The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has welcomed the designation of 2022 as the European Year of Youth, but feels that it should go beyond mere promotional activities: it should contribute towards the EU's Youth Strategy through clear plans and commitments aimed at achieving tangible results for all young Europeans.

The EESC debated the European Year of Youth 2022 at its January plenary, with the participation of Anne Kjær Bathel, representing the European Young Leaders' programme, Joe Elborn, secretary-general of the European Youth Forum, and Miriam Teuma, chair of the Council of Europe's European Steering Committee for Youth.

"It is essential that young people have a say in formulating today's and tomorrow's policies," said Christa Schweng, president of the EESC. "They are the future, so involving them and investing in them is crucial to building stable, peaceful and sustainable societies and developing policies that meet the specific needs of younger generations."

The EESC is uniquely positioned to work and liaise with youth networks, and is ready and willing to play a leading role in the Year of Youth, building on its successful initiatives such as Your Europe, Your Say!, the Youth Climate and Sustainability Roundtables and the EU Youth Climate Summit that it organises in early summer.

The EESC is looking forward to making a positive contribution to the European Year of Youth 2022. The year must produce tangible outcomes for Europe's young people in policy areas that impact their lives. (ks)