Representatives from nine National Youth Councils, LiJOT was represented by Rita Jonušaitė, LiJOT coordinator of international affairs, from the nine Baltic Sea countries gathered together between 07th and 09th of November in Stockholm to represent a youth perspective at the 07th Strategy Forum on the EUSBSR.
The European Union has four macro-regional strategies, one of which is the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. This years’ Strategy Forum that gathers over 1400 actors from different institutions is called: ”One Region. One Future”. Unfortunately, since the Strategy was adopted in 2009, this is the very first time that the 20 representatives from the youth organisations take part in this high level policy discussions.
Cooperation between the countries in the region is very important and necessary, but it can only be legitimate by having all actors included in the decision making and in the implementation process continually.
Participating in three panel discussions, among others, with the Prime-ministers of Sweden and Finland, our representatives highlighted that every decision that influences our lives, need to be taken together with us. We were present and mainstreaming the youth perspective in most workshops. We truly hope that decision makers will make this Strategy Forum the start of a tradition of youth participation on this policy level.