EYCM 2016

Day 3


Another day has come to an end in Sutomore, and the participants of the European Youth Cooperation Meeting have had the opportunity to shape the future of the European Youth Network.

The third day of the meeting started off with a second round of thematic workshops focusing on the themes of: 1) Psycho Social Support for Young volunteers in emergencies and migration operations, 2) Innovation in RCRC volunteering and 3) (Y)ABC as a means to improve integration activities.

Among the key messages stemming from the workshop on Innovation in RC/RC volunteering was the advice that we should seek to build capacities starting from the elements we have around us and find innovative ways to do what we already do. Furthermore, from the (Y)ABC workshop, participants understood the importance of using open discussions based on active listening and non-judgement to promote integration in communities.

The morning proceeded with the continuation of the Open Space Technology session in which participants, after having identified the main priorities during the previous day, now had to go through a prioritization process in order to define the most important issues the EYCC should work on in the next two years. After having further short discussions on the different topics and finally expressing their votes, the results were announced: Strengthening sub-regional networks, Migration, Youth & Governance, YES implementation, and Innovation in Volunteering will be the priority areas for the EYCC’s mandate.


13329387_850922101681202_8032647456261889531_oThe last, but not less important, moment of the morning was the election of the new members of the EYCC, which will be representing Red Cross and Red Crescent youth from the European region in the next two years. The newly elected team is composed by:Jelena Sofranac (RC of Montenegro), Ani Mirakyan (Armenian RC), Maria Hristova (Bulgarian RC), Jasmin Niksic (RC Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Sabrina Konzok (German RC), Guillermo Vazquez de Pablo (Spanish RC) and Hala Mohammed (Swedish RC).

We would like to wish good luck to all of them and hope that for the next two years they will continue to work with enthusiasm and passion, guiding young humanitarians throughout Europe.

The afternoon proceeded with two rounds of discussion on the five priority areas identified by European Youth as main points of the next EYCC work plan. These discussions were pivotal to further elaborate these issues and provide a wider number of inputs on which the EYCC members will be able to work on during their mandate.

Among some of the points that were raised, participants underlined the importance of creating more concrete actions during international meetings, to strengthen ties among National Societies in the sub-regional networks, and to enhance youth in governance roles also by sharing of best practices and youth leadership trainings.

Finally the time to relax has come, and participants were taken to the nearby coastal city of Budva, were they were able to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Montenegro, and have dinner in a local restaurant to the sound of music.

13308306_851300474976698_6459070753662131271_oDuring the last day of the EYCM, the morning started off with a moment for youth to gather in their sub-regional networks, before proceeding to the closing ceremony. Nis Sperling, Youth and Volunteering Adviser for the Europe Region, opened this moment by thanking all participants and reminding them that with the active engagement in the next two yeas, and closely working with the EYCC to bring the European Youth Network to the next level. The representatives of the Red Cross of Montenegro also had a change to thank everyone for their commitment and active participation in the meeting, and for bringing important discussions and sharing of knowledge to the table.


With a smile and some tears the time has come to return home and keep on working to do more, better and reaching further!


See you in two years time! 🙂

Day 2

3R4B1974Enriching discussions, exchange of experiences and know-how, active listening and a collaborative team spirit have been the true key elements of this second day of the European Youth Cooperation Meeting (EYCM).

This long yet very intense and productive day has started by showing the video of the #Saysomething campaign, promoted by the IFRC and focusing on the issue of migration and on the importance of advocating for the rights of migrants.

Following the video, the EYCC members presented the work carried out in the last two years focusing on their four priority areas: Governance and Strategy, YES implementation, Healthy Living & Migration and Anti-trafficking.

Bas van Rossum, former EYCC chair, presented the Governance and Strategy pillar underlining that the main aim of it was to bring the youth perspective during all decision making processes. This has been done by engaging youth in discussions such as the Constitutional Review, the review of Strategy 2020, and by taking an active commitment in being part of the implementation support group of the Florence Call to Action.

Kristian Penyashki then presented the advances made in the implementation of the YES, highlighting how the creation of a pool of practitioners has helped reach this goal, as well as in spreading a strong sense of ownership.

3R4B1955Nabidzhon Sidikshoev focused instead on the presentation of the results of the Healthy Living pillar, underlining the importance of the use of social media, which have significantly contributed in reaching a wide audience both inside and outside the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as helped the EYCC spread innovative approaches to National Societies when dealing with this topic.

Finally, Sabrina Konzok, presented the outcomes of the work carried out in the theme of Migration and Anti-Trafficking, presenting the first EYCC handbook on Migration, and also explaining how the organization of online meetings has contributed in gathering the ideas of many youth across the region, making this process truly participatory.

The floor was then handed to Marie-Esther Rouffet and Azamat Baialinov, both IFRC Youth Commission members, who presented the YC work plan for 2016-2017, and linked this to the work that will be done by all regional networks in the years to come, thus ensuring that all efforts will make the voices of youth heard in our global Movement.

The first session of the day also saw the participation of the Vice President of the European Youth Forum, Luís Alvarado Martinez, who explained how the Forum has been fostering the collaboration with the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Europe. He also underlined the importance of further fostering this collaboration in order to bring the humanitarian point of view in larger platforms, and make youth voices heard globally.

During the rest of the morning, participants had the opportunity of taking part in three different workshops, all based on a very dynamic and participatory approach. The three workshops focused on: 1)The implementation of the Youth Engagement Strategy 2) The Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change initiative as a means to improve integration in communities and 3) The importance of Psycho Social Support for young volunteers in emergencies and migration operations.

EYCM2016 - 2 DayAfter lunch, participants were challenged to start thinking in a different way, being truly open to dialogue and proposing new ideas, thus shaping the work-plan of the next EYCC. This Open Space Technology Session has seen participants fully engaged during all the afternoon, discussing burning issues and new challenges that youth are facing. A lot of work has been done and among the themes that we regarded as most relevant in the region we may find youth and migration, youth leadership, the Erasmus+ initiative, youth and governance, disaster response, the future evolution of volunteering, health, and humanitarian advocacy, humanitarian education and youth engagement.

The afternoon ended with the presentation of the candidates running for the EYCC in a plenary session. The participation has been very high, with 10 candidates coming from the following National Societies: Armenian RCS, RCS of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgarian RC, German RC, Italian RC, RC of Montenegro, Romanian RC, Spanish RC, Swedish RC, Ukrainian RCS.

After dinner all National Societies prepared the International Fair, a moment to showcase the main activities Youth carry out on in their different realities, by handing out information material and explaining their initiatives to others. The night was cheered up to the sound of national music, dances, and fun: a moment to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

The second day of the EYCM is over, but the discussions and ideas that have enriched the meeting will certainly bring an added value to all participants when returning to their National Societies.

Day 1

3R4B1696Sutomore-Montenegro. Yesterday, the 27th May 2016, 22nd European Youth Cooperation Meeting (EYCM) has officially started. The meeting, hosted by the Red Cross of Montenegro, represents an important opportunity to share knowledge and experience among the over 80 participants coming from the National Societies of the Europe Region.

During the opening ceremony the Red Cross of Montenegro welcomed all participants, thanking them for their participation in the event and wishing everyone a very fruitful meeting. The floor was then given to Bas Van Rossum, former European Youth Coordination Committee (EYCC) member, and newly elected IFRC Youth Commission Chair, who briefly presented the European Youth Network and the role the EYCC plays in further fostering the network as well as strengthening youth in the region. In doing so, he also underlined the importance of three key elements: knowledge sharing, community building and strong engagement. He reminded participants that an important task they have in this meeting is that of reducing the gap between what are the changes and challenges the European Youth Network would like to see and what the EYCC will do in order to truly respond to the needs of and priorities outlined by youth in the region.

EYCM2016 - 1 DaySabrina Konzok, the current EYCC chair, presented the members of the Committee, the agenda of the meeting and encouraged youth to be engaged at all times during this event, but also and most importantly in their Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies. This will enable them to be appreciated for their work and commitment by communities at large, as well as be supported by the senior leaders of their National Societies.

Then Chair of the Election Committee, Kristian Penyashki, explained that in the next days participants will also be called to elect the new EYCC members, that will work in the period 2016-2018 to further empower youth in the region and make their voices heard.

Finally, participants had a chance to meet each other during the ‘Get to know each other night’, while having fun and sharing experience with other youth from the participating National Societies.