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International Partnerships

Youth participation

Youth Sounding Board for EU International Partnerships

In 2021, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen launched the first Youth Sounding Board for EU International Partnerships. The aim is to create a real, fundamental, long-lasting change in how the EU engages with young people in its development cooperation.

Composed of 25 individuals from around the world and selected via an open application process, the Youth Sounding Board is a space for young people to have an influence on EU external action, ensuring it is more participatory, relevant and effective for young people in EU partner countries.

Youth Sounding Board - Make your voice heard!

Special Adviser on Youth

Commissioner Urpilainen has appointed Special Advisers on youth: Ms Gómez Solano, from Costa Rica, in 2023;  Ms Qyira Yusri from Malaysia, in 2022, and Ms Bitania Lulu Berhanu from Ethiopia in 2021.

Youth advisory structures in EU Delegations

More and more  EU Delegations (diplomatic representations of the EU around the world) have established national youth advisory structures adapted to local country contexts.

These structures encourage the engagement of vulnerable and marginalised youth, including those from rural areas. For example:

EU Guidelines for setting up and managing youth advisory structures are available to support delegations in the setting up of such structures

In addition, a network of youth focal points in EU Delegations worldwide play an important role in ensuring a coherent and coordinated approach to youth engagement in our partner countries, integrating youth perspectives into EU external action.

Overseas Countries and Territories Youth Network

The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Youth Network pro-actively seeks the support of youth to partner with them to foster sustainable development, and acknowledge and enhance the contribution of youth in pursuing positive social changes worldwide.

The first OCT Youth Network was established in 2022 and connects 25 young people from 10 OCTs to each other, and with EU institutions and decision makers. 

A second edition of the network will start work in July 2023. 

OCT Youth Network

EU-Caribbean: Civil Society and Youth Forum

On the 28 and 29 May, a group of 40 youth and civil society organisation representatives from across the Caribbean region participated in the EU-Caribbean ‘Meet the Leaders’ Civil Society and Youth Forum. The purpose of the forum was to engage in a constructive dialogue and to reach consensus on policy recommendations on climate, social issues, youth empowerment and economic growth. The policy recommendations were shared with Commissioner Urpilainen during her visit to the Dominican Republic.