von Sophie Marton-Lindenthal, Fridolin Blasl, Theresa Rauch
After a recap of Day 1, Facilitator Elisabeth Hanzl invites the delegates to start the stakeholder mapping. A process that seems to take some time, particularly with regard to the identification of those utterly important supporters. So today the search for stakeholders starts. Splitting into groups the participants begin to discuss about the different opportunities of promotion and reinforcement of the Youth Goals. Some factors appeared to be most important for the delegates.
For example a common agreement was, that media and press should be more involved in the process of advertising the eleven goals. Business and the labour market also prepossess a major role in the “Game of Goals”, as well as NGOs, which spread the idea of this new approach to Europe’s future. Really remarkable concerning this event is the European spirit, which can be felt, talking to people of any European country.
The Youth Dialogue represents the very special event for today: an afternoon session, where European youth ministers and young people meet and discuss the implementation of their postulations. During the dialogue young people and politicians had some misapprehensions concerning the meaning of the 11 goals.
Are they a collectively elaborated plan for future?
Or just some inspiring paperwork, that is going to end up on the guillotine of bureaucracy? Lively discussions about this rather philosophical issue were widely spread, although a collective willingness of moving things forward could be felt. The access to stakeholders and how to convince them of the revolutionary advantages that they would bring to Europe if transformed into reality remained to be a struggle.
The basic idea of the structured dialogue is to cross the invisible border between politicians and the youth. That is what happens here: A major exchange of ideas between different worlds.
In order to make the collaboration between all these perspectives work, reliable partners are needed. In this context these partners are perceived beyond the understanding of a sole stakeholder: the selected Youth Goals need someone even more committed than that. They require not only partners, but allies.
This - especially - is the point where the youth delegates, who have been working on the Goals for 18 months now, address the ministers at their table:
they demand to be taken seriously and not to be let down or minimized after having developed a diverse vision of the European future.
Trying to collect different opinions and visions of the participants we interviewed some more youth delegates. Volha Krauchang, who is from Belarus, thinks that - as simple as it sounds - being yourself is the best start to communicate and build bridges to each other. The representative of the national youth council of France wants to see more solidarity between the European countries in their way of cooperating. There needs to be some kind of a mechanism to make the Youth Goals become a solution for problems young people are facing in their everyday life.
Interviewing some of the attendees and actively listening to what is being argued and articulated, we realize that a collective concern floats inside the heads of many attendants:
the fear that the Youth Goals will eventually get lost on their long way to Europe’s youth and that they will not be pursued in the foreseen way.
But in the end, it appears it is precisely this apprehension that makes the delegates even more determined to keep going. To keep working towards a European future that allows everybody to be the best version of themselves, to feel valued, visible and included.