Today, May 5, 2019, we have sent the following letter:
To: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania
Permanent Representation of Romania to the Council of Europe
Mr. Teodor-Viorel MELEȘCANU – Minister
Mr. Excellency Răzvan RUSU – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative
Re: Exercising an active role from Romania in ensuring the optimal functioning of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe.
May 5, 2019 – Timisoara
Dear Honorable Minister,
Your Excellency Mr. Ambassador,
Today, May 5, 2019, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the adoption of the Statute of the Council of Europe, in the light of:
- the publication of the report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
- the news provided by the Advisory Council on Youth Affairs attached to the Committee of Ministers,
- the publication of the common statement of the Political Party Youth Organisations (PPYOs) and the European Youth Forum on the Council of Europe Youth Department possible budget cuts,
we, Timis County Youth Foundation (FITT), the owner of Timisoara Youth House – the only Romanian youth center certified (2016-2023) with the Council of Europe Quality Certificate for Youth Centers (and one of only 13 such centers in Europe), kindly ask you to focus your attention, above all, on ensuring that the Council of Europe Youth Department is operating in the best possible conditions.
The Youth Department is part of the Directorate of Democratic Participation within the Directorate General of Democracy and the youth programmes of the Council of Europe aim at the development of a common European cultural identity.
The Youth Department elaborates guidelines, programmes and legal instruments for the development of coherent and effective youth policies at local, national and European levels. It provides funding and educational support, as well, for international youth activities aiming to promote youth active citizenship, youth mobility and the values of human rights, democracy and cultural pluralism. It seeks to bring together and disseminate expertise and knowledge about the life situations, aspirations and ways of expression of young Europeans.
The Youth Department fulfils its mission and objectives through its Statutory bodies:
- The European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ), which fosters co-operation between governments in the youth sector and provides a framework for comparing national youth policies, exchanging best practices and drafting standard-setting texts. It ensures the Council of Europe’s youth policy standards are promoted by granting the Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres;
- The Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ), which establishes the standards and work priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector and makes recommendations for future priorities, programmes and budgets. It promotes, as well, the co-management system in decision-making processes at all levels as a good practice for youth participation, democracy and inclusion, whilst preparing and encouraging young generations to take responsibility to build their desired society;
- The Joint Council on Youth, which brings together CDEJ and (CCJ. Its task is, in a spirit of co-management, to develop a shared position on the youth sector’s overall priorities, annual/pluriannual objectives, main budget envelopes and necessary budget specifications, within the political and budgetary framework established by the Committee of Ministers. It also contributes to the effective mainstreaming of youth policies into the Council of Europe’s programme of activities.
Likewise, the Council of Europe’s sustainable instruments for youth policy implementation, are the two Youth Centres of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg and Budapest) – international training and meeting centres with residential facilities, and host most of the youth sector’s activities. The professional staff includes an advisory team giving educational and technical assistance in preparing, running and following up activities. The Council of Europe established and manages the European Platform of Youth Centres, which is made of the 13 youth centres which received the Quality Label. This platform represents the set up for exchange and knowledge sharing among the centres associating to the Council of Europe with regard to the methods and experiences related to promotion of the Council of Europe’s values among young people, at the grassroots.
Last, but not least, since 1972, the Council of Europe provides, through the European Youth Foundation (division in the Youth Department), financial and educational support for European youth activities, facilitating the voice of youth to be heard, supports the youth NGOs (and networks of this kind of NGOs), promotes peace, understanding and respect. More than 300.000 young people have benefited from the activities supported by the Foundation.
In view of all of the above, we consider it vital to support the continuation of the functioning of the Council of Europe Youth Department, together with all its Statutory bodies, through its youth centres, through the platform of youth centres and through its youth funding division, at least at the level of the current performance.
Therefore, in the event that the forecasts become reality, we kindly ask you to resist the diminution of support for the functioning of the Youth Department, as well as to undertake all necessary and possible efforts, so that our country will become a determinant, effective and concrete contributor and factor to secure the continuous development of a common European cultural identity, by supporting the Council of Europe’s programmes for international youth activities aiming to promote youth active citizenship, youth mobility and the values of human rights, democracy and cultural pluralism.
In this way, we express greater trust in listening to our appeal, given that:
- One of the objectives of Romania within the Council of Europe target is „to support the Council of Europe’s objectives and reform measures in order to concentrate the work of the Organization in its major areas of expertise: strengthening the rule of law, promoting democracy and respect for human rights.”
- Our country, while chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (2005-2006), as well, has dedicated its mandate to achieving a concrete impact in the day-to-day life of European citizens, based on respect for human rights, prosperity and social justice emphasising the role of local authorities and civil society in the development of democracy, the importance of education as an investment in the future, the valorisation of ethnic and religious minorities in European culture and civilization and, therewith, the organization of the „Conference of European Political Schools” (the first such event ever organized by the Council of Europe), which represented an opportunity to bring together the European schools which prepare young leaders, thus recognizing the important contribution of civil society to promoting democracy at an early stage.
Thank you in advance and we assure you of all our consideration.
President fo Timis County Youth Foundation