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New EU Youth Strategy: a potential game changer for young people


Today the European Commission has launched its proposal for the new EU Youth Strategy - a promising plan that could mark an exciting turning point for the future of youth policy in Europe.

As revealed by our Youth Progress Index, there is improvement to be made by all countries to provide better conditions for young people to be included and shape their societies. With the EU Youth Strategy for the next 9 years put on the table in front of the Member States, the stakes are high to deliver for young people.

How to build a good youth strategy? Ask young people!

The process leading up to this proposal has been a real example of participatory policy making, and the European Youth Forum was pleased to work closely with the Youth Unit of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission in proposing the ideas and solutions outlined in our Resolution and proposals for new Structured Dialogue and Governance of EU Youth Strategy. Our joint discussions have led to a promising outcome, and we are ready to continue this discussion with Member States.

Changing the way we think about ‘youth issues’

Young people’s autonomy, wellbeing and access to rights are directly impacted by decisions made across many areas. The proposed EU Youth Coordinator and EU Youth Strategy Platform are welcome tools that could influence how policies affecting young people are decided in the EU. However, for youth to be targeted by all EU policies, these tools must be applied across all EU institutions and bodies in all areas, from social inclusion to environment.

The European Youth Forum also welcomes the National Action Plans and believes they are a step forward to accelerate the implementation on a national level.

Calling on young people to #SpeakUp

Youth participation in policy-making is a core aspect of the proposed EU Youth Strategy. We count on policy makers to put in place participatory mechanisms for youth involvement on all levels. That includes feedback culture and direct follow-up with young people on their proposals.

This crucial stage of follow-up is included in the new Youth Dialogue, and we believe that more young people will share their vision, ideas and participate when they see the outcome of their contributions.

New Youth Work Agenda - let's be ambitious!

The newly proposed Youth Work Agenda pushes for quality non-formal education that is both accessible and learner-centred, but most importantly - recognises its exceptional social value for young people. It will be an important task to empower youth organisations to improve life opportunities for youth from all backgrounds. We see support from the Erasmus+ successor programme, as well as sustainable financing on national level, as key elements to ensure more young people are included and benefit from non-formal education.

The European Youth Forum also welcomes the priority given to implementation of 2012 Council Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning and calls for Member States to step up and take more action to make the implementation of the Recommendation a reality.

The European Youth Forum is looking forward to further great cooperation with Member States on this significant and potentially very impactful EU Youth Strategy.

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