Intercity Youth Conference 2022 – Presenting Youth & pop-up youth work in Croatia (case of Petrinja)

The 10th InterCity Youth Conference took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, between 27 June and 29 June. The main topic of this years edition was Youth Participation. It is organized by Intercity Youth, the European network of local departments for youth work, in cooperation with Movit, the Slovenian National Agency for Erasmus+: Youth and the European Solidarity Corps programmes, and will be hosted by the City of Ljubljana. The conference gathered more than 100 representatives of municipalities all over Europe with the aim to create a strong impetus for further development of youth participation as a central element of social development and support for young people to participate in their local communities.

Announcing the conference, Jonas Agdur, chair of InterCity Youth, stated that: ‘The Council of Europe Recommendation on youth work, the Declaration of the 3rd European Youth Work Convention and the European Charter on Local Youth Work provide all the support and guidelines needed to further develop and strengthen youth work. We, as municipalities, play a key role in this development, but if we are to be successful, our work has to be based on and support participation of young people.’

The main highlights of this year’s InterCity Youth Conference focused on the participation of young people in everyday activities and how to encourage and support them in the process of co-creating activities through youth work, including policy agendas and decisions. There were several lectures and workshops presenting examples of good practice from various organisations and municipalities throughout Europe, serving as a basis for a discussion on how to respond to the needs and challenges of young people, and how young people can contribute to development and change in their local communities and to society as a whole. Through study visits around Ljubljana, participants were also be able to learn about good practices in youth work related to youth participation.

OBJECTIVES of the conference 2022 were;

  • to promote and strengthen a holistic approach to youth participation as a process of cocreation of everything from youth work activities to the everyday life of communities, as well as political agendas and decisions;
  • to provide examples of good practice linked to young people’s participation on the local level, showcasing its value and impact for both young people and the society;
  • to inspire and function as a starting point for future European intermunicipal cooperation around youth participation through Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps;

The target groups of the conference are participants from Erasmus+: Youth Programme countries and Partner Countries Neighbouring the EU:

  • civil servants responsible for youth work in their municipality (heads of youth work departments/units or equivalent);
  • managers or coordinators of organisations (public or NGOs) responsible for the provision of local youth work.

Partners suporting the organisation of the conference were  National Agencies of the Erasmus+:Youth  Programme of Belgium/Flanders, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands within the partnership Europe Goes Local, the Public Institute Young Dragons Ljubljana, and KEKS.


Association IKS team members Sabina Stipanec Grgić, Matea Marić and Nadja Matešić have been invited to share some perspectives on youth work in Croatia and experiences of youth work and community work in a post earthquake crisis context with emphasis on socio-cultural activities. 
With the seminar session under the title: Youth & pop-up youth work in Croatia (the case of a post-earthquake community) we strived to take the participants on a trip to a country where youth work & youth workers as they might know it (actually!) still do not exist! We tried our best to give the participants an insight to a whole new world of NGO based youth work in Croatia. During this session, we mainly focused on presenting our experiences in working with youth in a post-earthquake community and how pop-up activities can lead to a change! We also had the opportunity to share experiences of good practice networking in a crisis situation with the Coordination of Sisak’s Youth Associations and the space of Youth center Skwhat in Sisak, with special emphasis on cultural programes and activities produced in collaboration with Alternation Association.

The conference served as a very well organised platform for exchange of experience, knowledge, good practice examples and networking. 

We thank our hosts for this great opportunity and all very inspiring moments that we are brining back to our community!



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