About the project
From the perspective of the Council of Europe, social cohesion is firmly based on human rights (as codified in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Revised European Social Charter), as well as an acceptance of shared responsibility for the welfare of all members of society, especially those who are at risk of poverty or exclusion. In line with this, the youth policy of the Council of Europe aims at “providing young people with equal opportunities and experience which enable them to develop knowledge, skills and competencies to play a full part in all aspects of society”.
In 2009, the Council of Europe’s youth sector initiated the Enter! project aiming at the development of youth policy responses to exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people, particularly in multicultural disadvantaged neighbourhoods. This project was set in response to the growing concern and attention of the European Steering Committee on Youth and the Advisory Council on Youth, the governmental and non-governmental partners of the youth sector of the Council of Europe, to matters of social cohesion and inclusion of young people. The main concerns that informed the project were the multi-dimensional social and economic imbalances associated with young people living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and which put them at a disadvantage in accessing social human rights. The methodology of the project sought alternative ways of thinking and practicing youth work, starting from the involvement of young people themselves, relying on the competent action of youth workers and youth organisations and seeking medium and long-term impact through youth policies at local and national level.
From 2009 to 2012, the project produced the following results:
- the development of know-how in youth work and youth policy related to ensuring access to social rights for young people
- the development of an informal network of youth workers, local authorities, experts and young people, interested in working on access to social rights for young people
- the elaboration, through a participatory process, of a draft youth policy recommendation (submitted for decision by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe)
- the development of a full cycle of training of youth workers on developing youth work interventions on access to social rights for young people
- the development of quality criteria and a showcase of local youth projects on access to social rights for young people
- the organisation of the Enter! Youth Meeting, a large youth consultation process with young people on the elaboration of the youth policy recommendation
- stronger coordination between the youth sector and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, with a growing interest from both sides to reach out to and engage local authorities further.
Currently, the social and economic landscape in Europe shows how vulnerable youth and social policies are to economic fluctuations and how social exclusion and related phenomena, as segregation, “scape-goating” of minority groups, violence and discrimination, lack of jobs for young people, as well as a constant deterioration of social policy responses, can persist and grow in a climate of ever growing precariousness and permanent economic crisis.
The next phase of the Enter! (2012 - 2014) project will thus continue to address the problems related to the lack of access of young people to social rights, by consolidating the last three years project results and by promoting social rights for all young people. A long-term training course with youth workers will be held in closer cooperation with local authorities.
In 2012 – 2014, the Enter! project will be based on:
- Associating young people and youth workers as closely and directly as possible to the project;
- The recognition of youth work and non-formal education, mainly by using and reviewing the Portfolio of youth workers/youth leaders, and furthering the debate on the recognition of the competences of youth workers
- Developing the intersectoral cooperation in the Council of Europe, particularly by establishing partnerships between the youth sector and the Congress and Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;
- The provisions of the Enter! youth policy recommendation on access to social rights for young people and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities Resolution 319 (2010) and of the draft policy recommendation under discussion in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;
- The social human rights framework as a guiding tool for orienting and adapting social inclusion interventions, particularly as defined in the Revised European Social Charter and other approaches developed at European level;
- Seeking responses to social exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people;
- Interactions between youth work and policy-makers, especially at the local and regional levels, concerning the dimensions of learning, social cohesion, participation and safety, health and wellbeing of young people.
Enter! project aim and objectives
The Enter! project promotes access to social rights for young people, in particular of those exposed to social exclusion, discrimination and violence, through a variety of local, national and European interventions involving policy-makers, youth work actors and young people.
The objectives of the project for 2012 – 2014 are:
- To address situations social exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people living through non-formal education and youth work projects;
- To develop the competences of youth workers to initiate, support and evaluate projects for and with young people as a tool for youth empowerment and youth participation for access to social rights;
- To develop conceptual, educational and practical means of translating access to social rights for young people into the realities of youth work and policy-making;
- To advocate for the access of young people to social rights, particularly by developing partnerships between civil society actors, young people and policy-makers, at local, national and European levels;
- To consolidate the results of the first three years of the Enter! project (2009 – 2012), particularly in the areas of youth policy, non-formal education and recognition of youth work.
Enter! project activities
An evaluation meeting of the 2009 – 2012 Enter! project took place in April 2012, defined the achievements and shortcoming of the past three years project and provided input for the future.
A preparatory meeting for the LTTC (long-term training course) took place in September 2012, in Strasbourg, with the aim of defining a clearer framework to the LTTC, reviewing the current needs related to the LTTC, taking stock of already existing initiatives, defining the overall approach and developing an operational model for the planning and implementation of the LTTC. The meeting also supported the development of an informal network of potential partners for the LTTC.
The long-term training course that will prepare and support youth workers and youth leaders working with young people who face difficulties in exercising their social human rights will be launched at the end of 2012. Each participant will be asked to develop a concrete project with young people, based on specific quality criteria.
Other foreseen activities in 2012- 2014 are:
- A conference on local youth policies for social and economic inclusion, mainly focusing on policies for youth employment and social entrepreneurship of young people, in cooperation with local authorities
- National seminars on the role of youth policy and youth work for enhancing access to social rights for young people, which will take place in the member states of the Council of Europe
- Revision of the Portfolio for youth workers of the Council of Europe, on the basis of the experiences in the LTTC, with the aim of supporting the recognition of youth work and non-formal education
- Study sessions in co-operation with international youth organisations, organised in the European Youth Centres Strasbourg and Budapest
- Development of educational resources on access to social rights for young people, and specifically the dissemination and translation of Enter Dignityland! A game for learning about social rights with young people through human rights education
- Support for local youth projects on access to social rights for young people, through the involvement of the European Youth Foundation and other international donors
- National meetings and exchange of good practices, among youth workers, youth organisations, local authorities and young people.
An internet site and E-learning platform will ensure the project visibility and communication.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will cooperate with the Youth Department on this project, providing advice and assistance where possible.
The partners in the co-management system of the youth sector, namely the Advisory Council on Youth and the European Steering Committee on Youth, attach great importance to the issue of social cohesion and inclusion. They will be naturally involved in all phases of the development of the project as well as in the monitoring and evaluation. The involvement of the CDEJ will also potentially trigger the involvement of national authorities from the member states.
Co-ordination with the European Youth Foundation and other international donors in the support of participants’ projects will be sought.
Research will also have a relevant role throughout the project, and an advisory group, including youth and social policy researchers will accompany the process of development of both the LTTC and other activities in the project. Researchers will have both an advisory role, as well as a role in drawing evidence from the interventions included in the Enter! project, for future use.
The European Youth Forum and international youth organisations, particularly but not exclusively those addressing social exclusion, are also important partners in the LTTC. It is expected that stronger partnerships will be created both in order to associate more closely international youth organisations with the project, as well as in order to identify participants in the LTTC.
Connections with other projects, like the ones of SALTO Youth Resource Centre on Inclusion and Participation and SALTO Inclusion, will be sought.
 Committee of Ministers Resolution CM/Res(2008)23 on the youth policy of the Council of Europe
 In the project, by youth worker we understand professional staff or individuals working on a voluntary basis in youth organisations, youth work “classical” structures (youth centres, youth clubs), local authorities structures and other forms of youth work (for example, mobile youth work, social animation etc.). The document, as well as the whole project, adopt a broad understand of the profile of “youth worker”.