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Euro-Med programme works to enhance youth engagement in political life

By Raed Omari - Apr 08,2014 - Last updated at Apr 08,2014

AMMAN — The Euro-Med Youth Programme on Tuesday launched a training workshop within the framework of the EU-funded Euro-Med Voluntary Service (EVS) accreditation process.

The four-day workshop gathers accreditors and trainers to prepare the implementation of the 2014 EVS accreditation process which is aimed at promoting the mobility of young people and better understanding between people through three types of action — youth exchanges, voluntary service, training and networking. 

Representing the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Affairs, which is carrying out voluntary programmes in cooperation with the EVS, Jihad Mhesien highlighted the importance of the workshop in enhancing young people's engagement in the Kingdom's political life.

Ibrahim Laafia, first counsellor and head of the operations section at the EU delegation in Jordan, said one of the major goals of the EVS is to offer young Arabs and Europeans a platform to exchange views and expertise on various issues, mainly democracy and dialogue. 

The Euro-Med Youth Programme is a regional project set up within the framework of the third chapter of the Barcelona Process, titled “Partnership in social, cultural and human affairs". 

The Barcelona Declaration, adopted in 1995, laid down the foundations for the Euro-Med Youth Programme and highlighted the fact that "youth exchanges should be the means to prepare future generations for closer cooperation between the Euro-Mediterranean partners”.

The Euro-Med Youth Programme focuses on activities promoting non-formal education, intercultural learning and active citizenship among young people, youth leaders, and youth workers operating within the framework of youth organisations and civil organisations dealing with young people. 

The programme has been designed to facilitate partnerships, encounters and networks within the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. 

According to the Euro-Med website, the EU has launched EVS accreditations for eight European Neighbourhood South countries — Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.  

The EU is funding the EuroMed Youth IV regional programme during 2010-2016 with a budget of 11 million euros as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The programme aims at stimulating and encouraging mutual comprehension among youths in the Euro-Mediterranean region, fighting stereotypes and prejudices, and enhancing a sense of solidarity among young people by promoting active citizenship. 

It also seeks to contribute to the development of youth policies in Mediterranean partner countries. 

Complementing the regional priority issues, the Euro-Med Youth Unit of Jordan has set the following national priority issues: enhancing the role of civil societies and the freedom of expression; spreading a culture of dialogue; providing the younger generation with knowledge, training and rehabilitation; and enhancing the values of active citizenship and their participation in political development and political reform.

Other priority issues include enhancing women's participation in the political reform process, boosting principles of a human rights culture and revising national legislation.

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