Empowering youth to achieve sustainable development through education

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Practical information

  1. Composition of the study group
  2. Administrator / Assistant in charge: Ulrike MEISSNER / Luca PITRONE
  3. Contact


Education for Sustainable Development is recognized as an integral element of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on quality education and a key enabler of all other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, target SDG 4.7 aims to ensure that "all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development".

In line with the European Green Deal and to achieve that education and training contributes to the green transition, the European Commission (EC) has prepared a package of three initiatives, including

Against this background and in the context of the European Year of Youth in 2022, and in light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the objective of this own-initiative opinion is to:

  • analyse whether and how SDGs are embedded in the educational curriculum of the Member States; 
  • examine whether the approach by the respective Member States can be considered as a transformative education for sustainable development which can lead to a sustainable future and detect the limitations and barriers to implement such an education on a national level;
  • provide recommendations to support the EC and MS on how to foster opportunities and overcome challenges to further develop youth policies while ensuring that education to sustainable development is mainstreamed from an early stage.

The own-initiative opinion will draw its conclusions by looking at best practices at international, European and national level, as well as experience and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, in light of the war in the Ukraine, the objective is not only to look at the ambition for a green and just transition but also to ensure that education contributes to the promotion of a culture of peace which is the core of the UN Agenda 2030.