What is YEN?

Youth of European Nationalities (YEN) is the largest network of youth organizations of autochthonous, national and linguistic minorities in Europe.

Under the slogan “Living Diversity”, YEN represents the interests of young members of national, ethnic and linguistic minorities. Currently (as of April 2020) 41 member organizations from 18 countries are represented in YEN.

Since its founding in 1984 on Knivsberg in North Schleswig (Denmark), YEN has been advocating for the interests of minorities, with a special focus on young people. Together with its member organisations, YEN aims for a dynamic, multicultural, and above all multilingual, Europe.

YEN is run and led by young people, for young people, and it sees itself as a self-determined and self-organized youth organization, whose activity is carried out and determined by youth.


… out of the 453 million people living in the European Union, 37 million consider themselves a part of an ethnic or national minority and did you know that 156 ethnic and national minorities are resident within the EU?

… within the 45 countries of Europe 337 ethnic and national minorities live with almost 100 million members? That corresponds to 14% of the European population or to every 7th European.

… there are 90 languages in Europe, whereof only 37 are spoken as national languages? 53 of the languages are considered to be “stateless languages”.

… the critical edge for the survival of a language is estimated on 300.000 members? This means that about 80% of the European minority languages are endangered. Therefore it is necessary to protect and to foster the European minorities.

… that minority rights are human rights?