Call for municipalities to develop youth strategies in the context of the European platform Europe goes local

The SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre is looking for municipalities in the Western Balkan countries*, which are interested in establishing or further developing their strategies in the field of youth at the local level and integrating a European dimension into their approaches and activities.

*The countries included in this call are the so-called third countries not associated to the Programmes in the Western Balkan region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence) and Montenegro.

Background

The SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre (SALTO SEE) was established by the European Commission to support cooperation with the Western Balkan countries in the frame of the Erasmus+ Programme (youth field) and the European Solidarity Corps. Through the support for these programmes SALTO SEE aims at European cooperation in the field of youth and at contributing to the wider development and recognition of youth work and volunteering in the Western Balkan region.

Europe Goes Local is a platform and a strategic cooperation between different countries within the two Programmes. Its mission is to strengthen the youth work community of practice at the local level, in line with the European Youth Work Agenda, which was established during the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2020 and which aims at strengthening and further developing youth work practice and policies in Europe.

The Europe Goes Local platform brings together different partners (both governmental and non- governmental) involved in the development of youth work at the local level in several European countries for dialogue and cooperation. In its core are various learning and networking opportunities, which are organised nationally and internationally every year. Municipalities in Europe are the core target group of the cooperation.

Key objectives of “Europe Goes Local” are to:

  • ●  build bridges between the local and European levels, including municipalities in rural areas;

  • ●  strengthen the dialogue between their stakeholders;

  • ●  provide local youth work with the European programmes and cooperation;

  • ●  make the European dimension an integral part of local youth work provision;

  • ●  offer tools and opportunities for local stakeholders to collaborate and develop common projects;

  • ●  recognize and promote European best practices with the purpose of peer-learning.

     

     

    Piloting “Europe Goes Local” in the Western Balkan countries

    SALTO SEE joined the platform in 2021, when the key document, the Charter for local youth work, developed by the platform was translated into the local languages of the countries of the Western Balkan region.

    This call addresses municipalities, which are interested in joining the pilot phase of the Europe Goes Local initiative in the Western Balkan countries coordinated by the SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre in 2022. The cooperation is foreseen to continue in 2023 and beyond. The piloting phase is based on stimulating the development of the selected municipalities’ own youth strategies by offering support in the frame of the Europe Goes Local, in particular by:

    • ●  making available and providing assistance in the adoption of the key tools developed within Europe Goes Local, the Charter for local youth work and the Change-makers’ kit connected to the charter;

    • ●  offering possibilities for networking and exchange with other municipalities in the Western Balkan countries;

    • ●  offering possibilities for training and networking in the wider European context on specific topics relevant for local youth work and its European dimension;

    • ●  offering expert consultation and advice for the municipalities on based on their specific areas of interest;

    • ●  offering more information about the Erasmus+ Programme (youth field) and the European Solidarity Corps and how they can be promoted and used by municipalities.

      The participating municipalities are expected to set up or take concrete steps forwards in developing and implementing their youth strategies in 2022 and to actively participate in the communication with and support measures by SALTO SEE to facilitate the process. The process will take into account and aims to connect to already existing work and support frameworks in the different national or local contexts.

      The following concrete support measures are planned in 2022.

    • ●  A Kick-off meeting (online 2 x 3 hours) of the pilot phase organised by SALTO SEE in the week of 23 – 27 May (the exact dates will be specified together with the selection results);

    • ●  Facilitated strategy development and needs analysis in June – September. During this time the municipalities will prepare their strategic plans with the help of an expert;

    • ●  Possibility to take part in the 10th Intercity Youth Conference Participation 3.0 in Ljubljana, Slovenia 27 – 29 June 2022. (We reserve places for four participants representing some of the participating municipalities.)

    • ●  Two-day working meeting (residential) organised by SALTO SEE in October (the exact dates will be specified together with the selection results) with the participating municipalities to present their strategies and plans for implementing them, exchange information and experiences, network and make future plans for cooperation;

    • ●  Individual consultation sessions with experts in October – December with experts on different areas of interest of the participating municipalities with the aim of supporting the implementation of their strategies;

    • ●  Possibility to take part in several international study visits and project labs (the calls for participants will open at a later stage) organised in different European countries on various topics within Europe Goes Local.

       

       

      Selection criteria

      The selected municipalities should have a department responsible for youth and equivalent means (legal framework, funding and human resources) to set up a strategy in the field of youth and implement measures to achieve its objectives. Additionally, the municipalities should:

      • ●  have prior experience in developing and implementing strategic measures at the local level in the field of youth;

      • ●  be interested in the further development of their youth strategies at the local level and integrating a European dimension into them;

      • ●  have (a) staff member(s) capable of communicating in English and willing to take part in the communication, networking and training activities within Europe Goes Local;

      • ●  be interested in promoting and taking part in the Erasmus+ Programme and European Solidarity Corps and the possibilities they offer for international cooperation in the field of youth;

      • ●  Preferably have established relationships with other actors in the field of local youth work, such as youth and civil society organisations, youth networks and representative bodies and other relevant governmental actors.

        Application procedure, enquiries and contact details
        Interested municipalities are invited to express interest by filling in the application form by 29 April

        2022. The selection results will be communicated to all applicants by 6 May 2022. In the application form

        Interested municipalities are encouraged to contact the SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre during the application process for any further questions.

        Contact: Maija Lehto [email protected] .
        More information about “Europe Goes Local”, the Erasmus+ Programme, European Solidarity Corps

        and the SALTO SEE Resource Centre:

        https://www.europegoeslocal.eu/about/ https://erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/ https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en https://www.salto-youth.net/rc/see/

        In the application form the following areas should be covered:

      •   Basic information (name, contact details) of the municipality, and the person proposed to be in charge of the cooperation within the Europe Goes Local;

      •   Motivation;

      •   Available resources to develop and / or implement a youth strategy at the local level;

      •   Existing measures and / or strategies to support youth work at the local level;

      •   Relevant themes and priorities;

      •   Main partners, stakeholders and current cooperation with them;

      •   Needs and possible future measures relevant for the cooperation within the Europe Goes

        Local;

      •   Knowledge and / or prior experience in the Erasmus+ Programme or European Solidarity

        Corps.

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