On behalf of members of the National Youth Councils’ member organizations from 6 EaP Countries, we highly appreciate interest and commitment for the fostering youth participation on the partnership level and express our gratitude to the European Youth Forum, Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, European Commission for the work in the support of quality youth representation in EaP countries.
On the 13th of November, 2019 in Kyiv the 3rd Association Exchange Forum adopted the Joint Declaration of Georgian, Moldovan, Ukrainian Civil Society Platforms on Cooperation in Striving for European Integration, which is aimed to strengthen cooperation in the A3 format (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova). On December 4, 2019, in Brussels the platforms signed a joint memorandum proclaiming the creation of a permanent body to promote joint consultation, cooperation and coordination Associated countries’ public platforms. The differentiated approach within the Eastern Partnership was also supported at the official level, by a joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
Perceiving active and independent youth civil society sector as a fundamental ground to build just and even opportunities for youth to have the voices of youth from EaP states should be raised, heard and involved in decision-making processes and policies about youth itself and other common for society’s topics. Persecution of youth platforms, which do not fit in governmental ideology or work on strengthening democratic movements, is also one of the trends today, especially in the context of Post-Soviet Union realities. Considering the economic, social and political challenges of the Eastern Partnership region, in order to have capable EU neighbourhood states, we do believe that despite the focus on the economical development, it is crucial to keep building bridges and strong connections between people of EaP and EU countries. Taking into account the struggle that young people face in accessing the opportunities of development, participation and mobility, which have strong impact in the formation of strong civic society, we are as EaP NYCs based on the policy paper “AN INVESTMENT IN EUROPE’S YOUTH: Position of the European Youth Forum on the post-2020 MFF” and also a big support of recent resolution “On combating shrinking space with expanding opportunities for youth organisations, national youth councils and international non-governmental youth organisations” strongly encourage the DG NEAR and DG EAC to review the further issues:
– the reopening Eastern Partnership Youth Window of the Erasmus+ Program in the outgoing MFF 2020;
– establishment of more flexible mechanisms for EaP countries to join the ERASMUS+ as program countries. We also encourage to apply understandable for civic society actors, easy and transparent budget calculations for each of the program components in order to provide all the mechanisms for the advocacy of youth rights in EaP states;
– the implementation of EU Youth Dialogue (Structured dialogue) in EaP states with the best examples of co-management principles of member states of Council of Europe.