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Mission

The mission of the Platform Network:

 

Platform Network – For European Youth Activities is an informal network for co-operation within the youth sector between regions, municipalities, countries in Europe, and was initiated in Luxembourg in 1986. Since then, the Platform Network has every year been facilitating youth activities to fulfil the aims of youth mobility and the exchange of experiences.

 

The overall aim of the Platform is to increase mobility for young people, to support intercultural learning, and to develop mutual understanding and democratic citizenship by organizing open youth mobility activities for groups of young people and individual young people.

 

 

 

Part I: The Platform Youth Pact - The Policy Context

 

 

1.  Aims

 

1.1. The cooperation of the Platform should be based upon Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 July 2004, creating the "Youth in Action" programme for the period 2007-2013where the Commission has presented the new Youth programme for the period 2007-2013. "Youth in Action" comprises five actions, including youth exchanges, the European Voluntary Service and "Youth of the World" which is designed to develop projects with third countries.

 

1.2. It should also take in consideration the related Act: Communication from the Commission - Making citizenship work: fostering European culture and diversity through programmes for Youth, Culture, Audiovisual and Civic Participation, where the Commission proposes developing European citizenship as a main priority for EU action. To this end it is necessary to make citizenship a reality. With this in mind, the Commission Communication proposes to update and modify several programmes due to end in 2006. These are programmes in the fields of youth, culture, audiovisual and civic participation.

 

1.3. The cooperation of the Platform is also based upon European Commission White Paper of 21 November 2001 on “A New impetus for European youth”. The main objective of this White Paper is to propose a new framework for cooperation among the various actors in the youth field in order to involve young people more in decisions that concern them.

 

 

The Platform Network strives to contribute to the implementation of the White paper by focusing on the relevant related Acts from European Council, and Communications from the Commission in the practical activities with especially the following in focus:

 

1.3.1 The Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 24 May 2005 meeting within the Council on the evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field, where the Council welcomes the Commission's evaluation of activities in the youth field following the White Paper on "A new impetus for European youth". It calls on the Commission to propose procedures to implement national reports on the common objectives in the field of participation and information.

 

1.3.2 The Communication from the Commission of 22 October 2004: Follow-up to the White Paper "A new impetus for European youth": evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field, where the Commission takes stock of the progress made since publication of the White Paper, in terms of the mandate expressly conferred upon it by the Council and the undertakings made with regard to all those involved in the process. The Commission's undertakings have all been fulfilled, and the widespread mobilisation of young people, youth organisations, public authorities, ministers and European institutions has been achieved.

 

1.3.3 The Communication from the Commission of 30 April 2004 - Follow-up to the White Paper "A new impetus for European youth", with proposed common objectives for a greater understanding and knowledge of youth , in response to the Council Resolution of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field. This involves four objectives; 1) identifying and organising existing knowledge relating to the priority themes participation, information and voluntary activities, 2) to identify and organise existing knowledge relating to other priority areas such as autonomy, non-formal learning, the fight against discrimination, education and training, employment, transition from education to employment, social inclusion and health. It also include 3) ensuring quality, comparability and relevance of knowledge and, 4) facilitating and promoting exchange, dialogue and creation of networks to ensure the visibility of knowledge.

 

1.3.4 Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field. This resolution aims to establish a framework of European cooperation to promote, in particular, the participation of young people in civil life and civil society, based on the open method of coordination

 

1.3.5 The Council Resolution of 25 November 2003 on common objectives for participation by and information for young people. This Resolution sets common objectives to develop and improve young Europeans' effective participation in democratic life and their access to information.

 

1.3.6 The Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field. This resolution aims to establish a framework of European cooperation to promote, in particular, the participation of young people in civil life and civil society.

 

1.3.7 The Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 14 February 2002 on the added value of voluntary activity for young people in the context of the development of Community action on youth. This resolution, which was inspired by the United Nations initiative designating the year 2001 as International Year of Volunteers, is part of the Youth programme , which includes a component on European Voluntary Service. It also refers to the many resolutions and other Council acts intended to encourage mobility among young people.

 

1.3.8 Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 28 June 2001 on promoting young people's initiative, enterprise and creativity: from exclusion to empowerment. This resolution invites the Commission and the Member States to promote young people's initiative, enterprise and creativity with the aim of giving the EU a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy.

 

1.3.9 Communication to the spring European Council of 02 February 2005, entitled "Working together for growth and jobs. A new start for the Lisbon strategy". Communication from President Barroso in agreement with Vice-President Verheugen related to the European Youth Pact, and regarding growth, employment and better governance.

 

1.4. The cooperation is based upon the decision of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 2004 on a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences. The Europass is a single portfolio enabling citizens to provide proof of their qualifications and skills clearly and easily anywhere in Europe. It comprises five documents designed at European level to improve the transparency of qualifications. Its aim is to facilitate mobility for all those wishing to work or receive training anywhere in Europe.

 

1.5. The cooperation is also based upon the European Youth Pact, promoting active citizenship, adopted by the European Council in March 2005, tying in with the European strategies for employment and social inclusion and the "Education and Training 2010" work programme, of which the main aim is “to improve the education, training, mobility, vocational integration and social inclusion of young Europeans, while facilitating the reconciliation of family and working life”.

 

1.6. The cooperation is following the Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council in September 2006 on the revised Community Lisbon Strategy about the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning. The framework should serve as a translation device between different qualifications systems and their levels, whether for general and higher education or for vocational education and training. This will increase the transparency, comparability and portability of citizens’ qualifications in different Member States.

 

1.7. The cooperation is also taking special consideration to the strategy for Inclusion of young people in the Social Policy with fewer opportunities in the EU “Youth in Action Programme (2007-2013).

The strategy is the common framework for the particular efforts to undertake by all member states in order to include young people with fewer opportunities, defined by the obstacles they face in life “for educational, social, physical, psychological, economic or cultural reasons or because they live in remote areas”.

 

1.8. The Platform will co-operate with the relevant authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Community, especially with the Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe.

 

1.9. Members should keep the relevant national, regional and local authorities within the youth sector, and their youth exchange centres informed about the Platform and its activities.

 

1.10. It should also take into account Decision No 790/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 establishing a Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level in the field of youthwhere the Council to adopt a new programme to support international non-governmental organisations operating in the youth field.

 

1.11.            The co-operation of the Platform is also based upon the Convention on the Promotion of Transnational Long-term Voluntary Service for Young People, as adopted on the meeting of the Ministers of the European Council delegates on 30th  March 2000 and signed on the 20th May 2000 during the 106th  session of the Ministers Committee. “The member states of the Council of Europe and the other States Parties to the European Cultural Convention, signatory hereto (... ) (believe) that trans-national long-term voluntary service, while providing non-formal education for volunteers and for the people with whom they collaborate, constitutes an opportunity for young people to learn and promote solidarity, as well as to serve society”.

 

1.12.            With reference to the recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of 10 July 2001 on mobility within the Community for students, persons undergoing training, young volunteers, teachers and trainers, to encourage Member States to remove all such obstacles to mobility so that the groups concerned benefit in full from the provisions of the Community acquis in the field of free movement.

 

1.13.            With reference to the final declaration of the fifth conference of European ministers responsible for youth, that took place from 27th to 29th of April 1998 in Bucharest, the responsibles have declared their motivation

to implement, from local to European level, an intersectoral, integrated and coherent youth policy, based on the principles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the European Social Charter.[1]

" to strengthen regional co-operation in the youth field for the purpose of improving participation, intercultural learning, mobility and access to information for young people”

“continue to explore ways of improving the quality of mobility projects by reducing or indeed eliminating obstacles, especially administrative and financial obstacles, to participation equal opportunities through further support to the Interrail Fund, and by looking for complementary means to make it easier to participate in youth activities”[2] " Convinced that increasing the mobility of young people, school children, students, researchers, all those being educated and their teachers in Europe is thus a major political goal and that it requires simultaneous commitment and effort by the European Community and the Member States."

 

With reference to the Action Plan for Mobility, the Council

"Note that the Lisbon extraordinary European Council recognised the urgency of removing obstacles and promoting mobility”

" Thus decides to approve a mobility action plan (….) based on 4 broad pillars:

The first pillar concerns actions aimed at promoting mobility through measures relating to the training of people who contribute to implementing mobility, developing multilingual skills and accessing useful information.

The second pillar covers the funding of mobility and seeks to identify a series of measures able to mobilise all the financial resources possible.

The third pillar aims to increase and improve mobility by multiplying the forms that it may take, by improving hosting and the organisation of timetables.

Lastly, the fourth pillar describes measures intended to develop periods of mobility and recognition of the experiences acquired."

 

1.14. The co-operation should also be based on point 19 of the resolution which figures in the Llangollen Charter of the Permanent Conference of the Local and Regional Authorities of Europe 1992

“Local and regional authorities are committed to do their job on the basis that their youth policy and especially their policy in encouraging international youth exchanges can play a role in promoting balanced regional economic development in Europe."

 

1.15. The co-operation should also be based on point 19 of the resolution which figures in the Llangollen Charter of the Permanent Conference of the Local and Regional Authorities of Europe 1992

“Local and regional authorities are committed to do their job on the basis that their youth policy and especially their policy in encouraging international youth exchanges can play a role in promoting balanced regional economic development in Europe."

 

 

 

Part II: The Platform Statutes in Action

 

 

2.1. In order to put the aims of the platform into practice the members will organise bi & multilateral Youth Exchanges, international Youth Initiatives, Youth Democracy Projects, European Voluntary Service (EVS), Leaders Training & Exchanges, international youth activities, and keep up a common web-portal at www.platformnet.org

 

2.2. Platform Camp is a multilateral youth mobility action organised by a Platform member and open for young people from all Platform members- and observer regions

 

2.3. A Youth Mobility Action is an action organised by Platform member or observer, and directed to all, or parts of the members, observers and organisers, and other co-operation partners. Youth Mobility Actions can be; camps, group exchanges, EVS, youth projects, work camps etc.

 

2.4. Exchange of good practices is an action, organised by a member or observer, directed to youth workers, leaders or decision makers in the youth field. Actions could be for example; exchange of experts, leader training, common seminars, training courses, job shadowing, language courses etc.

 

2.5. The practical arrangement for the activities in 2.1. should be based upon the "Guidelines for organising Platform Camps!" & "Preparation needed to take a group to a Youth Camp" as adopted in Kokkola in 1993 & reviewed in Pärnu in 1997 & Luxembourg in 2001

 

 

2.6. The Platform organises the activities directed towards groups and individuals on four main operational fields: Information sharing, Platform Camps, Mobility Actions for Youth, and Exchange of Good Practices

 

 

2.7. Information sharing is the primary level of co-operation between members and observers and is by giving open opportunity to learn to know the activities of the Platform, the basic instrument of recruiting new members

 

2.8. Each member & observer is responsible to nominate at least one person responsible informing about activities in English

 

 

Membership

 

2.9. Members of the Platform are accepted on the recommendation of another member and are starting participation in Platform activities.

 

2.10. The members can represent a country, a region or a local community.

 

2.11. In principle there can be more than one member from each country, but not on overlapping levels of administration.  Membership has to be agreed upon at the Annual General Assembly meeting.

 

2.12. A country, region or local authority invited to attend the Platform meeting by a member of the Platform can participate as an observer at Platform meetings until they are able to participate in the activities. Then they can become members of the Platform, following approval at a general assembly meeting. The Member which has proposed a new member should act as a mentor for the new member

 

2.13. Observers are defined as non-active members, or members without participation in Platform activities during three years.

 

2.14. On proposal from a member, the Platform General Assembly Meeting can adapt a person as honorary member. A honorary member is a person who has done extraordinary efforts within the Platform.

  

 

Meetings

 

2.15. The host country representatives will invite the members of the Platform to the Annual General Assembly Meeting. Each Member sends up to three representatives.  One of the representatives should by preference represent one of the organisations of the mobility activity.

 

2.16. The purpose of the Annual General Assembly Meeting is:

- to make decisions about new members

- to make decisions about the host country of the general assembly for the coming two years

- to co-ordinate evaluation of the activities of the last year on the basis of the report made by the host member representative.

- to prepare and approve a scheme for the coming year's bilateral and multilateral Platform activities. The host country or the secretariat has the responsibility for the exchange programme to be distributed to all members.

- to prepare and approve a scheme for the coming year's bilateral and multilateral youth mobility activities.  The host country or the secretariat has the responsibility for the programme to be distributed to all members.

- to prepare and approve a scheme for the coming year's bilateral and multilateral program for exchange of good practices.  The host country or the secretariat has the responsibility for the exchange programme to be distributed to all members.

- to promote discussion of youth policy issues.

- to discuss issues that the member countries want to raise.

- to agree upon the actions within the Platform-portal on www.platform-network.com and agree on a yearly fee for provision of the web-portal.

 

The decisions at the Annual General Assembly are taken following the consensus principle.

 

 

Organisation

 

2.17. The host country

The organisation of the Platform is arranged according the rotation principle. In order to secure the continuation of the work of the Platformthe host country is adapted two years before the host year. The host country becomes the Chair and Secretary for the coming host year after the General Assembly Meeting

 

2.18. Host countries 2005 – 2007

 

2005 Belgium, Flanders

2006 Estonia, Tallinn

2007 Spain, Murcia

 

2.19. Troika

Between and during the General Assemblies a Troika is responsible for preparation and co-ordination of the Platform activities. The Troika consists of the host country, the former and the forthcoming hosts. The Troika can involve representatives from other member regions in its work for special duties. 

.

2.19.1. Troika’s duties
The troika is responsible to co-ordinate activities, prepare information, prepare the      Annual General Assembly Meeting, and providing the web-portal.

 

2.19.2. Troika 2005 – 2007

2005 Hungary, Belgium, Estonia

2006 Belgium, Estonia, Spain

2007 Estonia, Spain, Poland

 

 

Secretariat

 

The host country provides the Platform secretariat for one year.

 

2.19.3. Duties of the secretariat

The secretariat is responsible to co-ordinate exchanges, prepare information, co-ordinate evaluation of Platform activities and prepare the forthcoming Annual General Assembly Meeting.

 

2.19.4. Secretariat 2005 – 2007

2005 Belgium, Flanders

2006 Estonia, Tallinn

2007 Spain, Murcia

 

 

 

Part III: The Platform Files for Action

 

 

There are different partners involved:

1.    the regional responsibles: the decision takers in the region

2.    the regional contact persons

3.    the camp organisers

4.    the participants

5.    the secretariat

6.    the troika

 

To be able to work in an open and transparent way and to facilitate the work of each partner the practical files are made:

 

There are different partners involved in the network:

7.    the regional responsible: the decision takers in the region

8.    the regional contact persons (sending and hosting)

9.    the camp organisers

10.  the participants

11.  the secretariat

12.  the troika

 

 

Remarks:
            a.    In some cases the regional contact person can also be the national contact person.
            b.    In some cases some of the functions may be joined in one person

 

.

 

Everybody has to consider that these files are just a tool to ameliorate the work of the Platform, should be treated in a flexible way, and should be a set of reminders to newcomers.

 

 

X-file for the persons responsible within the region for the practical organisation: the regional contact persons (RCP):

 

 

In each region there is a contact person who is doing the practical work for the Platform.

 

Her or his tasks are:

 

A.             Before the camp or other activity:

 

 

1.               to find camps, exchanges and other activities in their region that might interest the young people of other member regions in the Platform.

2.               to make sure the camps in their region are conform the Platform rules

3.               to promote the camps in the region

4.               to look for participants for the camps and other activities

5.               to look for partner groups for the exchange projects within the Platform.

6.               to keep in contact with the camp organisers in the own country and with the regional contact persons in the other regions.

7.               the RCP is attending the Platform meeting to :

·       propose the camps organised in the own region

·       contribute in a positive way in the evolution of the Platform

·       make agreements for future exchange projects within the framework of the Platform

·       contribute in the evaluation of the camps of the present year

·       have personal contact with the other regional contact persons

 

8.               once individual participants are found for a certain camp, it is the task of the RCP to follow following procedure:

 

a)   the participant is asked to fill in the application form used by each member region.

b)   The RCP sends this application form to the regional responsible of the hosting region and to the camp organizer.

c)    If necessary the RCP of the hosting region (HRCP) is sending a more detailed application form for the requested camp or activity

d)   Once the participation of the participant is confirmed the SRCP is responsible to make sure the participant and the HRCP get the necessary information concerning the camp and the meeting point (how to get to the camp)

e)   The HRCP checks if the participant got the necessary information of the camp he or she is going to

f)      The SRCP and HRCP make an agreement on the matters of payment of fees and on the matters of non-appearance on the camp or other activity

g)   The HRCP is responsible to send a confirmation of the group arrival to the SRCP once it has arrived.

 

 

9.               it is recommended that the SRCP organize a preparatory meeting for the participants sent before they leave

 

B.               Tasks to do after the summer : EVALUATION

 

 

·       evaluation of the HRCP

 

i. the HRCP  makes an evaluation together with the camp organisers to find out:

if there have been problems with the arrival of the participants, the running of the programme, the language, the food and accommodation, the information sent to the participants beforehand was sufficient etc…

ii.     if there has been problems with the organisation of the camp and if the causes were not linked with foreign participants, the HRCP should consider if the camp organiser will be asked  to organise a next time or if improvements have to be made

iii.   if the problems are linked to the behaviour of the foreign participants it is the task of the HRCP to inform the SRCP about this.

iv.   If a problem was linked to poor communication or bad information, this should also be communicated to the SRCP.

v.     A general summary about how the communication went within the Platform can contribute to the development of the Platform work, so HRCP are asked to mention encountered problems in the general meeting of the Platform if they are relevant for all the Platform members

vi.   The HRCP should get evaluation forms from all the persons participating in the camps and make sure the copies of the answers are sent to the SRCP’s at least 2 weeks before the date set out by the secretariat of the Platform.

 

B. Evaluation of the SRCP :

a)   The SRCP should make an overall evaluation from the information obtained from the HRCP-s and if possible from the participants themselves and send them to the Secretariat before the date set out by the secretariat of the Platform.

b)   If possible SRCP have an evaluation meeting with the participants or have contact by email or phone to clarify some items mentioned in the evaluation forms (ex: the food was bad: what does that mean?)

c)    If certain problems are mentioned, the SRCP should inform the HRCP about it

d)   A general summary about how the communication went within the Platform can contribute to the development of the Platform work, so SRCP are asked to mention encountered problems in the general meeting of the Platform if they are relevant for all the Platform members

 

 

X-file for the persons responsible for the secretariat and the Troika : the tasks of the secretariat:

 

According to the Platform declaration : article 7.1. ‘The host country is adapted two years before the host year. The host country is responsible for the continuity of the Platform and becomes the Chair and Secretary for the host year.’ And  in point 7.3.:

‘the host country provides the Platform secretariat’

 

there is a rotation system which works as follows: the organising region passes on the baton at the end of the General Annual Meeting and therefore also the secretariat to next years’ organising region. This region becomes then the  Secretariat for the year coming. Example: in 2004 the organiser of the Platform meeting is Hungary (Hajdu-Bihar). At the end of that meeting Flanders will get the baton, which means they are going to be the secretariat till the end of the General Annual meeting of 2005.

 

The tasks of the secretariat are:

 

 

1.               to organise the Troika meeting in order to prepare the Platform General Annual meeting  (in point 7.3.1. of the Platform declaration the duties are defined as: ‘The secretariat is responsible to prepare and distribute information, to evaluate Platform activities and to prepare the next AnnualGeneral Meeting’ and in point 7.2 .: During the general assemblies a troika is responsible for coordination Platform activities. The troika consists of the host country, forming and forthcoming host… and 7.2.1 : ‘The troika is responsible to co-ordinate exchanges, prepare information and prepare the Annual General assembly meeting and to accept Platform Activities between the General Assembly Meetings’)

 

2.               to organise the Annual General Assembly meeting : therefore they are responsible for:

·       making the overall evaluation of the activities organised in the previous year.

·       making sure the proposals for the next year are put in an overview at the meeting

·       in order to be able to do so they are also responsible for sending the  necessary documents to the members and observers.

·       for arranging all practical things for the Annual Platform meeting: to arrange for accommodation, meeting facilities, translation facilities wow: good meeting conditions.

·       For presiding the meeting

·       For organising the workshops

·       For making sure the points on the agenda are handled properly

 

 

3.               to accept Platform activities, in consultation with the Troika , in between General Assembly meetings

4.               to stay in touch with the members and observers of the Platform, with special attention to the Troika members



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