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Generation Austerity: When governments cut budgets young people suffer. Don't do it again.


Austerity policies taken in the early 2010s by various governments under EU pressure have affected multiple areas in the lives of young people. Widespread cuts in public spending on essential things like education, social security, or basic public services deepened existing inequalities and imbalances within society.

This report explores the specific ways in which young people were affected by these measures, looking at the case study of Spain.

As our societies slowly recover from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European rules that led to austerity policies in the 2010s are threatening to make a comeback. This report focuses on the impacts of the ‘first wave’ of austerity measures, in an attempt to warn of the dire consequences of a ‘second wave’ of austerity on young people in Europe.

Related publications

Youth organisations

The situation of youth organisations across Europe

Motion - 18/05/2024

Youth Organisations across Europe are facing an increasingly challenging situation. Political and economic circumstances are leading to shrinking civic spaces and therefore a shrinking chance of youth organisations to fulfil their purpose and represent the voice of young people. Read the motion to find out which of the European Youth Forum's members have been impacted and how, as well as what we commit to internally as part of our Strategic Plan and what we call for externally.

Safeguarding civic space

Protecting civil society and civic spaces in Georgia

Motion - 18/05/2024

In March 2023, the Government of Georgia initiated work on a legislative proposal on “foreign agents” that would have forced civil society organisations to be registered as being under foreign influence should they be receiving funding from sources outside of the country. As Georgia initiated negotiations for EU membership merely 6 months ago, this underscores how fragile Democracy and the Rule of Law are in our societies and how civic spaces must be protected tirelessly every day, everywhere.


Empowering Youth Voices: Defending Democracy and European Values

Motion - 18/05/2024

We cannot deny the European Union and its values are facing threats from both inside and outside. The European Youth Forum is committed to actively speaking out against these threats and protecting the values of intercultural understanding, democracy, respect, diversity, human rights, active citizenship, and solidarity.