Make room for inclusion – youth work for all

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Download to PDF European Conference on local youth work
and democracy

European Conference on local youth work
and democracy

Belgium, Brussels, February 20 - February 23, 2024
European level activity

The European Conference on Local Youth Work and Democracy gathered more than 300 participants in Brussels from 20-23 February 2024. Building on the synergies deriving from the Strategic National Agencies Cooperation projects “Europe Goes Local” and “Democracy Reloading”, this event focused on enhancing the quality of youth work and the participation of young people at the local and municipal levels.

What was this event about?

The European conference had four keynotes, 30 workshops and 15 field visits in Brussels which:

We did this by:

Why is this important?

The bulk of youth work primarily occurs at the local level, with municipalities and other local decision-makers playing a crucial role in providing, developing and supporting youth work and participation. The second European Youth Work Convention in Brussels (2015) acknowledged the importance of a Charter on Local Youth Work as an essential tool to support youth work locally. The third European Youth Work Convention in Bonn (2020) further emphasised the vital role of local youth work. The subsequent “Bonn Process” aimed to enhance efforts at both European and national levels to develop and support youth work.

Building on these initiatives, the conference sought to advance youth work development. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union underscores the goal of involving young people in democratic life. Participation has consistently been a focal point in EU Youth Policy, including the current EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and the ongoing EU Youth Programmes such as Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps. The event specifically highlighted and addressed the democratic participation of young people.

Expected outcomes

Firstly, the conference outcomes contributed to the Council Resolution on “Youth Work Policy in a New Europe”, put forth by the Belgian EU presidency. This resolution is scheduled for discussion and potential acceptance by the Council of Ministers in May 2024.

Additionally, the conference served as a crucial link between the third European Youth Work Convention (Bonn, 2020) and the upcoming fourth Convention in Malta in 2025. It played a pivotal role in shaping the agenda for the fourth Convention and facilitating its discussions.

Lastly, the conference acted as a valuable source of inspiration and knowledge for the ongoing development of the Strategic National Agency cooperation projects, specifically “Europe Goes Local” and “Democracy Reloading”. These projects are expected to evolve in the coming years, benefiting from the insights gained at the conference.


Conference agenda

Conference final report


By Freedom Photography and Sanad Latifa.





Visual outputs

The various panels and workshops during the 4-day conference were captured by Visuality.

DAY 01

DAY 02

Day 03

DAY 04

A team of youth editors reported on this event. Find out more about them here.

For more information about the event, please visit the dedicated Belgian EU-Presidency website for the field of youth.