Report on the 3rd Meeting of the Steering Committee
Brussels, 11 th May 2004
Participants: Giovanni Buttigieg, Director; Rafael Dochao Moreno, DG RELEX; Silvia Mora, DG EAC; Dietrich Rometsch, DG EAC; Emmanouil Vergis, European Youth Forum.
• Targeted Meeting in Amman (Jordan), 10-14 March 2004
The two main objectives of the meeting were the integration of some less active Mediterranean countries in Euro-Med youth cooperation (DZ, LB, and SY), and working on their capacity building. Syria faces the greatest difficulties. It does not have a National Coordinator, participants have difficulties in attending together with young people from Israel , and organisations not recognized by the sate cannot receive and manage funds. Algerian participants complained from lack of information. One has to take into account the huge number of organisations in the country and its vast territory. Lebanon ’s problems are probably related to the fact that the nomination of the National Coordinator is still quite recent, and are being phased out.
Selected participants were very good and well prepared. 11 project ideas were born from the meeting. The idea of producing a booklet with information about the participating organisations was very good and should become a practice.
The descriptions concerning the situation of young people in the respective countries were very much appreciated and are available on the Web site.
In the evaluation, participants asked for more interactive sessions and less speakers, and mentioned that they prefer sessions related more concretely to their work. In the choice of speakers attention has to be given to their delivery.
Many highlighted the need for more South-South dialogue.
• The role, the strategy and the objectives of the Platform for 2004-2005
Dochao Moreno from DG External Relations underlined that the Euro-Med Youth Platform has received recognition by the 35 Euro-Med Foreign Ministers as it has been included in the Naples and Dublin Ministerial Conference conclusions. This carries heavy political weight and means that we have their support. We can therefore continue our work looking at the future.
The Platform is still very young and should continue to aim higher. We need to make its work as useful and known as possible by the youth in the Euro-Med area (utility and visibility). The Delegations can help with media coverage of events taking place in Mediterranean countries. At the next NC-NA meeting of 21-22 September 2004 NCs will be encouraged to share information with Delegations and media.
It is a contradiction that many people who participate in our activities and actions have no idea of the Barcelona Process, when in fact they should be its ambassadors. They should know why we have set up the Euro-Med Youth Programme and what Association Agreements are. There is a strong lack of information that needs to be filled creatively. SALTO and some national training courses include information about the Barcelona Process. A simple information tool could be developed to be distributed to NCs.
At the Launching Meeting it was agreed that the main core activity of the Platform was facilitating networking, responding to a need shared by youth organisations in the Euro-Mediterranean area. The Steering Committee agrees that in these circumstances the Platform has adopted a flexible strategy, as opposed to no strategy. It should be open to feedback and respond constructively to criticism.
Selection of participants to its events should continue to take into consideration suggestions by NCs and NAs, especially if presented on time and in accordance with the selection criteria. However it should be open also to other organisations.
Representation of Mediterranean young people in the Platform has also been discussed at the Launch. Currently we do not have the instruments to do this. The Platform is evolving but for the moment should stick to its networking facility role. We need to correct wrong expectations to avoid failure.
The Platform should be similar to a glass house with many doors. Everyone should be able to see what is inside and get in and out. This house should serve and help everyone. We already have the European Youth Forum in this house and should try to get more and more organisations to become members. Two actions to improve transparency and dialogue are: sending reports of Steering Committee meetings to NCs and NAs as well as posting them on the web-site; and regularly summarising feedback from organisations for the Steering Committee.
• The 2nd Targeted Meeting, Budapest, 22-26 October 2004
The aim of this meeting is facilitating the smooth and swift integration of young people from the countries joining the Euro-Med process recently into youth cooperation in the region. Therefore it will involve youth leaders from these 8 countries and their counterparts from the 10 Mediterranean partner countries. Facilitators could come from other EU member countries.
Mediterranean applicants will be selected on their experience with the Programme, while Europeans on their multiplying capacity. National Youth Councils will therefore be given priority.