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EU Youth Ministers on democracy, future of work & EU Youth Dialogue


On the brink of the biggest display of European democracy, EU Youth Ministers met today to discuss what the future holds for young people and democratic life.

The meeting of the 28 Youth Ministers, part of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting (22-23 May 2019) included a policy debate on what measures Member States and EU institutions can take to increase youth participation, as well as the adoption of two policy documents:

  • the Council Conclusions on Young People and the Future of Work
  • the Council Resolution Establishing Guidelines on the Governance of the EU Youth Dialogue.

From the ongoing school climate strikes across the continent, to participating in many forms of political activism, petitions, social movements and protests, young people have demonstrated beyond doubt that they are engaged, active citizens.

Despite being less engaged in formal political structures, such as voting (28% abstention rate during the 2014 European elections), the European Youth Forum’s campaign and its latest videos show that they are concerned by inequalities and the impact digitalisation will have on the Future of Work.

What’s in the Council Conclusions?

The European Youth Forum welcomes the adoption of the Council Conclusions on Young People and the Future of Work. Recognising the challenges young people will face in the changing labour market as a result of demographic changes, technological advancements, globalisation, and climate change, the Council puts forward some key recommendations to ensure a youth-friendly future of work. The Council of the European Union highlights the important role that measures like the Youth Guarantee play in supporting young people’s transition into the labour market and calls on Member States to ensure its full implementation. Furthermore it promotes the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which is vital to safeguard young people’s social rights in the face of the changing nature of work. For this to happen, the European Youth Forum calls on EU Member States to ensure strong social investment in the next EU budget.

While we welcome the document’s strong call for quality and inclusive education, training, and the lifelong learning of skills to ensure that no young person is left behind, policy-makers must recognise that the high levels of youth unemployment and in-work poverty experienced by young people are the result of a lack of quality jobs for youth as well as a decrease in entry-level job creation. As long as these issues persist, young people will be unable to fully enjoy their social and economic rights both now and in the future.

For more information on the challenges and opportunities that young people will face in the future labour market, check out the European Youth Forum’s latest publication, The Future of Work and Youth.

Positive step for the EU Youth Dialogue

Following the adoption of the 9 year long EU Youth Strategy and the new EU Youth Dialogue last November, the Youth Ministers, under the leadership of Romanian Presidency, decided that a common approach to the governance of the EU Youth Dialogue should be formulated.

The European Youth Forum, International Non-governmental Youth Organisations and National Youth Councils across Europe actively engaged in negotiations, calling for youth organisations to be full and recognised partners at the national and European level governance of the EU flagship youth participation mechanism. The adopted Council Resolution is a commitment from the governments across the EU to continue to build participatory process and recognise youth organisations as important partners. We welcome the Council Resolution, that should serve as a minimum standard to Presidencies and all involved actors in providing space for young people and youth organisations to meaningfully engage and have a say on how the EU Youth Dialogue is organised. Particularly, young people should continue to have a say on what policy topics are the most relevant to them and how the EU Youth Dialogue can be meaningful to young people to participate in. The new EU Youth Strategy already had a very strong demand to involve more young people in the dialogue with decision-makers, and the European Youth Forum is committed to work towards this goal together with youth organisations, engaging young people from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life.

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