What is Structured Dialogue?
The themes and topics for discussion are decided at European level by EU Youth Ministers; then 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, and in most cases they 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.
What is the result?
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 three full cycles of 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 has taken place with the trio of EU Presidency Countries of Ireland, Lithuania and Greece participating; the overall theme for this cycle was social inclusion and each six month consultation has building upon the results of the previous one.
How to get involved
Each country manages the consultation process in its own way, to meet the needs of their young people. If you want to get involved, you can contact the National Working Group in your country for further details.