Why a Youth Sounding Board?
Youth empowerment is a top priority for EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and the EU believes that young people must be involved in shaping and implementing its external action. The Youth Sounding Board aims to create a real, fundamental, long-lasting change in how the EU engages with young people in its development cooperation.
What is it?
The Youth Sounding Board (YSB) is a group of young people who advise the Commissioner and the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) on youth participation and empowerment in EU external action. This allows young people to have an influence on EU external action and international partnerships and thereby contributes to make EU action more participatory, relevant and effective for young people in EU partner countries, across all political priorities:
How does it work?
Through their work, YSB members represent the views of as wide a range of young people as possible, by reaching out to young people within and beyond their networks to gather their opinions and views.
Members build links with similar structures and existing youth initiatives at international, regional and country level, both in the EU and in partner countries. They also respond to ad-hoc issues and requests, and take part in capacity-building activities in relation to their mandate.
The 2023-2025 cohort will be involved in the implementation and dissemination of the EU Youth Action Plan.
How are members selected?
Members of the Youth Sounding Board are selected via an open call for applications. Applicants can apply as individuals, or be nominated by a youth organisation.
The call for applications for the 2023-2025 cohort of the Youth Sounding Board is now closed.
Current Youth Sounding Board
For the second cohort of the Youth Sounding Board (2023-2025), over 4 500 applications from more than 150 countries were received.
The 25 selected members, aged 19-29, are a group of inspiring young people from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European Union.
See the members of the Youth Sounding Board.
Youth Sounding Board 2021-2023
The first cohort of the Youth Sounding Board was a diverse group of 25 talented, committed and inspiring young people from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Europe.
See the Youth Sounding Board 2021-2023 members and read more about their achievements below.
The 2021-2023 cohort was engaged in the process of co-creating the Youth Action Plan in EU external action. They drafted a report, 'Meaningful Inclusion of Youth: A Promising Future', prepared in the context of consultations for the Youth Action Plan that was published in autumn 2022. In the report, young people from around the world voice their opinions, share thoughts about the challenges they face and propose solutions.
The YSB members have also worked on their own long-term projects on four topics: diversity and inclusion, intergenerational dialogue, leadership and community-building and outreach to young people. The outcomes of the projects informed the design of DG INTPA actions and programming on youth.