The Stor-Elvdal hotel. Credit: Jan-Tore Egge

Regional Signal

Youth Regional Network build ties with weekend in Koppang, Norway


In a dynamic blend of collaboration and cultural exchange, the Youth Regional Network (YRN) orchestrated a highly successful capacity-building weekend in Koppang, Innlandet County, from September 22nd to 24th.

The event, a convergence of young minds and proactive initiatives, unfolded with workshops, thematic committee sessions, collaborative crafting of a YRN action plan, and valuable in-person networking opportunities.

Sigrun Myrvang, Chair of the YRN Committee on Youth Participation and Governance, shares the highlights of this weekend.

Established in 2008 by the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the YRN is a pivotal cross-regional platform. It champions active youth involvement at the regional level, uniting youth councils, parliaments, and organizations within AER’s extensive network.

“We have a lot youth that are pretty.. engaged in what their day-to-day life is, and they have told us what we should work towards, and work together with,” said the YRN President Jim Simonsen Jenssen, when asked about the weekend.

The YRN empowers young voices to articulate policy recommendations, engage in capacity-building, and exchange best practices.

The recently published YRN action plan underscores its commitment to addressing shared challenges and opportunities faced by European youth. This strategic blueprint navigates the diverse societal landscapes impacting young people, fostering a collective voice that resonates across regions and influences European youth policies.

The kick-off featured a YRN Presidium meeting on the first day, dedicated to coordinating the activities and formulating an action plan based on member feedback. Following this, the Presidium explored the sights of Stor-Elvdal, setting the tone for an engaging weekend. Friday afternoon brought participants together for a delightful dinner and quiz, fostering a sense of camaraderie.

Saturday commenced with a warm welcome from Ane Eriksen Hamilton, Deputy Mayor of Stor-Elvdal. Justin Sammon from the AER Secretariat then provided insights into enhancing collaboration between the network and the Assembly of European Regions (AER).

Committee meetings unfolded, strategizing future endeavours, including workshops and statements, with concurrent action plan refinement by the YRN Presidium.

Post a shared lunch, a thought-provoking workshop on “youth civic spaces” unfolded, featuring Norwegian youth actively engaged at local and regional levels.

The session, aligned with the “REVIVE – Revitalising Voices of Youth in Europe” initiative led by the Young European Federalists, facilitated cross-border exchanges on youth participation.

Beyond the political discourse, participants immersed themselves in Norwegian culture during the “Norwegian culture evening.” This vibrant affair showcased traditional Norwegian cuisine, an autumn market, a folk music concert, and a delightful array of waffles with diverse types of brown cheese.