Focused on the themes of democracy, active citizenship and youth engagement, the annual flagship youth summit "Your Europe, Your Say!" by the European Economic and Social Committee titled "Youth Democracy Dialogues" was held on 23 and 24 March 2023. It saw the participation of 105 students from 35 EU member states and candidate countries and included workshops, a cultural element and two youth plenary sessions.
Judging by recent events, migration can be unpredictable and unprecedented, with EU policy being anticipatory and yet reactive. This paper highlights recent EU policy and developments, and the EESC's position in response to them.
The External Relations Section (REX) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is responsible for dialogue between European civil society organisations and their homologues from the countries with which the European Union has formal relations (e.g. under the form of a Free Trade Agreement). Through this dialogue, made possible by a series of bilateral bodies, and through specialized opinions and information reports, the Committee is able to concretely contribute to EU foreign policy.
- The EESC emphasises the importance of engaging young people in decision-making processes related to sustainability and the environment;
- suggests that youth organisations should have a leading role in this process;
- calls for the introduction of sustainability and environmental protection education from an early age.
- The EESC calls for constant attention paid during implementation to the most marginalised young people, including young people with disabilities;
- Believes that the expertise and experience of youth organisations in the EU, and around the world, is a great resource in the delivery of the plan;
- Recommends that target countries should be encouraged and given the tools to have their own tangible dedicated youth policies and national youth councils or equivalents;
- Suggests that activities focusing on education should be centred on equality, particularly protecting young girls.
Approach and priority areas of the Civil Society Organisations' Group for 2023
The EESC’s Civil Society Prize rewards innovative and creative initiatives that promote and have a lasting impact on European identity and integration. This year’s prize is being awarded in two categories – empowerment of young people in the context of the European Year of Youth, and actions in support of the Ukrainian people following the invasion by Russia.