The latest news from the European Youth Card Association.
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In Memoriam Bob Forsyth
Bob Forsyth, former EYCA Director, passed away on February 12 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Bob was a huge part of the EYCA family, working at first as a facilitator in EYCA events before becoming the Association’s Director. In this position, Bob was an enthusiastic ambassador for the Association and its vision and worked constantly to support EYCA member organisations. But most importantly, throughout his career, Bob was a tireless champion of all young people and their contribution to society.

Bob’s funeral took place in Edinburgh on February 21 and was attended by EYCA President and long-time friend Jarkko Lehikoinen and current Director Manel Sanchez. Jarkko and Manel joined hundreds of people who had come to pay their respects to a man who made a difference everywhere he went.
Bob will be terribly missed and never forgotten.
The EYCA Family
New member organisation in Albania:
Welcome Youth Act Centre!
Youth Act Centre is the newest addition to the European Youth Card Association, having been accepted as Associate Member for the territory of Albania in February 2015. Here is a short introduction to the organisation from Jonida Lamaj, Youth Act Center Director.

Could you give us a short introduction to your organisation, the team working on the development of the European Youth Card in Albania and the partners supporting you?
Youth Act Center is a non-profit organization working to empower young people to take an active role in society. Based in Tirana, Youth Act Center aims to be a bridge between Albania and the international community for the development and integration of Albanian youth in a global society.
Our team consists of seven permanent staff members and several volunteers and part-time staff. Our closest collaborator and supporter is Marin Barleti University but we also have partnership agreements with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Culture, municipalities across the country, private and public universities and high schools, national and international organisations.

What is your vision for the European Youth Card in Albania and how does it relate to the EYCA vision of a Europe where all young people are mobile and active? Also, what do you think the card will represent for young Albanians?
Our main reason for joining EYCA was precisely the compatibility between our two organisations’ values and identity. Our vision for the European Youth Card in Albania is to empower young people and encourage them to become the leaders and engineers of the country’s development. Beyond discounts, we believe the European Youth Card can truly help Albanian young people to be more active, independent and mobile.
In terms of young people’s perception of the card, we think they will see it as a passport allowing them to be more mobile both inside and outside the country.
Even though you're still in the early stages of the project, could you tell us when you estimate you will be able to launch the card?
Youth Act Center has started promoting the European Youth Card in Albania since February. We’ve participated in several TV and radio programmes and youth fairs. We have been announcing the arrival of the European Youth Card in Albania across our communication channels and via our partners’ channels as well.
In the first part of March we ran a national survey among young people to help us identify the most important services and products for them. By June 2015, we intend to sign all the agreements on discounts on these products and services. We believe that in July 2015 we will be able to provide the physical cards to all Albanian young people aged 16 to 26.
Another avenue we are exploring is promoting the European Youth Card to tourism institutions in our country in order to connect the card with this growing sector.
The card is a completely new and innovative concept in Albania and we are confident we can use our experience and know-how of communicating with young people to make the card a success. 
EYCA Excellence Awards - You decide!
The EYCA Excellence Awards will be given out during the 31st EYCA Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. For the first time, EYCA member organisations will choose the winners of the Excellence Awards.  

EYCA member organisations will be able to nominate themselves for the Awards. The call for nominations will be launched in the next few weeks, followed by the online voting to determine the six winners.

The six Awards categories are: sustainable member organisation, quality discounts and benefits, youth mobility and citizenship, knowledge of young people, effective PR and communications and active contribution to EYCA.
The best of luck to everyone!
 Introducing the European Youth Card Travel Guide
The European Youth Card Travel Guide is a growing collection of articles presenting the best opportunities and benefits for young people visiting countries in the EYCA network. 

Two articles have been published so far, highlighting the most attractive and useful discounts for visitors in 
Austria and Andorra. The next article in the series will focus on the best discounts for young visitors to Belgium.
New country profiles will be added periodically so stay tuned to!

Launching the Mobility in the Mind programme
Drawing on the know-how and experience of EYCA member organisations, the Mobility in the Mind programme supports young people to develop their entrepreneurial skills and co-create career opportunities for themselves and all young people in Europe. The programme was launched through a Symposium hosted by Movijovem in Lisbon between March 17 and 20.
A truly youth–centred programme, Mobility in the Mind is coordinated by a young person - Miquel Guijalba. We asked Miquel a few questions about himself and the next steps in the programme.

Miquel, could you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and experience with the European Youth Card before you started working for EYCA? 
First of all, I would like to thank EYCA for this chance to introduce myself and for giving me the opportunity to become the Mobility in the Mind coordinator.
I am 25 years old and I come from Catalonia, Spain. Before working for Mobility in the Mind, I did a one-year European Voluntary Service in Ljubljana, working for Mladinska Kartica, the European Youth Card in Slovenia. During my time at Zavod Mobin, I helped to design an online rewards platform inspired by Young Scot Rewards and aiming to encourage active citizenship and participation among young people.
However, this was not my first contact with EYCA. I got my first Carnet Jove in Catalonia when I was 16. I also had the EVS European Youth Card during my time in Slovenia, so the European Youth Card has been with me for the better part of the last 9 years.

The Symposium that launched the Mobility in the Mind programme took place in Lisbon. Now that you've met the EYCA Young Innovators and heard all about their projects, how do you feel about the programme and its aim to involve young people in co-creating new routes to employment?

Mobility in the Mind has just started and I am extremely motivated. It is a one-year pan-European project which involves 20 young people from five different countries in order to support them to develop their business plans in five different economic sectors with the support and mentorship of EYCA members and experts in specific business areas.
The aim of the Symposium in Lisbon was to create a common framework and define a common vision for the programme. The Symposium also brought together nearly twenty Young Innovators from across Europe and we had the chance to hear about their ideas, their expectations and their projects.
I was very excited to meet the EYCA Young Innovators who were equally happy to be part of the Symposium. It was definitely an inspiring and motivating experience for everyone involved. The great energy of the Symposium will be the fuel for our work in the following months.
What are the next steps in the programme?
During the next seven months all delegations - the Croatian Youth Hostel Association, Centro Turistico Studentesco e Giovanile from Italy, the Polish Youth Projects Association, Asociatia EURO<26 Romania and Evropski omladinski centar, Serbia - will organise national seminars which will bring together Young Innovators, EYCA members, and experts in order to develop their projects and to design new strategies to connect young people with opportunities to be more employable and entrepreneurial through the European Youth Card. The best is still to come! 
Gaining knowledge of young people via apps:
A case study from Mecenat, Sweden
Mecenat, the EYCA member organisation in Sweden, has had great results both in developing app technology to support their services and in using this new technology to gain more insight into the needs and preferences of young people.

The use of mobile devices to access information and discounts from Mecenat is steadily increasing. In the autumn of 2013 more than half of the visitors to the Mecenat website came from a mobile device. Now the figure has risen to +65%. Two-thirds of the users visit the website in the app and the rest in the mobile version of the Mecenat website. When it comes to emails, nearly 70% of young people read them in their phone.
The Mecenat app now has close to 800 000 downloads in a population of approximately a million students in Sweden. Following the marked increase in app usage among Mecenat cardholders, the organisation has shifted its surveys into the mobile app using a tool developed in collaboration with an established survey company. The new technology has allowed the organisation to reach its cardholders more easily and with quick results. The web-based tool makes it possible to view results in real time and see how attitudes towards various issues change over time. It creates opportunities to quickly adapt communications and it can also be used for lobbying on various issues. Used properly, the results of the app surveys can have a great impact among decision-makers and the media.
The latest national survey run by Mecenat provided some interesting insight into the needs of Swedish young people, their habits and expectations:
  • 63 % would like schools to teach them more about how to influence the political process
  • 54 % use public transport to school, 19 % bikes
  • 32 % buy a new computer every three years
  • Facebook will continue to grow amongst the young, Instagram will remain at the same level and Snapchat will increase distinctly.
EVS European Youth Card Awards
For over 15 years EYCA has been working together with the European Commission to offer all young people in the European Voluntary Service a free EVS edition of the European Youth Card. As part of its work with the EVS programme, EYCA has now launched the EVS European Youth Card Awards. 

The Awards are a celebration of the achievements of young people in the European Voluntary Service and aim to highlight the great mobility example they set for all young people in Europe and beyond.
The first edition of the EVS European Youth Card Awards will take place between April 1st and May 15th 2015. During this time, EVS volunteers are invited to tell their EVS story in a 60-second video which they can upload to The two most inspirational videos, as voted by the public, will win two all-inclusive trips to Athens, Greece and Larnaca, Cyprus.

The prizes are offered by EYCA member organisations Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation in Greece and the Youth Board of Cyprus.

Find out more on the EVS European Youth Card Awards website at!
European Youth Cards now part of the
National Youth Strategy in Serbia
Evropski omladinski centar (EOC), the EYCA member organisation in Serbia, enjoys a long-term partnership with and support from the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sport. This partnership has now been taken a step further through the inclusion of European Youth Cards in the Serbian National Youth Strategy 2015-2025.

The National Youth Strategy now lists the ‘enhanced availability of European Youth Cards, as the mobility tool for young people’ as one of the actions which will help achieve ‘Enhanced economic, cultural and administrative preconditions for mobility of young men and women’.
The Action Plan for 2015-2018, which is in the final stages of development, also includes the objective to "increase the number of European Youth Cardholders by 30% by 2018 in Serbia". This is the first time that European Youth Card is officially recognized in the strategic youth policy document in Serbia. In addition, the European Youth Card is the only specific youth policy tool which is explicitly named in the document.
This new development and recognition of the potential of the card opens the door to new avenues in exploiting European Youth Card as youth policy tool in the next ten years.

No Hate Speech Movement in Serbia
One example of EOC working closely with the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sport is the No Hate Speech Movement in Serbia. In support of the pan-European movement, EOC has issued a special No Hate edition of the European Youth Card. Over 4.000 of these cards are now in circulation. In addition, 8.492 young people have participated in the various field activities of the campaign while 42.500 young people have been reached via online activities.
European Youth Work Convention 2015
Brussels, April 27-30
Organised under the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the second edition of the European Youth Work Convention will take place in Brussels between April 27 and 30. The event will bring together over 450 policymakers, practitioners and academics.

While the 2010 edition of the Convention highlighted the diversity of youth work in Europe, this second edition aims to bring together complementary knowledge and experience in order to find common ground within youth work in Europe. The Convention debates and discussions will inform a Declaration which aims to give new impetus to youth work policy in Europe and a clear direction for the elaboration of a new European agenda and action plan on youth work.
On April 27, in the framework of the Convention, EYCA and the Council of Europe Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card will host a seminar on the role of European Youth Cards in youth work. The seminar will be attended by representatives of Council of Europe member states and EYCA member organisations.
EYCA is an official partner to the 2015 European Youth Work Convention and will be represented at the event by President Jarkko Lehikoinen and Director Manel Sanchez. For more information about the Convention, please visit
EU Youth Conference, March 23-26, Riga
The EU Youth Conference which took place in Riga between March 23 and 25, under the Latvian Presidency of the European Council, brought together 210 young people and policy makers to discuss the theme of “Empowering young people for political participation in democratic life in Europe”. 

Taking into account the suggestions made by nearly 40,000 young people who took part in the Structured Dialogue consultations, participants in the Conference formulated a set of
joint recommendations on tackling the low levels of political participation among young people. The issue is to be brought forward for a high-level policy debate of the EU Youth Ministers at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council on 18 May 2015.
EYCA member organisations have supported and promoted the consultations with young people in the framework of the Structured Dialogue process and a representative of the Association was also present at the event in Riga. 
Europe Starts from Your Home Door!
This week, between March 29 and April 1, European Movement Estonia has hosted the seminar entitled 'Europe Starts from Your Home Door' in Tallinn.
The seminar brought together several EYCA member organisations to explore how European Youth Cards could further support the provision of quality youth information.
More information will soon be available.
Upcoming events
Council of Europe Partial Agreement seminar on the Role of European Youth Cards in Youth Work in the framework of the 2015 European Youth Work Convention, Brussels, April 27 
Council of Europe Partial Agreement seminar on the Role of European Youth Cards in Implementing Youth Policies in Council of Europe Member States followed by the Young Scot Awards Gala, Edinburgh, April 30
31st EYCA Conference | The European Youth Card: Beyond Boundaries
Gothenburg, Sweden | June 11 – 13, 2015
Preparations for the next EYCA Conference and General Assembly are underway in Sweden. The application procedure has been open. You have until May 12 to apply!
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This EYCAtcher is published by the EYCA Office
European Youth Card Association, Rue D'Alost 7-11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
tel. +322 8806843; e-mail:

With the support of the European Commission. The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the opinion or the position of the EC.
The European Youth Cards are supported by the Council of Europe in the framework the Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility through the Youth Card.
Contributors: EYCA Office and EYCA member organisations
Pictures: European Youth Card Association, EYCA member organisations