Following up on the Bonn Process Meet-up

On 8 July 2021, the first open meeting on the Bonn Process after the 3rd European Youth Work Convention took place: the Bonn Process Meet-up. The aim was for all interested stakeholders to meet and share what has been happening since the Convention in relation to the Bonn Process.

More than 120 people gathered for the digital meet-up from around 40 countries all over Europe.

The event started with welcome words from the host of the meet-up, Hans-Georg Wicke, Head of JUGEND für Europa, who highlighted the uniqueness of the Bonn Process. He pointed out the broad scale on which different stakeholders of the youth work community of practice jointly aim to move forward the development of the youth work field on an international scale. He gave an outlook on the intended supporting role and planned engagement for the Bonn Process by the German Convention hosts, and he invited the community of practice to use the opportunities to be engaged and contribute to the developments.

Precious exchange

Then participants met each other in small groups to get to know and update each other on what they have been involved in in relation to the Bonn Process and the European Youth Work Agenda.

The meeting progressed further on with inputs from three European stakeholders involved in the Bonn Process - Rui Gomes from the Council of Europe Youth Department, Charalampos Papaioannou representing the European Commission and Tanya Basarab from the EU-Council of Europe youth partnership.

Rui Gomes and Charalampos Papaioannou presented the first steps and plans of the Council of Europe and European Commission to support the Bonn Process with political backing, development of specific measures and opportunities provided by the existing European funding instruments. Tanya Basarab reported about the youth partnership's recent activities and publications with a focus on youth work and perspectives regarding a future role of the youth partnership supporting the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda.

Then participants in the meeting split into smaller groups to share updates according to one of the eight Bonn Process prioritiy areas. In stakeholder groups, they also shared updates and ideas on how to progress further with the implementation of measures in the Bonn Process.

Next Meet-Ups are planned

Finally, the participants were asked whether they would like to meet in the future, and the majority of the group responded positively and expressed specific ideas about what could happen in the next meet-ups. There was also an idea to organise virtual spaces for national delegations to meet as well as a space for the national co-ordinators to share their practice.

At the end of the day, the Bonn Process Meet-up provided many opportunities for mutual information, exchange and networking. Participants left the meeting with the overall impression that the Bonn Process has already kicked off and supported many inititives and ideas for the future.

The 3rd European Youth Work Convention was the largest online event for strengthening youth work across Europe, held in December 2020 during the German EU Council Presidency and the German Chairmanship fo the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe. The Convention was the kick-off event for the implementation of the newly created European Youth Work Agenda in the Bonn Process, hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and by JUGEND für Europe, the German National Agency for Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps.