Based upon a Finnish initiative from 1997, the 1st Ministerial Conference on Baltic Sea cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs took place in Visby, Sweden in 1998. At the meeting, the decision was taken to set up a Baltic Sea Secretariat for Youth Affairs at the Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany. At the 2nd Conference of CBSS Youth Ministers in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2002, the decision was taken to establish a Working Group on Youth Affairs (WGYA).
The EGYA, former Working Group on Youth Affairs, consists of representatives from CBSS Member States’ ministries responsible for youth policy. The Baltic Youth Forum and the Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein also participate in the EGYA. The objective of the EGYA is to promote the active participation by young people in the development of democratic and pluralistic civil societies in the States of the Baltic Sea region. These aims will be reached by strengthening Baltic Sea cooperation in the youth field; increasing youth mobility and youth exchange in the region; participation of young people in policy structures in the Baltic Sea Area, (e.g. BSSSC, UBC, BSPC); promoting youth issues as a cross-sectoral topic; including disadvantaged young people in the activities of youth organisations and structures; cooperating with other regional youth structures in e.g. the Barents and Nordic regions.