Group photo from the November 2023 European Youth Forum General Assembly in Tirana, Albania
About the European Youth Forum
Founded in 1996, the European Youth Forum has been the leading force advocating for youth rights at the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and other international decision-making bodies. With over 100 member organisations, the European Youth Forum represents over 40 million youth and 6000 youth organisations across Europe, thus making it the largest youth organisation in the world. Founded in 1996, the European Youth Forum has been the leading force advocating for youth rights at the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and other international decision-making bodies.
As the National Youth Council of the UK, and a full member of the European Youth Forum, the British Youth Council sends two delegates (one voting; one observer) to all YFJ-related conferences and events.
Every year the European Youth Forum runs a series of campaigns. Recent efforts have included a campaign to ban unpaid internships (which in 2022 saw a triumphant legal victory in a Belgian court), a campaign to tackle climate change and a campaign focused on lowering the voting age to 16.
In addition to running a great set of campaigns, the YFJ is also in charge of awarding the famous European Youth Capital prize. This award is given to the European city which is deemed to be doing the most for youth – and as a result it’s a massive title to have! Every year this prize is awarded to the European city deemed to be doing the most for youth – and as a result, it’s a massive title to have!
If you would like to learn more about our work at the European Youth Forum, make sure to check out our blogs!
Group photo from the April 2022 BICC meeting in Budapest, Hungary.
BICC stands for ‘Benelux Islands Central Cooperation’ and is a regional grouping among several National Youth Councils within the European Youth Forum. The British Youth Council is a member of the BICC regional group, alongside National Youth Councils stretching as far as Poland, Austria, Luxembourg and Ireland.
BICC members host at least two annual meetings to prepare for statutory sessions and form a cohesive stance on specific issues and motions. Like many other regional cooperation groups, BICC is also heavily involved in interviewing and nominating election candidates for the Board, the Advisory Council on Youth and various elected roles within the European Youth Forum.
Beyond its formal functions, BICC provides delegates with an ideal venue to get to know other European youth delegates, discuss European policy and collaborate on various youth-orientated projects.
Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe
Group photo of the incoming 2024/25 Advisory Council Members after being elected in April 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.
The Advisory Council on Youth is part of a co-management system, where young people and ministry representatives decide jointly on the programme and budget of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe. Structurally, it is made up of 30 representatives from National Youth Councils (NYCs) and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations (INGYOs), and other youth networks, who represent the voice of young people within the Council of Europe’s youth sector. Twenty of these young people are elected by the European Youth Forum.
Meaningful youth participation, democracy and inclusion are at the heart of the Advisory Council on Youth’s aims.
Every two years, member organisations of the European Youth Forum nominate and elect candidates for the Advisory Council. During General Assemblies, MOs elect:
13 representatives among INGYOs, and
7 representatives among NYCs