Putting young people in the spotlight

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European Year of Youth Putting young people in the spotlight

2022 is the European Year of Youth. The aim is to give young people better opportunities.

2 min reading time

Young women working together in a garden on an environmental project.

The EU aims to focus more on young people this year by strengthening volunteer programmes, for example.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

The main facts in brief

Young people have been particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which is why the European Union is putting the focus on them in 2022.

Among other things, measures will be taken to combat youth unemployment and more will be done to take the opinions of young people on board.

The plan is to hold a series of activities throughout the year in consultation with local authorities and youth organisations. 

What are the concrete objectives of the European Year of Youth?

Together with the countries and municipalities of the EU member states, the European Commission aims to support, involve and express its appreciation of the young generation by... 

  • ... encouraging young people to get involved in civic and political life so as to become active and engaged citizens.
  • ... combating youth unemployment. The focus here is the coronavirus recovery plan NextGenerationEU, which opens up new perspectives for young people such as high-quality jobs as well as education and training opportunities in the Europe of tomorrow.
  • ... doing more to take young people’s opinions and ideas on board in decision-making. In this connection, EU Youth Dialogue the Conference on the Future of Europe and the European Youth Forum will also have an important role to play.

How will the campaign year be organised?

The Commission will be coordinating a number of activities throughout the course of the year. This will be done in close collaboration with the European Parliament, the member states, regional and local authorities, youth organisations and young people themselves. The initiatives developed for the European Year of Youth will receive funding of eight million euros from Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps.

The full programme of activities and detailed information will be available on the European Youth Portal.

Why is there a European Year of Youth?

On 15 September, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced in her State of the Union address that 2022 would be declared the European Year of Youth. The reason: young people in Europe gave up a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic out of consideration for others. For this reason, they should now be the centre of attention and offered sound future prospects.

European Years have been declared by the European Union since 1983. Always dedicated to specific topics, they seek to initiate discussion at national and European level. In European Years, additional funding is usually provided for relevant local, national and cross-border projects.