Article picked up from the webpage of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels.


On 5-6 October 2016, the Mediterranean Conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) took place in Vienna, with a session focusing on examining the economic, social and political challenges faced by youth.


During the third session ‘The Way Forward: Enhancing Opportunities’ of the OSCE Mediterranean Conference which took place in Vienna on October 5-6, the European Union-funded UNESCO project NET-MED Youth served as an example of best practice to address challenges faced by youth.


The session led by H.E. Ambassador Alessandro Azzoni, Permanent Mission of Italy to the OSCE, examined the economic, social and political challenges that youth face both North and South of the Mediterranean. These include the insufficient participation of youth and women in the public and political sphere and in mainstream media and youth unemployment rates. Discussing ways to improve the lives of youth, the session provided a detailed explanation of the UNESCO project NET-MED Youth.


NET-MED Youth is a three-year project started in 2014, which has the objective of empowering youth. Operating in ten Mediterranean countries located in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood, the programme works with youth organizations to provide young women and men with the necessary tools to become active citizens. Youths are also given the skills to trigger change in their communities by participating in the development and monitoring of national youth strategies and youth-related policies and media content.


The programme organizes youth in three national working groups. The first national working group, Youth-specific Public Policy, develops the capacity of youth to advocate for the development of national youth strategies and policies. Youth organisations are supported to operate as monitoring entities that work towards improving the design of national youth legislation.


The second working group, Youth and Media, monitors and promotes youth representation in mainstream media and surveys youth opinion about the media. They seek to foster youth-friendly media, and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy, as well as capacity building programmes for young journalists.


The last national working group is Youth and Unemployment, which analyses the barriers to youth-employment with employment experts and national stakeholders. In this framework, the project organizes workshops which empower youth to voice their concerns about skills and employment.


Today, the project has trained over 2500 youth, and the EU and its Member States highlight this project as serving as an inspiration for other regional organisations or participating states to empower youth.


Article source.

In the field

Youth and Media


Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.

Youth and Employment


Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs. 

Youth Policies


Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.