The European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy (EKCYP)
The EKCYP is an on-line database intented to provide the youth sector with a single access point to reliable knowledge and information about young people's situation across Europe. Linked to EKCYP is a network of national correspondents, who are youth policy specialists responsible for collecting national data. EKCYP had a twofold launch, first during Luxembourg's EU Presidency in June 2005 and then at the Council of Europe's Conference of European Ministers responsible for Youth in September 2005.
The Centre was created in order to enhance knowledge transfers between the fields of research, policy and practice through the collection and dissemination, to as many users as possible, of information about youth policy and research in Europe and beyond. An effort is made to include updated information about national youth policies in each of the Council of Europe's member states, as well as information about a number of topics spanning several countries. In addition, it provides information about various youth research topics and projects, as well as updates on conferences, events and forthcoming activities.
The EKCYP has been developed in the framework of the EU-CoE youth partnership. Both institutions emphasise the importance of a knowledge-based approach to youth policy-making, as expressed in their relevant political documents and strategies.
For the European Commission, better knowledge in the youth field has been a prominent objective since the adoption in 2001 of the White Paper “A new impetus for European Youth”. This was confirmed by the Council of the European Union in its Resolution on the European Commission Common Objectives on a Better Understanding of Youth.
For the Council of Europe, policy-making based on evidence has played a crucial role since the adoption of Recommendation 92(7) concerning "Communication and co-operation in the field of youth research in Europe" and was further boosted by the setting up of a mechanism, for carrying out youth policy reviews and policy advisory missions in 1997.
In 2009 and 2008, both the European Commission and the Council of Europe have renewed their strategies in the youth field: for the European Commission: "An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering" followed by the "Council Resolution on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)". For the Council of Europe : "Agenda 2020".
They confirmed the need for investement in research in order to promote the development of evidence-based policy in Europe. Both institutions highlight the relevance of the EKCYP in this context. Youth research is regarded as essential in order to achieve the overall objectives of a youth policy strategy.
As a result of the two new European strategies in the field of youth, a renewed forward-looking strategy for the EU-CoE Youth Partnership has been developed for the period 2010 - 2013. One of the three priorities is "promoting evidence-based policy" through further development of the EKCYP and its tools. The new strategy also calls for the further development of EKCYP through the setting up of national networks, consisting of EKCYP correspondants and all the members of the "youth knowledge triangle" (government representatives, youth researchers and young people).
Network of EKCYP-correspondents
Country information is supplied by the members of an extensive network of national correspondants (European wide network) designated by the national ministries responsible for youth policy. They draft and update country sheets and reply to questionnaires and also contribute to the fact sheets on cross-sectoral issues. Members of the network meet regularly to exchange ideas, and work together to improve knowledge provision within the EKCYP.
Document library and other tools
Offering users an opportunity to find more detailed information about young people, a searchable database provides documents relating to research, policy and practice. You can search by keyword or use the advanced search to further narrow your research criteria.
You can also find an experts database on which experts in youth matters can place their own portfolios setting up their expertise. Examples of good practice are available relating to paticipation and information, voluntary activities, better understanding of youth, employment, health and addictions, intergenerational dialogue, intercultural dialogue, education, sport and social inclusion.
Anyone can register into the EKCYP and all registered users can upload relevant research or policy documents to the document library, sign up to the expert database and share their experience with others by submitting news on youth related activities and events and examples of good practice in priority areas. All contributions (documents, news and examples of good practice) undergo a validation process before being placed on line.