From the 21st to the 24th of November 2013, President of MIJARC Europe - Lyubomir Todorov - was representing MIJARC Europe at the COMEM of European Youth Forum in Thessaloniki, Greece. The COMEM takes place twice per year and aims at assessing the progress the organisation has made in the action plan and in fulfilling the priorities set by the member organisations (MOs). Furthermore, it maps the future steps and the general direction of work of the platform.
Important points on the agenda were:
- Policy papers
- Advisory Council on Youth
- Progress report
During the spring COMEM, a process on the revision of the statutes was initiated. After several online and face-to-face consultations, concrete set of amendments was proposed by the board so as to serve as basis for discussions within the platform. MIJARC Europe was following closely the process and after discussion with the other faith-based organisations, actively contributed to the discussions aiming for simpler, but stronger platform, where both INGYOs and NYCs have their voice. In addition to this, the vision for volunteering-led and youth-led platform was underlined. Policy papers on Quality Education, Citizenship Education, UN Permanent Forum on Youth were presented as well as resolution on Roma Youth. The aim was to underline the added value of NFE for building strong individuals in inclusive way. In addition to this the impact of NFE on employability has been underlined.
MIJARC Europe has been presented as one of the members of the AC for the mandate 2014-2015. The representative of the organisation (Lyubomir Todorov) presented the organisation, and its priorities for the new mandate. NFE, social inclusion, faith related issues have been underlined as topics important for the organisation.
Some steps towards enhanced social inclusion of young people not in employment, education or training
The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council of the European Union (EU) met in Brussels from the 25th to 26th November, during which it adopted its conclusions on enhancing the social inclusion of young people not in employment, education or training. The Council took some important steps to ease young people’s transition or re-integration into these areas but missed the opportunity to address quality internships.
In its conclusions, the Council decided that barriers, including age and other forms of discrimination, to entering or re-entering the labour market should be eliminated, and precarious work should be addressed. The conclusions strongly acknowledge the important role and added value of youth work, volunteering and non-formal education in combating young people’s inactivity and fostering their inclusion into wider society.
Let's hope that the Ministers responsible for youth from all member states will coordinate with their colleagues in charge of education, inclusion and employment to start implementing the agreed-upon measures.
Read more here.
Everything at a glance: training within the YOUTH IN ACTION Programme and beyond!
Are you curious about what Europe has to offer in training activities in the field of youth and non-formal education? Would you like to contribute to the varied range to make it even more attractive? Search this online calendar for interesting international training and use it for promoting your own training offers!
The main (but not only!) focus of the European Training Calendar is the Youth in Action programme. All training activities in the Calendar should be European (or international), not-for-profit and related to calls for youth worker who want to develop their competences to work with and for young people, to share experiences and sometimes also want to make contacts for common future projects. Besides, the calendar can also publish calls for projects in which youth worker will meet other target groups such as youth policy maker, adult learning organiser, etc in order to learn from each other.
Read more here.
From the 11th to the 13th of November 2013, European Team member - Jan Vanwijnsberghe - was representing MIJARC Europe at the YFJ/ETUC Youth Employment Conference in Paris. This event has been organised by the Youth Forum and ETUC in cooperation with the OECD. Main objective of this conference was to raise awareness to the European governments of the importance of quality jobs and youth employment and let young people make their voices heard. All this in the margins of a European Summit organised by the French president.
On the first day there was a presentation of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee Plan in several countries and afterwards a discussion how the plan can be improved, what the difficulties are, ... In the evening there was a meeting with the French minister of labour to discuss the outcome of the working groups and to point the problems. On the second day there was a round table discussion what the main challenges are to ensure quality jobs in Europe, the social consequences etc. In the afternoon there was a street action mostly organised by the trade union organisations. During the street action, there was a delegation of 10 people who had a meeting with president Hollande to discuss the issue of youth unemployment and the lack of quality jobs. Eventually on the last day there was another working group session about how youth organisations and trade union organisations, should continue in the future, how we could cooperate, what our objectives are.
It is important to be present on such events, even when there is not enough time for input (from every organisation in particular) but between the meetings there is always a chance to get to know a lot of people. As the unemployment issue is in MIJARC action plan, it is important that our members know that there is such thing as a Youth Guarantee Plan and that they have to find out in their own country how it is implemented and if not, to raise the awareness it exists and trying to contact the policy makers.
A year for agricultural policy to radically support small-scale family and peasant farming
Today, 22nd of November, the United Nations will be launching the International Year of Family Farming for 2014.
A few days before the conference organised by the European Commission is held on 29th November, it is essential to remember a few facts. Small- and medium-sized peasant farms are the economic and social backbone of European agriculture, which is the most power in the world, with an average farm size of 14 ha, and over 69% of which under 5 ha, and just 2.7% over 100 ha. Based on capacity and labour intensiveness – and not capital – these farms are adapted to the infinite nature of diversity of natural, social and economic conditions. These productive structures guarantee the security and diversity of food for European citizens, and are a real model of social, economoc and ecological sustainability. This agriculture aims to support life, and not speculation.
ECVC calls upon the international institutions and the European Union in partiuclar to prove themselves coherent and systematic in their definition of agricultural policy. The year of family farming should not just be cover-up communication so people forget the critically important negotiations that are underway with the United States ) - that would destory peasant agriculture – as well as thoseon seed legislation and the final touches to the future CAP.
These are the radical changes that are needed to recognise and guarantee the future of family farming beyond 2014.
Read more here.