CoE and Youth
The Council of Europe, including 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union, is a human rights organisation. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law which are the values of Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities. It has launched campaigns on issues such as child protection, online hate speech, and the rights of the Roma, Europe’s largest minority. The Council of Europe helps member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms. Its group of constitutional experts, known as the Venice Commission, offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.
The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions, such as the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and the Convention on Cybercrime. It monitors member states’ progress in these areas and makes recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies. All Council of Europe member states have abolished the death penalty.
The Youth Department is part of the Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation of the Council of Europe. The Department elaborates guidelines, programmes and legal instruments for the development of coherent and effective youth policies at local, national and European levels. It provides funding and educational support for international youth activities aiming at the promotion of youth citizenship, youth mobility and the value of human rights, democracy and cultural pluralism. It seeks to bring together and disseminate expertise and knowledge about the life situations, aspirations and ways of expression of young Europeans.
Council of Europe and Young People
The Council of Europe wants to encourage more young people to get actively involved in strengthening civil society in Europe and to defend the values of human rights, cultural diversity and social cohesion. It also wants to promote and develop youth policies, putting special emphasis on the participation of young people. The Youth Department already regularly brings together young people, youth associations and networks, government agencies and experts for discussions and feedback on current policies and future objectives. It also encourages the development of youth associations, networks and initiatives, and promotes international co-operation.
The Council of Europe’s commitment to fostering greater youth participation can be demonstrated through its system of co-management. This involves representatives from youth non-governmental organisations (NGOs) sitting down in committees with government officials who together then work out the priorities for the youth sector and make recommendations for future budgets and programmes. These proposals are then adopted by the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe’s decision-making body.
The Council of Europe has set the following programme in the youth sector for the period 2014-2015
These projects are pursued through activities ranging from training courses, study sessions, seminars, expert meetings and research, publications and advice on youth policy development. The European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest and the European Youth Foundation all play a vital role in implementing these activities through seminars, training courses and visits by experts to specific countries.
The Youth Department produces a number of PR materials, available on request at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please write ‘’PR material order’’ in the subject line. Below you will find links to pdf versions of this material: