As the national youth council of the UK, BYC holds the official seat at the European Youth Forum and the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council. 

Two trustees from from the British Youth Council board represent the UK at these international events.

Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council

One British Youth Council Trustee has a place on the board of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council. Through this we are able to support young representatives to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings and other international meetings of Ministers. This often gives us access to MPs and decision-makers in the UK to follow up and hold them to account for their declarations at these events.

For more information visit the CYEC Website.

European Youth Forum

Vision & Mission

To be the voice of young people in Europe, where young people are equal citizens and are encouraged and supported to achieve their fullest potential as global citizens.

The European Youth Forum is an independent, democratic, youth-led platform, representing national youth councils and international youth organisations from across Europe.

The Youth Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives, by representing and advocating their needs and interests and those of their organisations.


The European Youth Forum has five strategic priorities: Education, Participation and Youth Policy Mainstreaming, Youth Work Development, Human Rights, and Employment and Social Affairs. They also currently have three priority areas of work which are discussed and agreed amongst the members. They are:

  • Supporting and promoting youth volunteering
  • Helping build stronger youth organisations
  • Campaigning for an inclusive and participatory Europe, and the realisation of youth rights. This includes votes at 16.

Around these issues the Forum leads European-wide campaigns, brings organisations together to share practice and plan projects, supports a network of trainers that organisations can access, and carry out research and consultations to inform policy.


The European Youth Forum has over 100 member organisatios (MOs) who are either National Youth Councils, like BYC, or International Youth NGOs such as the Scouts or the Young Farners, from across the member states of Europe. These two groups form the two 'pillars' of the Forum.

It is staffed by a group of 25 young people with a secretariat in Brussels, headed up by a secretary-general, with different responsibilities according to the work areas of the Forum.

The YFJ has a board of 10-12 people including a President and Vice-president who are drawn from the membership and who usually hold a two-year term. They are called the Bureau, and they also focus on different themes according to their speciality.

All board and secretariat members are under 35.

 International _europeanyouthforumdiagram

  • Member Organisations (MOs): this is what YFJ is composed of. All YFJ bodies (apart from the Secretariat) are composed of the people who come from the member organisations.
  • General Assembly (GA): YFJ statutory body composed of delegates of Member Organisations. Meets once every 2 years, elects the Bureau, CBMA, and FCC (see below), amends Statutes, accepts new MOs, defines the YFJ work plan, adopts policies and adopts the budget. Each MO sends 2 delegates to the GA.
  • Council of Members  (COMEM): YFJ body composed of delegates of Member Organisations. COMEM meets twice each to adopt policies and work together on specific themes. Each MO can delegate one person to attend.
  • The Bureau: This is the governing body of the YFJ. It represents the Forum, runs the Forum between the General Assemblies, selects Working Groups and implements the policies determined by the Council of Members.
  • The Secretariat: This prepares the work of the statutory bodies. It carries out the daily work of the Forum under the responsibility of the Secretary General.
  • Working Groups: These are appointed by the Bureau. They are non-permanent working structures and their role is to offer their expertise and to assist the Bureau and the Secretariat in the main working areas of YFJ. Members of the Working Groups come from MOs and currently there are five Working Groups, each consisting of eight members, one for each of the 5 strategic priorities.
  • Financial Control Commission (FCC): This body is responsible for the internal audit of the finances of the Forum.
  • Consultative Body on Membership Application (CBMA): This follows membership applications by potential members and reports on it to the Bureau.

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