During the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in July 2010 a conference with over 400 participants took place in Gent, an expert meeting had been held before in Rotterdam. Already in Rotterdam, and then particularly in Gent, the participants from the field of Professional Open Youth Work realized the necessity of making their field of work visible and positioning it in the European youth political discourse. At the same time a desire to gain deeper insights and a wish for more topical contributions was also expressed by relevant stakeholders of the European youth policy context.gent

bOJA (Austria) and JONG Rotterdam (the Netherlands) addressed this necessity by initiating a letter of intent, which was signed by organizations from seven countries (Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, England, the Netherlands and Austria). This letter of intent was presented to the Belgian Presidency during the conference (LOI).

These involved organisations started there a network to underline the described needs and possibilities.

This network of Professional Open Youth Work in Europe (short POYWE) pursues the following objectives:

• Strengthening the position of Professional Open Youth Work
• Making the effects and the necessity of this field of action visible
• A common approach to quality development

The main focus is concentrated on the fact, that Professional Open Youth Work should play an important role in all matters of European youth policy, since Professional Open Youth Work provides various youth-friendly, innovative and long-term solutions for most topics concerning young people within the EU.