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As a strategic framework, the European Youth Work Agenda (EYWA) expands the knowledge base and connects political decisions with their implementation in practice. It also serves to enable youth work as a distinct field of work to be an equal partner for other policy fields. The EYWA is grounded in a political basis, characterised by co-ordinated collaboration of the youth work community of practice, and supported by the funding programmes in the field of youth. Putting the Agenda into practice is called the Bonn Process.

Political commitment

Political documents of both the European Union and the Council of Europe put the EYWA on a firm basis, confirming commitment from both institutions to establishing it. In addition to the Council of Europe’s Recommendation on youth work adopted in 2017 and Youth sector strategy 2030 adopted in 2020 as well as the European Union’s Youth Strategy 2019-2027, the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council took note of a Resolution for a framework to establish a European Youth Work Agenda in its meeting on 30.11.2020. Moreover, mutually agreeing on supporting the implementation of the Agenda in the Bonn Process by both institutions is one of the achievements.

Engagement of the youth work community of practice

3rd European Youth Work Convention

The 3rd European Youth Work Convention and its surrounding kick-off phase (accompanying preparation and follow-up activities in different formats) have been a unique opportunity to bring the political commitment close to the youth work community of practice in Europe. The 3rd EYWC was the time and place for the community to discuss what is in the political documents and to plan how that can be put into practice in their different countries and youth work settings. The event aimed to provide guidance and inspiration for implementing the European Youth Work Agenda in the Bonn Process and to spread a feeling of ownership for that process going beyond the event itself. Networking and community building among the participants in the Convention encouraged and sustained engagement in implementing the EYWA in the Bonn Process. Continuous engagement of these participant delegations from 50 countries is a crucial factor in making the Bonn Process a success. In their capacity as multipliers, they will have a lasting impact not only beyond the event but also beyond the EU borders. A final Declaration for the youth work community of practice to confirm ownership of the Bonn process was written during the event. Developments within the youth work community of practice of the member States and at European level have fed into the 3rd EYWC and its kick-off phase.

Bonn Process (implementation of measures and activities)

The Bonn Process is the joint effort to put the European Youth Work Agenda (EYWA) into action and make it real. This includes proposing and developing strategies and planning action, setting priorities for implementation in different settings, and designing measures and activities then to be actioned at all levels in all kinds of youth work. The Bonn Process is shaped by the youth work community of practice as the major active and responsible stakeholder within their respective area of competence, mandate, role, and capacity.

The Bonn Process tackles the following priority areas: develop and expand the youth work offer; quality development; a common direction for the youth work community of practice; beyond the youth work community of practice; promotion and recognition; innovation and emerging challenges; policy frameworks; and a strategic framework for youth work development.

Please also refer to our factsheet on the European Youth Work Agenda (203.90 kB, pdf). It explains the Agenda, also using an infographic.

If you are interested in finding out more about the 3rd European Youth Work Convention, we have a whole section of this website dedicated to it.