Empowering youth voices: CBSS Youth Ministerial 2023 held in Berlin

The recently concluded Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Youth Ministerial 2023 conference held in Berlin demonstrated the power of youth participation in shaping resilient societies.

The Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the German Federal Foreign Office recently hosted the Youth Ministerial 2023 conference on 21-25 May 2023 in Berlin, Germany. Themed “Safeguarding Resilient Societies through Youth Collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region,” the event welcomed active contributions from 30 young delegates from CBSS Member States.  

“The CBSS Youth Ministerial is a platform that allows the younger generation to articulate their perspectives on issues related to the Baltic Sea Region and affecting their communities,” said Aline Mayr, the youth policy coordinator at the CBSS, adding that “by feeding the views of young people into the broader CBSS decision-making, we enable meaningful youth participation.” 

The conference yielded two primary outcomes: a project proposal and a youth position paper, both of which are scheduled for presentation at the CBSS Ministerial Session 2023, taking place in Wismar, Germany, on 1-2 June 2023. Attending the event will be the foreign ministers of the Baltic Sea Region. 

In Berlin, the youthful participants presented four project proposals aimed at bolstering societal resilience within the Baltic Sea Region. These projects were evaluated by a jury including representatives from the CBSS, the German Foreign Office, the BSSSC, and the German parliament. The winning proposal, focusing on combatting disinformation, was awarded a seed grant of 5000 euros for continued development. The other projects targeted the issues of human trafficking, climate change, and civil security. 

In addition, at the CBSS Youth Ministerial, the young participants continued their work on a position paper that was initiated by the recently established Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum, notably outlining their collective stance on pressing issues affecting the BSR and the actions they wish to be implemented by the CBSS and the BSR foreign ministers. 

The programme incorporated an array of knowledge-sharing sessions, workshops, and group activities, providing participants with expert insights into the current challenges facing the Baltic Sea Region, as well as potential solutions. 

Co-financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and under the aegis of the German CBSS Presidency, the event underscored Germany’s ongoing commitment to promoting significant youth involvement within the Baltic Sea Region. It aligns with the German CBSS Presidency’s 2022-2023 objectives and encapsulates the potential of youth engagement in creating more resilient and secure societies. 

“The Youth Ministerial 2023 is a testament to CBSS’s commitment to facilitating youth involvement and addressing urgent issues within the Baltic Sea Region,” said Mayr. “The outcomes of the CBSS Youth Ministerial highlight the youth’s huge talent and creativity and set the scene for increased youth engagement in the future.”