The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Youth Network offers young people an exciting opportunity to embark on a one-year learning path, discovering the EU-OCT Partnership and the functioning of the European institutions, and networking with like-minded young people from other OCTs.
What is the OCT Youth Network about?
The OCT Youth Network is a group of 25 young people (aged 20-28) representing all 13 OCTs associated with the EU: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Greenland, New Caledonia, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, and Wallis and Futuna.
It mirrors the reality in the OCTs and is therefore highly diverse, bringing together a wide range of youth profiles and backgrounds, opinions and experiences, areas of interest and knowledge, and socio-economic backgrounds.
First launched in 2022, the network aims to increase the ties between young people living in OCTs and the EU and enhance the knowledge and involvement of young people in the EU-OCT partnership.
The network’s objectives are to
- connect young people from the 13 OCTs to each other and with EU institutions and decision makers
- provide an OCT youth perspective to the EU-OCT partnership in a spirit of co-creation
- deepen understanding about the EU in the OCTs
- create links with other youth initiatives at regional and country level, including the EU and Member States
What does the network do?
OCT Youth Network members serve a one-year mandate that includes: a week-long study visit to Brussels to explore the functioning of the European institutions, four online webinars to deepen their knowledge and competences, and several facilitated dialogue sessions with top EU political leaders.
Throughout their mandate, the members get the opportunity to discover the EU-OCT partnership and to engage with EU political leaders. They meet and network with a wide range of like-minded young people and with key EU actors, broadening their own personal and professional networks and horizons. They actively participate in shaping the network by contributing to its activities and co-selecting priorities and topics to be addressed.
In short, OCT Youth Network members learn, debate, engage, participate and co-lead activities on youth perspectives of the EU-OCT Partnership with their OCT peers and with other actors.
Current members of the OCT Youth Network (2023-2024)
The second edition of the OCT Youth Network is composed of 25 young people (aged 20-28) representing the 13 OCTs associated with the EU.
The group features a high diversity of profiles, backgrounds, and passions - mirroring the reality in the OCTs.
See the members of the OCT Youth Network.
OCT Youth Network alumni (2022-2023)
The first edition of the OCT Youth Network brought together 25 young people representing 10 OCTs: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao French Polynesia, Greenland, New Caledonia, Saba, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sint Maarten and Wallis and Futuna.
A highlight of the first edition was the Youth Declaration presented by the members at the EU-OCT Forum in Nouméa, New Caledonia in November 2022, highlighting youth perspectives on the EU-OCT Partnership. The declaration was developed from one of the sessions at the week-long study visit in Brussels (see the final report from the study visit below).
Why an OCT Youth Network?
Over the past few years, the EU has put more emphasis on pro-actively engaging with young people to foster sustainable development worldwide.
The Youth Action Plan in EU external action, adopted in October 2022, formalises this vision of partnership with young people as essential actors of change for more democratic, equal, inclusive and peaceful societies.
How to become a member?
Members of the OCT Youth Network are selected via an open call for applicants. The call to join the 2023-2024 edition has closed. The next call for applicants will open in spring 2024 for the third edition of the OCT Youth Network, starting in July 2024.
For more information about the network or its activities, contact us at INTPA-OCT-YN@ec.europa.eu