Last Friday the Council of Europe's current Secretary-General Mr Thorbjorn Jagland officially proposed his contingency plans for dealing with the Council of Europe's budget cuts, which have included a plan to effectively dissolve the Council’s Youth Sector in its entirety.

 

This body’s Youth Sector delivers immeasurable amounts of wealth to the European Youth Sector, in the form of opportunities, empowerment, co-management and more. These organs represent immense democratic and participatory accomplishments that have been achieved by the Council of Europe and European Youth Sector alike, which is why the Maltese National Youth Council (KNŻ)
cannot do anything but oppose such plans.

 

The Council of Europe brings together 47 Member States with the aim of upholding and developing human rights across the continent and has been effectively doing this for the past 70 years. This body has given youths better access to their rights, whilst immeasurably increasing the participatory levels of youths across the continent which has led to several successes in the youth sector as a whole. However, due to the recent refusal of payments by certain Member States in the Council of Europe, youths shall be getting the shorter end of the stick, with this proposal having the potential to dissolve years of hard work carried out by thousands of European youth, in the blink of an eye.

 

The economic crisis which the Council of Europe is facing is potentially becoming detrimental to the upcoming generation of youths and this is why we have sent a letter to ask our Government to defend the democratic rights of Maltese and European youths by opposing these regressive plans.

 

Over the past few years, Malta has been at the forefront of youth empowerment and participatory mechanisms and is one of the few countries in Europe to have adopted Vote 16 and opened the doors for political participation for youth below that age. On the 23rd of May, the Member States of the European Council shall be voting on these contingency plans, and as Maltese youth, we wish nothing more than to see our country continue leading by example in defending the rights of youth participation at a European stage and voting against the contingency plans relating to youth, with the aim of ensuring the Council of Europe’s Youth Sector remains intact.

 

KNŻ stands alongside the European Youth Forum and the rest of Europe’s National Youth Councils in standing against these harmful changes and hopes that our request will be pushed forward and we can count on Malta’s Government’s support in ensuring our rights are preserved.

 

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