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Research project on participation and citizenship education and learning in European Youth Programmes

Conference for the discussion of interim results

On 18 and 19 October 2021, the RAY Network held an online conference on the interim results of the research project on participation and citizenship education and learning in European Youth Programmes (RAY PART Conference).

The conference aimed

  • at presenting and discussing the interim results of the RAY research project on participation and citizenship education and learning in European youth programmes (RAY PART), which are based on case studies from projects funded through Erasmus+ Youth (in Action) and the European Solidarity Corps programmes (conducted in 2020 and 2021).
  • to contribute to the findings with a participatory approach by involving selected participants, project leaders and project team members of the researched projects in the research process during the conference.
  • to give recognition to the willingness of the beneficiaries to be part of this research project.

The conference intended

  • to contribute to the visibility of the RAY Network and its research findings, with a focus on the RAY PART project.
  • to provide a space for a dialogue between policy makers, young people, youth workers, researchers, representative of National Agencies and other actors.

The conference was initially planned to be held in Strasbourg but was moved to an online space due to ongoing Corona pandemic and related restrictions. It brought representatives of the eight RAY PART partners (National Agencies of the European youth programmes and research partners – from Austria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Sweden), policy makers, other stakeholders of the European youth field as well as a few participants and project leaders of the researched projects together.

It was organised and planned by the RAY Network Coordination (at the Finnish National Agency for Education, EDUFI) and the RAY PART transnational research team.

Dialogue between policy makers, youth work practitioners, researchers and National Agencies

Within the course of the conference on youth participation and citizenship education and learning, a dialogue with policy makers was held on 19 October. The session aimed at having a ‘real dialogue’ between research, practice and policy, and thus bringing policy makers, youth workers and young people (participants of the researched projects), researchers, representatives of National Agencies of Erasmus+ Youth and other actors involved in the implementation of European Youth Programmes together. Furthermore, the dialogue was part of the participatory research and fed into the final research report of the project.

The following policy and decision makers took part in the dialogue:

Mr Victor Negrescu, Romania (Member of the European Parliament, vice-chair CULT (Committee on Culture and Education), promoting European Agency for Citizenship Education)

Mr Niklas Nienaß, Germany (Member of the European Parliament, member of CULT (Committee on Culture and Education), member of the Youth Platform of the European Parliament (EP Youth Platform))

Ms Birgit Klausser, Austria (Deputy head, Department European and International Family and Youth Policy, Federal Chancellery, member of the Programme Committee)

Ms Miriam Teuma, Malta (Chief Executive of Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Malta’s National Youth Agency, Ministry for Education and Employment, chairperson of the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Youth)

Ms Biliana Sirakova (EU Youth Coordinator, European Commission, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture)

>> The discussion of the preliminary research findings as well as the dialogue with policy makers resulted in recommendations related to participation and citizenship education and learning which are included in chapter 4 of the summary report of the RAY PART research project.

>>Some recommendations of the dialogue with policy makers went beyond the specific topic of this research project, such as: establishing youth work as a distinct profession in the European Union and to develop professional educational pathways for youth workers contributing to the professionalisation of youth work; this should include the validation of youth work competences developed through informal and non-formal education and learning; promoting the recognition of Youthpass, including outside the youth and non-formal education field, in order to demonstrate the learning processes and outcomes of young people and youth workers participating in European youth projects; translating the RAY-PART findings into specific recommendations for youth work at large.

In principle, the policy makers involved in the dialogue agreed to promote the recommendations developed during this conference and specifically during their dialogue with young people, youth work actors and researchers.


>> CONCLUSIONS from the dialogue and the conference can be found within the summary report of the research project on page 11.

Recommendations from the RAY PART research report

 >> RECOMMENDATIONS from the research project can be found in the summary report on page 12 and 13.

>> The SUMMARY REPORT of the research project can be found HERE (and in our ‘reports‘ section).

>> The RESEARCH REPORT can be found HERE (and in our ‘reports‘ section) as a pre-print version.


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