From the 22nd to the 24th of September, the Youth Regional Network organised a successful capacity-building weekend in Koppang, Innlandet County! The programme included workshops, thematic committees’ meetings, collaborative work on a YRN action plan, social and cultural activities, and a great opportunity for YRN members to get together in person! Read more about the event’s highlights from Sigrun Myrvang, Chair of the YRN Committee on Youth Participation and Governance.
The first day of the capacity-building weekend, a YRN Presidium meeting was held with the primary purpose of coordinating the weekend as well as preparing a proposal for an action plan for the network based on responses collected from our members. The meeting was followed by some exciting sightseeing in Stor-Elvdal with the Presidium. On Friday afternoon, the participants who had arrived met for a joint dinner and quiz.
On Saturday morning, we welcomed all YRN participants for our first day of meetings, where Deputy Mayor of Stor-Elvdal, Ane Eriksen Hamilton, gave a welcome speech. Thereafter, Justin Sammon from the AER Secretariat gave a presentation on how we as a network can work more closely with the AER in their working groups and political structures. We then held committee meetings planning our future work and initiatives, hereunder workshops and statements. In parallel with the rest of the YRN Presidium, the committees also continued to work on the action plan.
After a joint lunch on Saturday, we had a workshop on “youth civic spaces” with Norwegian young people who get involved locally and regionally. This became a very interesting, creative and constructive arena for the exchange of experience across national borders on youth participation. This workshop was part of the “REVIVE – Revitalising Voices of Youth in Europe” work plan led by the Young European Federalists and co-funded by the European Youth Foundation (EYF of the Council of Europe).
In addition to the political work, the participants from all over Europe also got to experience Norwegian culture with a “Norwegian culture evening” with food based on Norwegian tradition and ingredients, an autumn market, a concert with Norwegian folk music and, not least, waffles with many different types of brown cheese!
The weekend has been incredibly educational – different regions in different European countries face many different, but also many similar challenges. Especially in relation to youth participation, which was a prevalent topic this weekend. During the weekend, we developed a targeted and content-rich plan with long-term goals and the concrete action required to achieve these goals. The action plan was adopted on Sunday morning. Interregional dialogue and exchange of experience, especially through on-site platforms, is essential to meet the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow!
Sigrun Myrvang, Chair of the Thematic Committee on Youth Participation and Governance