I never had the dream to become YEU president, but I always had the dream to contribute to the development of something which is bigger than me. At the time when I participated in my first YEU event my country was still in the process of recovering from a very difficult period and rebuilding all sectors anew. Being active at that time was the only way to feel that there is still a hope for building a better future. YEU opened a whole new world of possibilities, showed me that what I was doing was a youth work which I didn’t know anything about and taught me how to transfer that knowledge to other young people as a facilitator and trainer providing me with a means for contributing to social transformation. In YEU this is happening all the time with many young people coming from different countries. As a result of our work, many young people act as multipliers on the local, national and international level after they participated at our events. Only this fact is enough for making each of us motivated to voluntary contribute to the development of our network.
In the begging of this mandate on behalf of the newly elected Governing Board (GB) I want to thank the previous GB for the great work they did in this year and all Member Organisations (MOs) for their contributions during the last General Assembly (GA). The last GA adopted several new documents: PET guidelines, quality assurance document, employment policy, reimbursement procedures, communication plan and membership procedures. These documents together with the recommendations from the GA working groups are already a good base for the new work plan we are currently developing. The main focus of this GB will be the capacity building of YEU MOs based on the results of the YEU needs assessment. In this process our PET members can play a very important role by helping us to create and implement opportunities for capacity building of the network. We see PET members as main advisers for the creation of the YEU education strategy and we believe that their expertise in this process will be essential. The GA emphasised the importance of working on YEU strategic priorities through the creation of working groups and the GB will start to work on this immediately after we create our work plan. This process will be inclusive and working groups will be a place for our members to share, express and implement their ideas. For the first time in the process of the Structured Dialogue, the incoming Team Presidency Italy-Latvia-Luxembourg has taken the initiative to consult with National Working groups and international youth organisations (IYNGO) on their proposal for the overall theme to be discussed during the 4th cycle of Structured Dialogue (July 2014 – December 2015) and we already contributed to this process. In this period YEU together with other IYNGOs is creating a toolkit which will give comprehensive insight into the process of Structured Dialogue and will present sustainable methods and techniques for consultation for IYNGOs. We recently launched the consultations with our MOs for the third cycle of the Structured Dialogue on youth and social inclusion. We will also try to do our best in advocating for better conditions within the Erasmus+ Programme for our MO’s coming from Partner Countries. In this mandate we will focus on neglected regions and put efforts for finding new sources of funding for organizing events in those regions. As a pioneer in Non-Formal Education with 27 years of experience, YEU will continue to actively contribute to the recognition of non-formal education and youth work. The GB plans to continue to support a representation at higher lever, for instance in the bodies of the European Youth Forum (YFJ) and the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe, and will support advocacy and policy development processes related to the YEU strategic priorities.
For me personally, YEU will always be a space for empowering young people by providing them with opportunities to actively participate and to develop their fullest potential. The impact of our work is bigger than any statistical data can show. Being a volunteer in YEU since 2007 has been always my pleasure and made me feel more valuable as a person. I believe that this year will be full of those moments for all of us and will make us all more proud.
On behalf of the new Governing Board I wish you a successful 2014 measured by the number of smiles of young people whom you are influencing every day!