As the national youth council of the UK, BYC holds the official
seat at the European Youth Forum and the Commonwealth Youth
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
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
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
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.
- 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
- 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
- Financial Control Commission (FCC): This
body is responsible for the internal audit of the finances of the
- Consultative Body on Membership
Application (CBMA): This follows membership
applications by potential members and reports on it to the