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Berlin YouthMetre Study Group: When authorities listen to youth

This was the first European YouthMetre project event to be held in Germany, under the patronage of the Berlin District Authorities of Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf.

On September 9, the first German YouthMetre study group session on European youth policy issues took place in Haus der Jugend Anne Frank (House of Youth Anne Frank) in Berlin. Its participants were young people interested in public policy: most of them were members of the Children- and Youth Parliament (CYP) Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf, which is an extraordinary institution, as it is official department of the youth welfare office and its members can directly send policy proposals to the city district’s authorities.

The event was coordinated by Thomas Grau (IfeQ), who is also responsible for project eSPOONe (European Story-pool Network for Education). It is the self-determined participation tool from CYP, regarding the European Youth Strategy and its Structured Dialogue (SD) activities. eSPOONe is managed by CYP and IfeQ Institut für europäisches Quartiersmanagement gGmbH (Institute for European quarter management NGO).

The study group session was moderated by Alessio Lupi (Ars4Progress), youth worker from Brussels, who also represented YouthMetre Consortium and met with Reinhard Naumann, borough major from the Berlin district Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf. He also met Fréderic Verrycken, chairman of the main committee of the Berlin Parliament, and Christian Meysing from Oberstufenzentrum Handel 1 who deals with education and vocational training (they are also responsible for supervision of eSPOONe and CYP). The session was attended by 20 people.

At the beginning, Mr. Lupi introduced the participants to the EU Youth Strategy and the YouthMetre project. The session was mainly animated through the use of non-formal education methodologies based on games. The participants were questioned, and discussed in groups, about key statistics and indicators measuring youth well-being in Europe.

YouthMetre Study Group Berlin

Winning team didn’t get any prize, but the game fostered the understanding of participants on the importance of the EU system of indicators for youth (EU Youth Monitor) and highlighted key tendencies in EU youth population.

The second half of the session was dedicated to the YouthMetre web interface and its functions. The participants provided feedback about the perceived capacity of the tool to effectively engage youngsters in youth policy making at local level. They provided positive feedback and interesting suggestions to further improve the effectiveness of the tool. Finally the participants undertook an evaluation of the session.

The youngsters involved in the Study Group energetically participated to the proposed activities. “They reflected and discussed upon the indicators established by the EU and upon key statistics on the EU youth population. They revealed a good level of understanding of the actual situation of European youngsters and shared meaningful interpretations of the displayed statistics. Interesting discussions aroused from the group: about the capacity of the YouthMetre tool to promote youth active participation, ” said Mr. Lupi after the event and confirmed the success of the study group session.

“They showed high levels of interest in contributing at the development of the tool with the aim of increasing its effectiveness. Also they shared a vivid interest in being part of the Youthmetre European network of stakeholders, involving youngsters and youth organization from EU countries in the dissemination of the YouthMetre e-tool in target territories,” continued Mr. Lupi.

SG in Berlin photo 1

The date of the study group session was not chosen randomly. On the same day, U18 elections in Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf took place. Campaign and elections evening was closed by a party In Haus der Jugend Anne Frank. During this event, Alessio Lupi talked with Reinhard Naumann, borough major from the Berlin district Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf. They discussed about past event, but also future collaboration.

The idea to bring YouthMetre to Germany was initiated at an event in April, organised by Agenzia Nazionale Per I Giovani, in Taormina, Italy. This “Youth in 3D – Dialogue – Democracy –Decision” event enabled international participators to discuss possibilities (and to create opportunities) for the European implementation process of the  Structured Dialogue priority theme “Enabling all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe – ready for life, ready for society”, which was just started in January.

As a result Alessio Lupi (Ars4Progress) and Thomas Grau (IfeQ) agreed to organize the collaboration between YouthMetre/eSPOONe/CYP, based on the non-formal workshop outcomes of their Taormina activities.

Date of event: 9 September 2016
Location: Berlin (Germany)
Hosting Organisation: IfeQ and Berlin district of Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf
Coordinator: Mr. Thomas Grau
Contact: thomas.grau@ifeq.eu

Author: Alessio Lupi