European Year of Youth 2022

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Opinia EKES-u: European Year of Youth 2022

Key points

The EESC:

  • welcomes the proposal to designate 2022 as the European Year of Youth and of setting this in the context of the post-pandemic recovery narrative; expresses concern however at the speed in which this proposal has been developed;
  • considers that the focus on activities and events should be connected to outcomes; calls in this regard on the need to develop clear indicators which go beyond just the output of activities and events;
  • points at the need to have clarity and focus in the proposal, as the agenda and priorities for the Year appear crowded; a long list of policy areas and shared responsibilities can obscure a clear focus on outcomes, responsibility and results;
  • considers that as the European Youth Strategy is the EU's leading policy commitment in the area of youth, it is important that the Year of Youth closely relates to this strategy, particularly the cross-sectoral dimension of youth policy;
  • calls for a more ambitious budget, and points at the need to ensure that harder-to-reach groups are included in this Year;
  • welcomes the work that this Year envisages with regard to external relations, and points at the important role that the relatively well-developed youth policies in Europe can play in our neighbourhood and beyond;
  • points at the importance of coordination activity in ensuring the Year's success; emphasises in this regard the need for greater involvement of civic society and of youth organisations, and considers that national youth councils and other major youth organisations should be equal partners in the National Coordinators Group involved in the co-creation and implementation of the Year;
  • calls on the Commission to ensure that young people and youth organisations at the Member State and sub-regional level participate where appropriate in the monitoring and oversight of the Year; points at the need for all institutions to further develop the voice of youth in their policy proposals;
  • welcomes the provisions on the European Youth Goals and on digital issues; with regard to the latter, the pandemic has pointed out that digital competences are not shared by all youth, and that many of these competences are more social than technological;
  • considers that the ''Year of …'' concept needs to be examined; recalls its previous opinions on such thematic years, amongst which calling for significant dialogue with civil society in the development of these years and for specific measures to ensure a link between the different thematic years and an enduring outcome of the events.