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Let´s put it into action: Launching the process of creating the European network of national youth workers associations.

The first 12 national associations made a statement.

One of the demands, which are stated in the final Declaration of the 3rdEuropean Youth Work Convention is the founding of a European network of youth workers associationsDuring the Convention, the representatives of national associations of youthworkers across Europe had the opportunity to meet and exchange information about their national realities, quickly concluding the shared need for better networking at European level and a vision of having a joint voice of youth workers in European institutions.This network should advocate for better recognition, certification and validation of youth work as vocation and profession and support professional growth of youth workers through more systematic international co-operation and exchange opportunities.

First step

As a first step, 12 national associations made a statement of intent to establish a formal network in the following months. They dedicated to spreading the initiative wider to other interested national networks of youth workers; it can include all relevant national associations. “Our plan in the first months of 2021 is to have defined the structure of this network and developed an action plan for further steps”, it is said in the statement.“We cannot hide delight about the recommendation for creating European network of national youth workers associations in the final Declaration as one of the proposed measures for enhancing recognition of youth work and the role of youth workers. We see it as very important and valuable, because the initiative for creating a network, consisting of youth workers associations from different countries throughout the European continent, began to take shape already during the 2nd day of the Convention and immediately after.”

The network will strive to become an equal partner todecision-makers at European level, actively participating and promoting the current thematic strategies of the Council of Europe and European Union. Also, the network intends to support the processes of creating national associations of youth workers in the countries where they do not already exist.

Still looking for allies

The list of signatories of the initiative is already long: Czech Streetwork AssociationEstonian Association of Youth Workers – EestiNoorsootöötajateKoguHellenic Youth Workers’ Association from GreeceMaltese Association of Youth WorkersNational Association of Youth Workers in Serbia – NAPORNational Association of professional youth workers in the Netherlands – BVJong National informal and non-formal education association from Italy – NINFEAPortuguese Youth Workers Association – APPJuventudeUnion for Youth Work in MacedoniaYouth Workers Association of GeorgiaYouth workers Association in LithuaniaYouth Workers Association of UkraineThe networkis still looking for allies: “We hope you will support our initiative, because only together we can ensure the implementation of the Bonn Process, and this is our first step towards it. Let’s put it into action!”