passed by COMEM delegates. The paper particularly outlines the need for more and better educational and volunteering opportunities with the involvement of a strong youth sector. This paper was very topical to OBESSU, particularly after our advocating of more mobility opportunities for Vocational Education and Training students with Erasmus funding support at VET Skills Week in Brussels in the preceding days.  The European Youth Forum had also been present at the Social Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden in the previous week - where a number of heads of state had pledged their support for the “ErasmusX10” campaign. This is a very exciting space to be watched in the coming months!

OBESSU’s strong position within the European Youth Forum was made very apparent by the amount of OBESSU alumni and active participants present at the event - check out the picture above! [From left: Ville Majamaa (former Monitoring Committee), Aleksandra Maldziski (former Board), Mike Tarros (former ESCU), Anna Widegren (former Project & Policy Officer), Dejan Bojanic (former Board), Rob O’Donnell (current Board), Kristen Aigro (former Monitoring COmmittee), Nora Kleibel (former Board & Monitoring Committee)]

Written by Rob O'Donnell, OBESSU Board member