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The Access! project of the Working Group Youth (WGY) of the European Music Council aims to give young people in Europe who are involved in music a voice in their future. Musicians, managers, musicologists and pedagogues starting out on their career have an important role to play in the shaping of the European music sector but are often sidelined and do not have access to the information and help they need.

So we held a European Youth Forum on Music in October in Turin, bringing together young people from across the continent to create, learn and network. Young keynote speakers set the tone for a weekend of interactive workshops on themes such as policy, education, digital strategies and music as a social tool. Participants also provided the content for a first draft of a European Agenda for Youth and Music with major themes being education, employment and resources. The WGY is using this as a launch pad for a wider consultation involving an even larger spectrum of young people, organisations and institutions throughout Europe.

The results of this consultation were brought together and analysed and a Manifesto for Youth and Music in Europe was produced. In this, the main topics are lifelong learning, professional training, mobility and dialogue, employment, resources, and youth as a resource. This was launched at the European Music Festival for Young People in Neerpelt (Belgium) and is being disseminated widely, together with practical advice on how to implement the proposals made. A range of presentations were made, including at the International and European Music Councils’ World Forum on Music in Tallinn in September 2011 and at the end of November 2011 at the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament.

Access! is supported by the Youth in Action Programme