“You say you want a revolution, well you know…we all want to change the world.” said John Lennon.
At the brink of social and cultural revolution in the 60s, young people and also the Beatles were calling for change; they wanted to be heard by policy makers and the world. In 1972, the Council of Europe took a step towards connecting young people with their representatives by creating the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg.
This year the European Youth Foundation and the European Youth Centre are celebrating 40 years of “building Europe together” with young people.
Youth of today are still active in the effort for political rights and representation, and the European Youth Centre provides a place for young people to develop ideas and solutions to the problems affecting their world. Joint innovation has led to the creation of initiatives like Youth Peace Ambassadors, the Compass and Compasito human rights training manuals and, most recently, Young People Combatting Hate Speech On-line.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary, the Council of Europe will be holding an Open Doors Day on the 16th September as well as a Ministerial Conference from 23rd-25th September. The year will be rounded out "Youth Assembly 2012: Youth and Democracy, the young generation sacrificed?" from 5th-7th October.