The European Academy on Youth Work is a new initiative jointly organised by the National Agencies for Erasmus+, youth field, of Austria, Belgium (FL), Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania and Slovenia, SALTO-YOUTH Resource Centres and the Youth Partnership between the European Union and the Council of Europe. The first edition of the EAYW took place in Slovenia from 21 – 24 May 2019.
The EAYW aims to support innovation in youth work and youth work policy and to promote the development of quality youth work. It contributes to creating further a common ground on youth work and youth work policy in Europe. In this respect, it works on the demands of The Second European Youth Work Convention to further develop the concepts and practice of youth work, to find strategies to work on the current and emerging challenges faced by young people and to renew its practice and strategies according to the changes and trends in society and politics.
To this end, the EAYW wants to offer a regular platform for reflection on hot European topics with relevance to the youth field, on recent or current developments and future trends. It is a place for exchange and knowledge gathering on creative, transformative and innovative youth work practices, its tools and instruments, and for dissemination and exploitation of results of studies and research as well as youth work policies. Furthermore, it links to political frameworks and developments with an impact on youth work, and it offers space for discussion and exchange on related political strategies, decisions and developments. In this way, the EAYW also encourages cooperation among actors in the youth work field to further support innovation.
The EAYW is placed in the triangle:
Its explicit focus on new trends and innovation in youth work, and on their transformation into practice, makes the EAYW different from other initiatives. The EAYW seeks synergies and links with other platforms, in particular the European Youth Work Convention.
The target group of the EAYW are in particular youth workers, paid and/or volunteers, from all levels (local, regional, national, European), professionals in areas with relevance for the youth sector and representatives of youth work policies and public services, National Agencies and other staff working in youth work structures, from [I]NGOs and from science and research. Participants come from a wider European context, and where relevant and needed from other parts of the world. The EAYW targets in particular those looking for innovation or who have new ideas and initiatives to offer.
As a part of the role and activities of the EAYW, a biennial event for 120 – 150 participants and with a four-day duration is planned. In a longer-term perspective, the establishment of a management structure that guarantees the continuity, stability and relevance of the EAYW is foreseen. This is subject of further discussion after the implementation of the first edition of the EAYW.