Who runs the EYP network? Part 3: A closer look into the work of the Councils
Across 40 countries, young people are the ones who plan and implement all activities within the European Youth Parliament network. The European Youth Parliaments’ Councils are working groups of the network on different tasks and topics set by the Governing Body.
What is an EYP Council?
The EYP Councils were introduced in 2013 to allow more active EYP members to participate in shaping and working for EYP on an international level. The EYP Councils are working groups of the Governing Body, and work independently on tasks set by the Governing Body and report on the progress of these tasks back to it. Find out more about the work of the Governing Body here.
Councils play a key role in implementing some practical tasks related to our existing strategy and programmes. Each Council works on a specific area and with a specific set of tasks, identified by the Governing Body. In addition, if the Councils want to, they also have room to develop own projects and additional tasks. Each EYP Council consists of around 6 active EYP members, one member of the Governing Body as the chairperson, as well as one staff member from the EYP International Office.
At the beginning of each year, the members of the EYP Councils are selected through an open call. Anyone who is interested in joining one of the Councils can put forward their application. Based on these applications, the Governing Body selects the members for the Councils for the upcoming year. The mandate period for the EYP Councils is usually one year.
The Governing Body member on each Council is responsible for its overall performance, and will in most cases also be the chair of the Council. Other leadership responsibilities within the Councils can still be assigned, especially when it comes to individual tasks and fields of work. The staff member from the International Office is not involved in executing the tasks and responsibilities of the Council, but helps the Councils with materials, advice and input from the staff’s perspective. The staff member is often there to also ensure proper knowledge management within and between Councils and continuity in the work of the Council.
What do EYP Councils work on?
In the beginning of the term, each EYP Council maps out its tasks and responsibilities, agrees on a task division or distributes portfolios among its members, and develops a timeline for the tasks throughout the year. Since the EYP Councils are working groups of the Governing Body, many of the tasks of the EYP Councils come from the EYP International Strategy, the priorities set but the current Governing Body, and the measures identified to fulfil the strategic goals of the EYP network. Additionally, the Councils have some core tasks in their respective fields. This could mean overseeing and supporting the work of new National Committees, giving input to topics discussed at an international level, updating the trainer database or rethinking the role of education in our network.
For most of its work, the EYP Councils work and meet online on a regular basis. Next to these online meetings, the Councils work over their respective e-mailing lists, and can also agree to use other online tools available. Depending on the portfolios and task division, each Council member is expected to work on his or her tasks and responsibilities also individually.
To faciliate the work of the EYP Councils, a joint EYP Councils Meeting is organised in Berlin, hosted by the EYP International Office. The meeting gives all Councils members the opportunity to meet each other, plan their work together, and already start working on some of the tasks.
Here’s what a current Council member has to say about their work:
“Being in a Council allows you to dig more into the development of the EYP programme’s core aspects. As a member of the Training and Members Development Council, I have the pleasure to work with a group of same-minded individuals who share my passion towards self-development of individuals in EYP on different levels. In our network, trainings happen constantly all over the 40 countries, both as separate events and as programme elements of sessions, both on a national and international level. As a TMD Council we assist in the development of these events, as well as the training culture in EYP.”
Nataliia Senatorova, 21, involved in EYP since 2014