During the week-long youth conference, we had the privilege of joining in a wide range of experiences, from international workshops to a cultural evening. This time the meeting was hosted by Kaunas, Lithuania, with youth representatives from nine cities and six different countries.

More information

Satu Paasonen, Manager, Youth office, City of Jyväskylä, phone +358 14 266 7624, satu.paasonen[at]jyvaskyla.fi

Jassin Rezai, Coordinator -  participation education, Youth services, City of Jyväskylä, phone +358 14 26 64230, jassin.rezai[at]jyvaskyla.fi

Union of the Baltic Cities  (UBC) is the leading network of cities in the Baltic Sea Region with around 100 member cities. City of Jyväskylä has been a member of the network since 2007.

Representatives from the Jyväskylä youth council, Nea Auer, Wiivi-Maria Kasanen, Viivi Wahlberg, Katja Laitinen, Viljami Ihalainen and Åsa-Sofia Viittanen, participated in the Youthful Cities Commission's meeting in Kaunas on 14-18 October, 2019. 

But what on earth is UBC Youthful Cities Commission?

The role of UBC Youthful Cities Commission is to support cooperation between young people around the Baltic and to encourage their participation in decision-making. It pursues its goals by strengthening existing, established youth networks and communities, such as youth councils.

The purpose of the conference was to find new solutions and ideas for problems that young people are dealing with today
We brainstormed on themes such as drugs and alcohol, youth mental health and urban traffic. We worked together in different workshops looking for solutions to these problems. We were also able to share our achievements with others: chances were that our home city had already come up with solutions to an issue that other cities were still struggling with.

We were also invited as young delegates to attend the General Assembly of the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), which was held at the same time and where we had the opportunity to present our views regarding various ideas and innovations. We met with experts and local decision-makers and we also attended two plenary sessions, where we were introduced to the achievements of the participant cities, the European Capitals of Culture and their future plans.

Text: Nea Auer, Wiivi-Maria Kasanen, Viivi Wahlberg, Katja Laitinen, Viljami Ihalainen and Åsa-Sofia Viittanen