Chosen by the members of AER’s Youth Regional Network (YRN) the 2011 theme will look at three components of social inclusion: education, employment and civic engagement. In order to win the prize, candidate regions will have to show how their policies help youth with disabilities in the education system and prevent school drop-out, how they accompany them onto the labour market and make sure they remain in employment and how they involve young people with disabilities in regional debates and in the regional decision-making processes.
Launched in 2001 with the objective of reinforcing the integration of young people in society, the biennial Most Youth Friendly European Region Award (MYFER) is the only AER award rewarding youth initiatives. It offers the European Regions every two years the chance and possibility to make their projects and initiatives in youth issues known to a wider public and to spread the good experience gained in this work.
The AER sees in the competition a means to support, encourage and draw attention to the fabulous work that is going on and to let the good examples of how to improve living conditions for young people and to create understanding for youth work in society as a whole be an inspiration for other regions to start similar processes.
The competition shall also enhance the development of innovative youth work and youth policy with the aim of reinforcing the integration of young people in society and increasing their participation in public life. In a much broader context, selecting the most youth-friendly region is a good way of emphasizing and reminding us that by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we committed ourselves to giving priority to children and the young in decisions that concern them.
Further involvement of the YRN to celebrate MYFER’s 10 years
For the first time, this edition will see young people themselves pre-select candidates whose policies and projects will then be put to the test of an international jury.
AER is looking to reward a region with an integrated and wide-ranging policy in the field inclusion of youth with disabilities. However, in order to support regions which have put into place one or a few interesting projects and are willing to design a comprehensive policy in this field in the near future, AER will award a “Special Prize” to encourage their efforts.
The winning regions will be presented on the occasion of AER’s next General Assembly to be held in Açores (Portugal), from 24 to 25 November.
The deadline for submitting applications is 15 July 2011.
All this information and more is available on ww.aer.eu
The Assembly of European Regions is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together 270 regions from 34 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.