Young people should be involved in decisions taken about their health and the environment. So say European Ministers of Environment and Health at the World Health Organization (WHO) Ministerial Conference held in Parma Italy in 2011. The European Environment and Health Youth Coalition (EEHYC) is formed as a result of this decision.

At the Conference, Ministers recognised the need for young people to participate in the policies they make on environment and health. They agreed to support the establishment of a European youth participation network. The network will represent young people and work in partnership with Ministers in addressing environment and health priorities such as safe physical environments, air quality, biological and chemicals threats in the environment and climate change. In the first development phase of the Coalition, young people, with support from the WHO, the German Government and the Italian Tuscany Region, have worked to build the structure and membership of the Coalition. This work is now complete and the Coalition is preparing to hold its first General Assembly.

The Assembly, to be held on the 11-12 November, will mark the beginning of a second phase of activity. National Youth Coordinators, from fourteen countries have recently been appointed by the Coalition to build national networks of young people and these representatives will come together at the meeting to elect an international Executive Board for the EEHYC and adopt an Action Plan for 2014.

The participants of the meeting will include, youth representatives from 24 countries, including the fourteen National Youth Coordinators, experts from the WHO Environment and Health programme and representatives from the German government.