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Commission kick-starts work to make 2022 the European Year of Youth

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Following the announcement made by President von der Leyen in her 2021 State of the Union address, the Commission has adopted its formal proposal to make 2022 the European Year of Youth. Europe needs the vision, engagement and participation of all young people to build a better future, that is greener, more inclusive and digital. With this proposal, Europe is striving to give young people more and better opportunities for the future. The Commission is also publishing its latest EU Youth Report, which provides an overview of the situation of young Europeans in terms of education, training, learning, employment, and civic and political participation.

With the European Year of Youth, the Commission intends, in co-operation with the European Parliament, member states, regional and local authorities, stakeholders and young people themselves: 

  • To honour and support the generation that has sacrificed the most during the pandemic, giving them new hopes, strength and confidence in the future by highlighting how the green and digital transitions offer renewed perspectives and opportunities;
  • to encourage all young people, especially those with fewer opportunities, from disadvantaged backgrounds, from rural or remote areas, or belonging to vulnerable groups, to become active citizens and actors of positive change;
  • to promote opportunities provided by EU policies for young people to support their personal, social and professional development. The European Year of Youth will go hand in hand with the successful implementation of NextGenerationEU in providing quality jobs, education and training opportunities, and;
  • to draw inspiration from the actions, vision and insights of young people to further strengthen and invigorate the common EU project, building upon the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Commission is currently developing its programme of activities and all interested parties will be invited to submit their ideas and proposals. A dedicated survey on the Youth Portal will be launched in the coming days. Working together with other EU institutions, member states, civil society organisations and young people, the Commission will organize a number of activities throughout the year at European, national, regional and local level and consider new initiatives. The scope of activities will cover issues that mostly affect young people, following the priorities highlighted in the Youth Goals, such as equality and inclusion, sustainability, mental health and well-being, and quality employment. They will involve young people beyond the EU. The Commission calls on member states to appoint a national co-ordinator responsible for organising their participation in the European Year of Youth.

The Commission's proposal will now be discussed by Parliament and Council, with the opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions taken into account. The events and activities are expected to start in January.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The pandemic has robbed young people of many opportunities - to meet and make new friends, to experience and explore new cultures. While we cannot give them that time back, we are proposing today to designate 2022 the European Year of Youth. From climate to social to digital, young people are at the heart of our policymaking and political priorities. We vow to listen to them, as we are doing in the Conference on the Future of Europe, and we want to work together to shape the future of the European Union. A Union that is stronger if it embraces the aspirations of our young people - grounded in values and bold in action.”

Promoting our European Way of Life Vice President Margaritis Schinas said: “Our Union is an area of freedom, values, opportunities and solidarity unique in the world. As we are emerging stronger together from the pandemic, the 2022 European Year of Youth will foster these principles for and with our younger generations across Europe. It is our duty to protect and empower them because their diversity, courage and boldness are essential for our future as Europeans.”

Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “The European Year of Youth should bring a paradigm shift in how we include young people in policy and decision-making. The objectives of the Year are to listen, engage and promote concrete opportunities for youth. We also need to bridge the gap between generations. Today's young people are less interested in traditional forms of participation, but they are active in standing up for what they believe in, engaging in new ways. This Year wants to pay tribute and recognise the commitment of young people. With this Decision we start a co-creation process with all interested parties to contribute to the successful organisation of the Year.” 

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Background

The European Year of Youth will go hand in hand with NextGenerationEU, which reopens perspectives for young people, including quality jobs and education and training opportunities for the Europe of the future, and supports young people's participation in society.

The Year of Youth will seek synergies and complementarity with other EU programmes targeting youth across the policy spectrum - from rural development programmes focussed on young farmers to research and innovation programmes, and from cohesion to climate change actions - including EU programmes with international outreach or of a transnational nature.

Besides, Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps, with budgets of €28 billion and €1bn respectively for the current financial period, the EU's Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative are creating more opportunities for young people. While, in 2022 also, a new programme called ALMA will be launched to support cross-border professional mobility for disadvantaged young people.

The EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 is the framework for EU youth policy co-operation. It supports youth participation in democratic life and aims to ensure that all young people take part in society. The EU Youth Dialogue is a central tool in these efforts.

Finally, the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will draw its conclusions also in 2022, ensures that the views and opinions of young people on the future of our Union are heard. One-third of participants in the European Citizens' Panels and of Panel representatives to the Conference Plenaries are also young people, while the president of the European Youth Forum also takes part in plenaries.

More information

EU Youth Report

European Youth Portal

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European Commission

European Year of Youth 2022: Ideas and expectations from young people wanted!

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Following the adoption of the formal proposal to make 2022 the European Year of Youth a reality, the Commission is now calling on young people to share their expectations, interests and ideas of what they want the Year to achieve and to look like. The survey launched today will help clarify the themes, types of activities as well as the lasting legacy young people want to see from the European Year of Youth. It will remain open until 17 November 2021. Europe needs the vision, engagement and participation of all young people to build a better future, that is greener, more inclusive and digital. By organising a European Year of Youth, Europe is striving to give young people more and better opportunities for the future. Proposed by President von der Leyen in her State of the Union address, the Year will include a series of events and activities for young people. The idea is to boost the efforts of the EU, Member States, regional and local authorities in recognising youth's efforts during the pandemic and supporting and engaging with young people as we emerge from it. Further calls throughout 2022 will allow us to collect more ideas to include in the process and take the temperature on how the year is progressing. Young people will guide the process before and during the Year so that they can benefit from the Year to the fullest.

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European Commission

European Youth Week brings young people together across Europe

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Starting today (24 May), the European Youth Week (24-30 May) will host various events and inspiring sessions across Europe focusing on the theme “Our future in our hands”. The European Youth Week creates a space for young people to discuss relevant topics, contribute to initiatives, and learn more about EU opportunities in the field of youth. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, will participate in a panel debate on Wednesday 26 May and respond to young people's questions on how the new Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes will create more opportunities for youth and boost Europe's recovery.

Commissioner Gabriel said: “This European Youth Week aims to foster youth participation by engaging, connecting and empowering young people. It is the perfect launch pad for their ideas on how the EU works for them, and on the role they can play in our post-COVID recovery.  The new Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes offer a wealth of opportunities that can be true game-changers for young people in this process. I am looking forward to interacting with young people, in various formats, over the coming week, and working together to shape their future.”

During the panel debate 'Youth Participation starts here', Commissioner Gabriel will discuss with MEP Michaela Šojdrová, with the Vice President of the European Youth Forum and with a former European Solidarity Corps volunteer how the new programmes can strengthen young citizens' engagement in decision-making, embrace inclusion and diversity, and strengthen the green and digital transformations. Questions for the panel debate can be posted before the event here and on social media using #EUYouthWeek. Follow the live event here, from 13:30 on 26 May. More information about the European Youth Week is available online.

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Economy

Annual Intra-EU Labour Mobility Report shows that mobility within the EU increased in 2019, though at a slower pace

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The Commission has published the Annual Report on Intra-EU Labour Mobility - 2020. It identifies trends in free movement of workers and their family members, based on the latest available data (2019/2018). The report shows that mobility in the EU continued to grow in 2019, but at a slower pace compared to previous years. In 2019, 17.9 million Europeans lived in another EU country compared to 17.6 million in the previous year. The countries of destination for about half of working-age EU-movers (46%) were Germany and the UK, with a further 28% residing in France, Italy and Spain. Romania, Poland, Italy, Portugal and Bulgaria remained the top five countries of origin. The main sectors of activity of EU-movers in 2019 were manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade.

The share of highly-skilled persons who move to another EU country increased over time: in 2019, one in three (34%) EU-28 movers was highly-skilled, compared to one in four in 2008. Looking at the age groups of EU-movers, the report shows that they are most likely to move at the beginning of their careers. Among those who strongly intend to move, 75% are below 35 years old. Return mobility is also very significant: for every three persons who leave, two return to their country of origin. Since this report refers to data from the reference period 2018-2019, mobility to and from the UK is included. Please consult the Annual Report on Intra-EU Labour Mobility – 2020 for more details. The main findings of the report as well as an overview infographic can be found in the accompanying Labour mobility at a glance paper.

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