Amongst the numerous events that took place across Europe during the EYW2013 (26 May-2 June), those in Brussels, the principal home of the European institutions, should not be left out!

On May 27-29, a conference was organised for representatives of the National Working Groups of all 27 Member States to conduct the Structured Dialogue. The participants exchanged views and practices before drawing up conclusions for the future of the Structured Dialogue process.

On the two following days of May 30-31 a special event, the YO!Fest organised by the European Youth Forum was held on the Esplanade of the European Parliament. The YO!Fest is the traditional youth-led political festival organised by the European Youth Forum every year and is a combination of political debates, interactive activities, concerts and other events.

The running theme of the YO!Fest is the contribution of Youth to the democratic construction of Europe, including two important elements:

  • Celebrating the past and present achievements of youth building Europe.
  • Launching the Youth Campaign for the European Elections 2014: the League of Young Voters.

The European Commission was present at the YO!Fest with an exhibition showcasing the achievements of the ‘Youth in Action’ programme. Representatives of the 36 nominated YiA projects were there to present their work and achievements along with ‘Youth Ambassadors’, who were nominated by their respective countries for having made an outstanding project in the political, social, economic or cultural field following their participation in an EU youth programme project.

On Friday May 31 the Brussels programme continued with a debate focusing on the role of young people in shaping their communities and society at large, and on the further development of EU youth policy. The debate was followed by an award ceremony for 36 outstanding youth projects supported by the Youth in Action programme. Three awards were given in the following categories: youth exchanges, European Voluntary Service, and training and networking opportunities for youth workers.

These projects were drawn from nominations proposed by YiA National Agencies and the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission, on the basis of three criteria: taking initiatives, setting standards, and assuming responsibility.

Three winning projects were selected by an inter-institutional jury composed of representatives of the European Parliament, the EU Presidency, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the European Youth Forum.

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