In the beginning of December, European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement to make 2022 the European Year of Youth, a year dedicated to those who “would decide the future of Europe”. The objectives of the Year are to listen, engage and promote concrete opportunities for youth, to bridge the gap between generations, and increase the young people’s role in EU’s policy and decision-making.
In the Commission’s formal proposal to designate 2022 the European Year of Youth to the co-legislators, the Commission President underlined that young people have been at the heart of the EU’s policy-making and political priorities, and it will strongly cooperate with youth to shape the EU future as a Union that “embraces the aspirations of our young people, grounded in values and bold in action”.
Besides, Commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, M. Gabriel noted that the European Year of Youth should bring a paradigm shift in the way the young people have been so far engaged in the EU’s politics and economics. As soon as the main Year’s objectives are to engage youth in new forms and ways of participation in EU’s future, a vital step is to bridge the gap between generations.
Reference to: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_5226
The Year’s main ideas
The Year of Youth will seek synergies and complement other EU programs targeting youth in all European socio-economic policy actions: from rural development programs focused on young farmers to research and innovation programs; from cohesion to climate change actions, including EU programs with international outreach or of a transnational nature.
A strong financial support is envisaged: e.g. such EU programs as Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps (with budgets of €28 billion and 1€ billion respectively) as well as the current programs, like the EU’s Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative are creating more opportunities for young people.
In 2022 too, a new program called ALMA will be launched to support cross-border professional mobility for disadvantaged young people.
Thus, the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 is the framework for EU youth policy cooperation to support youth participation in democratic life and to ensure that all young people take part in society; the EU Youth Dialogue is a central tool in these efforts.
Four main Year’s objectives
The European Year of Youth will pursue four objectives:
a) Renewing the positive perspectives for young people, with a particular focus on the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on them, while highlighting how the green and digital transitions and other Union policies offer opportunities for young people and for the society at large;
b) Supporting young people, including through the “youth-work assistance”, especially young people with fewer opportunities, from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds or belonging to vulnerable and marginalised groups, to acquire relevant knowledge and competences and thus become active and engaged citizens, inspired by a European sense of belonging;
c) Supporting young people to acquire a better understanding of, and actively promoting the various opportunities available to them, both from the EU, national and local levels, to support their personal, social, economic and professional engagement.
d) Mainstreaming youth policy across all relevant Union policy fields in line with the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 to encourage that a youth perspective is brought into policy-making at all levels of EU economics and politics.
More on Youth Strategy in: https://europa.eu/youth/strategy_en
The European year of Youth is planned to be officially launched in January 2022 under the French Presidency in the Council of Ministers.
More information in the following Commission’s web-links: = Commission proposal for the European Year of Youth; = European Youth Portal; = Online survey report.