Dienstag, Juni 19, 2007


youth week

“You are turning into a penguin, stop it”
This is a quote from the “Hitchhikers guide to galaxy” where Arthur Dent says this to Ford. To understand the quote you need to know more about penguins.
Penguins like to stay in groups to remain warm and what they want most of all is FISH. Penguins are no daring animals and they do not feel the urge to explore.
But we want you to dare and to explore, we want you to stick up your head.

The European Youth forum is an umbrella organisation of almost 100 National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations. Together with our members we are trying to be advocates of social change, a change that would allow more people, already when being young, to enjoy the right of being who they are.

The European Youth Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in the shaping of Europe and the societies in which they live, and in improving the living conditions of young people as European citizens in today’s world.

The European Youth Forum defends the interests of all young people in Europe. As a platform, it is the representative body of its member organisations towards institutions and partners active in the youth field.

Whilst understanding everyone who wants to live a life as penguin, we will try to support young people in a way, so that they can stick up their heads and can go their own ways. And we will try to convert the cold wind blowing in ones face into a favourable wind supporting a young persons spine.

Youth organisations play a key role in reducing the gap between where decisions about society are made and where they are implemented. We do this by being there both when decisions are made and when they are carried out. We are engaged in opening up political processes at all levels, and making them accessible to young people. Our wish and ability is to contribute with a spirit of enquiry, new thinking and competence.

Different from penguins’ youth is not a uniform group, we are the ones understanding how to cherish diversity and knowing that our differences are our strength. We would like to explore – but still many barriers are hindering us, barriers such as visa regulations or bureaucratic obstacles.

One person that was never uniform and never stopped daring and sticking his head up was Peter Lauritzen. Many of you might not know him, but the hand full of people in this room who does know him, will be with me when I say that he was always committed for the rights of young people, he stayed young at heart and was a friend and mentor to many of us.

I hope the youth week will have a lot of success, with concrete recommendations and measurable conclusions. Enjoy the meeting and never stopp daring, because we want more then fish!

Hey Bettina!

Please remember that Penguins survive in extreme environments ;)
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