The EAYW is a strategic cooperation of National Agencies of the Erasmus+ programme, youth field, and the European Solidarity Corps[1] and SALTO-YOUTH Resource Centres. The EAYW aims to support innovation in youth work and youth work policy, to promote the development of quality youth work and to contribute to creating a common ground on youth work and youth work policy. It offers a regular platform for reflection, exchange and knowledge gathering on innovation and current European topics, trends and developments in and with relevance to the youth field.

In order to support the further development of youth work and youth policy, the EAYW wants to enable learning, as a field, about why, when and how innovation in youth work happens and under which conditions innovative approaches and practices are successful in responding to current developments and challenges faced by young people across Europe.

In this respect, the EAYW responds to the demands expressed in the final Declaration of the 3rd European Youth Work Convention to encourage and support the different stakeholders in youth work in Europe to strive “towards the maintenance of the good structures and practices that already exist, their development when the need arises, and the space for innovation in our thinking, our organisation and our practices”. Especially “in a post-pandemic Europe, youth work must seek to innovate and go further than the paths already known”.[2] 

The outcomes of studies and reflections and the exchange of good practices, views and debates undertaken in the framework of the EAYW should support the further development of youth work as well as political frameworks for youth work development in Europe and thus contribute to the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda through the Bonn process.

Biennial events for 120 – 150 participants are part of the role and activities of the EAYW. The first edition of the EAYW took place in Slovenia from 21 – 24 May 2019. The second edition was originally planned to be held in Slovenia in November 2021 and has been postponed to 31 May – 3 June 2022. As part of the 2nd EAYW, an interactive online programme of activities entitled Learning in Times of Disruption and Change will be organised between November 2021 and April 2022.

The EAYW also includes the production of resources on the topic of innovation and current trends and developments. Outcomes of a study on factors supporting innovative approaches in youth work will be published in autumn 2021. Resources further include video podcasts with EAYW Advisory Board members, articles and good practices.

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 who have a keen interest in learning about and contributing to new and innovative initiatives and developments, in order to further develop youth work or frameworks for youth work in their own context.

[1] National Agencies of Austria, Belgium-FL, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden

[2]Final Declaration of the 3rd European Youth Work Convention, Signposts for the Future (Bonn, 10 December 2020)