On Friday, 13th May, Aleksandra Surla, board member of the ENIL Youth Network, had the opportunity to join the final National Meeting between Youth and Local Decision Makers, organised in cooperation with the Slovenian Youth Council and the Youth Network MaMa. The event took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and hosted many local decision makers and youth. The meeting was a final event of the project aiming to connect youth in their local environments, creating structural dialogue between them and local youth organisations, youth centres and youth councils of local communities and municipalities. The biggest aim of the event itself was raising awareness on the importance of the inclusion of youth and their active participation in the society.
At the conference, youth and decision makers had the chance to exchange views, obtain more information and knowledge on numerous possibilities and ways of establishing partnerships within local communities, as well as planning future steps for strengthening partnerships between youth and decision makers.
The first hour of the conference was dedicated to Tin Kampl (president of the Slovenian Youth Council), Peter Debeljak (director of the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth) and Jurij Mezeg from Ministry of Public Administration. They all agreed upon the fact that youth participation could have been stronger, however, young people are ready to participate and create structural dialogue, being given the possibility of having an impact on the society. Besides, we must not forget of several good examples of structural dialogue, which are, unfortunately, often treated too formally, having a negative response among youth.
After the debate several good practices of structural dialogue with youth in local communities were presented, followed by four working groups covering different topics.
Fortunately, ENIL Youth Network has not been the only disability youth organisation presented, another one being the Slovenian Association of Disabled Students. They both draw attention to the urgent need of greater inclusion of disabled youth and of structural dialogue between disabled youth, non-disabled youth and decision makers.
The event concluded with a lot of positive impressions and new alliances for further collaboration.
Author: Aleksandra Surla, ENIL Youth Network board member