Two hundred youth workers, community representatives and institutions from over 20 countries attended the lively and diverse conference that was held in Brussels as part of the Europe goes Local Erasmus+ project. As in previous years, a Swiss delegation was also in attendance.  

How can youth work be meaningfully documented and reflected on without wasting too much time? How can communities offer their young people a broad range of exchange opportunities? How does international youth work contribute to inclusion for all young people? And how can European concepts have an impact at local level?

Specific examples from European towns and communities were shared on these and other topics at the 3rd conference of the Europe goes Local project. The European Charter on Local Youth Work was also launched. The 200 or so conference participants included six delegates from Switzerland who relished the opportunity to network with and be inspired by their European colleagues. The “Logbook” digital documentation system – which is coordinated by the Swedish umbrella association KEKS and is already used in various countries – was of particular interest to the Swiss delegation.  It enables youth work activities to be documented and evaluated in a simple and goal oriented manner that is adapted to the local situation. This and other examples just go to show that you don’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel. There is already a great deal of expertise and good tools and strategies that can be shared to further develop youth work for the benefit of all.

Participants at the conference were very open to sharing this pool of experience. If nothing else, such Europe-wide cooperation also benefits young people, who are able to take part in diverse youth exchange projects thanks to sustainable international partnerships.

Europe goes Local is an initiative of Erasmus+ Youth in Action for local youth work. It aims to promote the quality and recognition of youth work through increased European cooperation and networking.