Monday, 13 June 2011

What Does It Mean To Be European?

Evolution NOW asks young journalists what it means to them to be European!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Twist and Pulse Vs Politics

Evolution NOW had the chance to talk to Britain's Got Talent Finalists Twist And Pulse and find out what they know about politics!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Structured Dialogue: Political Evolution?

The Tree of Change?
‘Structured Dialogue’: initially, it’s all to easy to balk at the very mention of these two words and recoil in sheer confusion or simply gawp at them quizzically as if you had just been asked to recite pi to the 30th digit.

But upon further analysis, the literal meaning, dialogue that is structured – or even conversation – makes more sense.

Bizarre title aside, Structured Dialogue is something that is set to change the world of politics for the better.


The breakdown of SD is as follows:

The European Union (EU) has set a youth strategy, and Structured Dialogue (SD) is a big part of it. The SD helps the EU to look back on, put into action and follow up on the EU’s co-operation in the youth field.

Structured Dialogue: multiple branches

Since it involves all 27 EU Member States (and a few more countries besides), the SD is done in 18-month blocks. These blocks have three countries take charge per ‘term’: these countries are then known as the ‘presidents’ for that particular ‘term’.

Each ‘presidency’ is then given a subject area to concentrate on, known as a ‘thematic priority’. This is then divided into three key areas. Once each ‘president’ has been given an area, that country then invites its youth to come and discuss it and decide how they would like for it to be implemented.

Each president country has a set time to do this (6 months) with whomever is last wrapping up the process for that 18-month period, known as a ‘work cycle’.

The president country has a group of people know as a ‘National Working Group’ (NWGs) to pick the young people to get involved in the discussions.

The EU also has a group to communicate with the NWGs and gather the responses. This group is known as the European Steering Committee, made up of loads of representatives from several other groups – including one from the Youth In Action Programme.


So let’s use a car as a metaphor: the EU is the manufacturer, each Member State is a constructor and the youth is the customer buying this car.

The EU wants to build this car, bit by bit, taking the customers’ opinions into account included.

The EU starts with the front of the car and says to three of the constructors: “One of you design a bonnet, the other design the front wheels and the front doors.”

Each constructor then goes to their country and asks the customers what they’d like to see in a bonnet/front wheel/front door design.

Six months later, they return to the manufacturers with their suggestions and then, based on a Structured Dialogue, make changes to the car’s design.

This creates a vehicle of change for the customer, partially built by the customer.

So for the first cycle, it was the trio-presidential collective of Spain-Belgium-Hungary, discussing Youth Employment.

During the next work cycle, it is the turn of Poland-Denmark-Cyprus, set to discuss ‘youth participation’. Poland will focus on ‘youth and the world’, Denmark on ‘creativity and innovation’ with Cyprus focussed on ‘participation and social inclusion’.

With these thought-provoking topics up for debate, we in the UK wait with anticipation to see who we will share our presidency with, and what topics we choose…

Lem Leon