Supporting young people in Europe – Principles, policy and practice

Authors

Howard Williamson

Abstract

Supporting young people in Europe: principles, policy and practice – The Council of Europe international reviews of national youth policy 1997-2001 – a synthesis report

The concept of “youth policy”, while broadly accepted throughout the world as a necessary dimension of public policy, remains unclear and contested in relation to both its breadth and depth. The objective of this report is to seek to “capture” some of the key themes, issues, lessons and perhaps omissions arising from the seven Council of Europe international reviews of youth policy carried out between 1997 and 2001. These have covered Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Romania, Estonia and Luxembourg.
Youth policy in Europe is developed through a recurrent cycle of political decision-making and drive, professional delivery, robust debate on emergent challenges and difficulties, and further policy development. The impetus for such development may start at any of these points and, equally, may be obstructed, for many reasons, at different points in the cycle. For the momentum to be maintained, there needs to be rigorous reflection on the current state of youth policy in different countries, and a close relationship between research, policy and practice. Of paramount importance, however, is the need for the political championship of new agendas for change in response to the emergent needs of young people and the societies in which they live.

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