The Structured Dialogue is a process for discussions between young people and policy makers about different themes, to make sure the opinions of young people are taken into account in defining the EU’s youth policies.
The themes and topics for discussion are decided at European level by EU Youth Ministers, whereas a committee of the current trio of EU Presidency countries, the European Commission and the European Youth Forum is responsible for coordinating the process and deciding upon sets of questions to be asked to young people across Europe twice a year.
These questions are then used as the basis for national consultations in each EU country, which are organised by National Working Groups, which in most cases are led by youth councils and include other youth organisations and stakeholders.
Some international youth organisations also consult their members and give feedback on the questions on an ad hoc basis.
The results of the national consultations and any additional input from international youth organisations are compiled into background documents for EU Youth Conferences, where youth representatives and policy makers have the opportunity to work together and present a joint message to the EU. The EU Youth Conferences take place twice a year and are hosted by the country that holds the EU Presidency.
The Presidency country will usually promote the recommendations of its EU Youth Conference and present them to the Council of the European Union to ensure they are reflected in Council Resolutions or Conclusions adopted by EU Youth Ministers.
The conference recommendations are also used by the European Commission to inform its future policy development.
There have been two full cycles of the Structured Dialogue so far. The first involved the Presidency countries of Spain, Belgium and Hungary, and looked at the theme of youth employment. The second cycle included Cyprus, Denmark and Poland, and chose a theme of youth participation in democratic life.
The third cycle of Structured Dialogue is currently in progress, with the trio of EU Presidency Countries of Ireland, Lithuania and Greece. The overall theme for this cycle is “Social Inclusion”, and each six month consultation will build upon the results of the previous one.
You can find out what happened in each of the cycles by using the buttons on the right of this page.
Each country manages the consultation process in its own way, to meet the needs of their young people. Click on the “Want to get involved?” button on the right to find out how to contact the National Working Group in your country.
On Social Inclusion of Young People
January 2013 to June 2014
Irish, Lithuanian and Greek Presidencies
On Youth Participation
July 2011 to December 2012
Polish, Danish and Cypriot Presidencies
On Youth Employment
January 2010 to June 2011
Spanish, Belgian and Hungarian Presidencies
In partnership with the EU Member States and :