Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum

The Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum (BSRYF) gives young people in the Baltic Sea Region a platform to voice their opinions and promotes their involvement in organizations and policy-making.

About the BSRYF

The Baltic Sea Region Youth Forum (BSRYF) provides a platform for young individuals and representatives of organisations in the Baltic Sea Region to voice their opinions on the issues at hand, advocating for meaningful youth involvement in organisations and institutions while encouraging their active participation in policy-making.

Through promoting decision-makers’ receptiveness to the concerns and ideas of young people and bolstering trust in policy-making, along with incubating youth-led initiatives and projects, the BSRYF aids in addressing the challenges currently facing the Baltic Sea Region.

Backed by the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the BSRYF’s members include youth organisations such as regional and national youth councils, as well as young individuals who strive to make a difference in the BSR, alongside other stakeholders.

How to participate

The BSRYF is open to all pan-Baltic organisations and networks, national and regional youth councils, and youth organisations in the Baltic Sea Region. Individuals or groups engaged in activities related to the scope and purpose of the forum are also eligible to participate. 

Depending on your availability and motivation, there are several levels of participation in the BSRYF:

  • Simple member of the BSRYF. To become a member of the BSRYF, you simply need to register. You will then receive regular updates and information about the BSRYF and youth-related events and initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region. In addition, if you are between 16 and 30 years of age and residing in one of the current CBSS Member States or being a national thereof, you can also vote in the BSRYF elections.
  • Member of the BSRYF Committee of Youth Representatives (CYR). Members of the CYR are elected during the BSRYF Election Meeting, which takes place once a year, usually in late spring. Membership is open to young people aged 16-29 residing in one of the current CBSS Member States or being a national thereof.
  • Member of the BSRYF Steering Group (SG) – individuals. To become a member of the Steering Group (SG), candidates need to first have been successfully elected to the CYR before being appointed to the SG.
  • Member of the BSRYF Steering Group (SG) – organisation. To become a member of the Steering Group (SG), interested organisations must show that they operate in the BSR and in accordance with the values of the CBSS, and work on youth-related topics. 

The application window will close on 15 April 2023.



Objectives

Overall, the BSRYF seeks to drive meaningful youth participation and youth cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. Its specific objectives are to:

  • Create networking possibilities for youth organizations, initiatives, and individuals in the Baltic Sea Region to ensure a broad representation and impact of young people, active in the region, 
  • Educate young people on decision-making in the Baltic Sea Region, and decision makers on how meaningful and valuable youth participation is ensured,
  • Convey opinions and facilitate communication on initiatives between young people and decision makers in the Baltic Sea Region. 

Activities

The BSRYF activities include: 

  • Organising regular online networking meetings
  • Developing and publishing policy recommendations
  • Hosting an annual stakeholder meeting for youth organisations
  • Supporting the CBSS presidency to hold a CBSS Youth Ministerial Forum
  • Coordinating specialised sub-groups and youth working groups
  • Supporting activities within other fora
  • Implementing a communication strategy 
  • Conducting research, analysis, and monitoring of issues within the BSRYF scope

Structure

The BSRYF is an open format for youth cooperation and meaningful youth participation in the Baltic Sea Region. Its governing body is the Steering Group (SG). The Committee of Youth Representatives (CYR) is its legislative body, developing proposals for its work on the CBSS’s key themes and priorities.

The Committee of Youth Representatives (CYR) – the legislative body

The Committee of Youth Representatives (CYR) is the legislative body of the BSRYF, exploring new perspectives and policies concerning core themes of the CBSS, facilitating youth participation and promoting the operations of the BSRYF. The CYR consists of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 persons between the aged of 16-29. The CYR elects its own chair and co-chair and other relevant officers, and appoints its representatives to the Steering Group. The role of the CYR is to explore new perspectives and policies concerning core themes of the CBSS, facilitate youth participation and promote the operations of the BSRYF. 

Steering Group (SG) – the executive body

The BSRYF is governed by its executive body, the Steering Group (SG). It is constituted of five persons, namely three representatives of the BSRYF CYR, and two representatives of the BSRYF partner organizations and networks. The Steering Group is appointed every year by the CYR.

Role of the CBSS

To maintain some flexibility and ensure that it is youth-driven, the BSRYF is not embedded in the official structure of the CBSS.

Nevertheless, the Secretariat of the CBSS executes administrative tasks within the CBSS Secretariat and coordination point of the BSRYF, in close collaboration with the CBSS Presidency and the CBSS Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), which maintains an overall advisory and supervisory role. 

The BSRYF is the institutionalised successor of the Baltic Sea Youth Platform (BSYP), a CBSS-led project on meaningful youth participation that ended in 2022.

Key documents

Mandate

Engagement of young people in the development of the Baltic Sea Region was highlighted in the CBSS Ministerial Declaration A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2030 – the Vilnius II declaration, with the following text:

“Young people participate and are represented in a meaningful way in institutions and decision-making processes giving impetus to efforts to reach a more resilient, gender equal and safe Region.”

Contact

Aline Mayr, CBSS Policy Officer for Youth, Regional Identity Email: [email protected]

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