In the second half of 2017 Estonia holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This is the first time for Estonia to perform this role within the EU. In the youth field we plan to focus on 3 priority topics:
1. Future of young people and the youth field in EU
The issue of how we can better support and engage youth is under high importance in the current political agenda of EU. Discussions have started on the next EU Youth Strategy for the post-2018 period. Hence, we would like to use this momentum and take respective debates further during the Estonian presidency. In co-operation with our trio partners Bulgaria and Austria, European Youth Forum and European Commission, we aim to focus on the involvement of young people into development of the next EU Youth Strategy in the frame of the VI Cycle of the Structured Dialogue, titled: “Youth in Europe: what’s next?”.
2. Smart youth work
Smart youth work is directly linked to focus on digital solutions of the Estonian Presidency. We aim to introduce the concept of smart youth work on European level and draw up Council Conclusions on smart youth work. Smart youth work is an approach to the development of youth work that builds upon existing principles, knowledge, practices, and other assets of youth work and harnesses full potential of technological developments in digital society.
3. Youth volunteering, including the European Solidarity Corps
Youth volunteering is one of the cornerstones of European youth field. European Commission has recently published a study on the impact of transnational volunteering through the European Voluntary Service programme. On 30 May European Commission published the proposal for the regulation of European Solidarity Corps which is aimed to enhance the engagement of young people and organisations in solidarity activities as a means to contribute to strengthening cohesion and solidarity in Europe. We acknowledge the high political priority of this legislative initiative and are fully committed to take this file further during the Estonian Presidency.