2022 is the European Year of Youth, shining a light on the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital. With plenty of opportunities to learn, share your vision, meet people and engage in activities all over Europe.
Throughout 2022 the European Commission will coordinate a range of activities in close contact with the European Parliament, Member States, regional and local authorities, youth organisations and young people themselves. The initiatives will be supported by €8 million from Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. Other Union programmes and instruments will also significantly contribute to the objectives and activities of the Year. Young Europeans will benefit from many opportunities to gain knowledge, skills, and competencies for their professional development, and to strengthen their civic engagement to shape Europe’s future.
Objectives of the European Year of Youth:
- 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;
- Supporting young people, including through youth work, 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;
- Supporting young people to acquire a better understanding of, and actively promoting the various opportunities available to them, be it from the EU, national, regional or local level, to support their personal, social, economic and professional development;
- 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 policymaking at all levels.
The impact and legacy of all activities and engagement opportunities should be long-lasting, beyond 2022. While existing EU programmes dedicated to youth, like Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps, will obviously play a central role in the implementation and funding of the activities, the European Year of Youth aims at being cross-sectoral and building on all EU policies.
Several flagship initiatives from across several policy areas will be launched during the year. This includes for example ALMA, a new initiative to help young people who are not in employment, education or training to find their way to the job market by combining support for education, vocational training or employment in their home country with a work placement in another EU country. The European Year of Youth will also 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 will also be linked Conference on the future of Europe, where young people play a pivotal role. One-third of each of the European Citizens’ Panels is made up of young people, from 16-25 years, and an equal proportion of young people are among the panel ambassadors’, who relay recommendations to Conference Plenaries and discuss with MEPs, national politicians, Commissioners, and other plenary members from EU bodies and civil society. The President of the European Youth Forum is also a member of the Conference Plenary.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is the national coordinator for all things European Year of Youth in Ireland.