Southern Youth Councils Priorities
As one of the three candidates supported by the informal cooperation between Southern Youth Councils, I strongly support the common priorities that have been agreed upon by our organisations.
You can discover these priorities here.
Good Governance Manifesto
Elections time is not only about a political rendez-vous for our platform. It’s in the first place a democratic momentum and an opportunity to take some time to look at the bigger picture.
A key element of the way we work together as a platform lies in a single word: governance. I believe it is essential for us to consider this issue when our board is being renewed. Debating about this topic is making sure we share the same vision and agree on what can be enhanced and which good practices have to be hand over by the previous board to the new one. Because the European Youth Forum only exists through its members and because the board alone cannot do anything, this shared vision is essential.
In this perspective I warmly welcome the work done by some member organisations to write the Good Governance Manifesto for the YFJ (which you can read here).
By placing member organisations at the centre it conveys a great feeling of belonging and it puts the board mission where it should be: deeply connected to the MOs. Being board member is in particular having the opportunity to develop relationships with them, to know more about their projects and what they stand for.
Board members also have to be aware of their active role in fluid and efficient communication. Relations between board members, MOs and secretariat have to be based on a few principles. Besides mutual respect and transparency, I believe listening to be the simplest and most essential principle. To maintain a continuous dialogue with MOs we should make the most of tools such as the existing blog.
Besides relations between the different stakeholders within YFJ, governance is also about the way board members work together. Listening, respect and transparency are still valid and they are essential for the board to work as a team. Teamwork doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing on everything. It means debating (especially when there is a strong disagreement), looking for a consensus when it is possible and knowing where each member stands. And when such common ground is defined, sticking to it. The president’s role in this matter is essential. The YFJ should have a board able to make strong political stand when needed. Finding balance between “diplomacy” and strong positions is one way for our platform to be recognised as an agenda-setter.
I’m happy to see the mention of YFJ as a “learning organisation”. I believe, especially at the beginning of any mandate, that the fact that people cannot know everything should be acknowledged. Not knowing isn’t an issue, as long as people are willing to learn and rely on others (MOs, members of the secretariat) to feed them with content. It is also the starting point to implement a quality handover involving training, and concrete tools to ease the process of taking new responsibilities.
Finally, to advocate more efficiently for all the great ideas we defend, we, as individuals and members of a platform, have to be exemplary. This is essential to our credibility.