Category Archives: Youth

Youth-focused actions contribute towards the education, training, mobility, vocational and social integration, as well as the development of active citizenship of young people within the European Union (EU). The European Youth Pact (2005) provides support to meet all these challenges. As part of the strategy for employment and social inclusion, the “Youth in Action” programme supports cooperation between the different actors involved in the youth field, encourages exchanges between young people and enables them to participate in voluntary activities in order to develop active citizenship.

EU Youth Strategy

EU Youth Strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU Youth Strategy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

EU Youth Strategy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 27 April 2009 – An EU Strategy for Youth: Investing and Empowering – A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities [COM(2009) 200 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The communication provides a strategy for future youth policies. It seeks to establish a cross-sectoral approach to empower young people in Europe to face a number of current challenges, in particular regarding education, employment, social inclusion and health. Young people should be given the resources and opportunities to achieve autonomy.

The current framework of cooperation, which will expire in 2009, has introduced a youth dimension in other policy fields as well as served to influence national policy-making. Nevertheless, the framework needs to be developed further, both in terms of its coordination and its impact on other policy areas. The scope of the framework also needs to be enlarged to reach young people with fewer opportunities.

The EU’s vision for young people is based on two approaches: investing in and empowering youth. The proposed new strategy pays particular attention to youth with fewer opportunities. Collaboration between youth and other policy areas, as well as collaborative policy-making through the renewed open method of coordination (OMC) will be improved. In the context of the latter, young people will also be able to express themselves in a structured dialogue.

The new long-term strategy consists of three overarching and interconnected aims that are closely associated with those of the renewed social agenda, with several fields of action proposed under each aim. Each field of action consists of a short-term objective and specific actions to be undertaken by Member States and the Commission, based on their respective spheres of competence. These will be assessed every three years.

Under the aim of creating more education and employment opportunities for young people, the following fields of action are proposed:

  • education: non-formal education should be better integrated to complement formal education, its quality should be developed and outcomes recognised;
  • employment: to facilitate the transition of young people from school, inactivity or unemployment to work, national and European employment policy actions should respect the principles of flexicurity. Moreover, education should aim to provide the skills demanded by the labour market;
  • creativity and entrepreneurship: the development of talent, creative skills, entrepreneurial mindsets and cultural expressions should be promoted among young people.

The following fields of action are proposed under the aim of improving young people’s access and full participation in society:

  • health and sport: to prevent and treat obesity, injury, addictions and substance abuse, promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles among young people and encourage collaboration between youth workers, health professionals and sporting organisations;
  • participation: to increase young people’s participation in the civic life of their communities as well as in representative democracy, provide support to youth organisations, encourage the participation of non-organised youth and provide better information services for young people.

The aim of fostering mutual solidarity between young people and society incorporates the following fields of action:

  • social inclusion: to prevent the social exclusion of young people, the relevant actors such as parents, teachers as well as social and youth workers should be mobilised;
  • volunteering: to support volunteering by young people, more opportunities, including cross-border, should be developed, obstacles removed and recognition of the value of non-formal education enhanced;
  • youth and the world: the existing youth networks and tools should be used to involve young people in global policy-making.

Youth work can provide an added value to the fight against unemployment, school failure and social exclusion. More support and recognition should thus be given to youth work, which should also become increasingly professional. To achieve this, Member States and the Commission are invited to promote the financing and quality of youth work, as well as the skills and mobility of youth workers. The Commission is committed to further examining the economic and social contribution of youth work.

For the new integrated cooperation framework in the field of youth, cross-sectoral policy approaches need to be developed at all levels. For the monitoring of its implementation, permanent and regular dialogue should be established at the EU level and between Member States and young people. With a view to improving policy-making, peer-learning exercises in the form of high-level seminars for political cooperation and clusters for technical expertise are proposed, which would also see the involvement of relevant stakeholders. Policy-making should also be evidence-based. To this end, current tools to acquire knowledge of the youth field should be used and further developed. The Commission also proposes to further develop other evidence-seeking instruments, such as studies and Eurobarometer surveys. Furthermore, existing EU programmes and funds, most notably the Youth-in-Action programme, should be used to support youth policy and to provide opportunities for young people, and measures should be taken to ensure the widespread availability of information about these opportunities.

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

This green paper launches a public consultation with the aim of boosting mobility opportunities for young people.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 8 July 2009 – Promoting the learning mobility of young people [COM(2009) 329 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Transnational mobility through which young people may acquire new knowledge and skills (learning mobility) enhances personal development and employability. Currently however, the learning mobility of young people is more an exception than a rule, and should therefore be promoted in all disciplines and contexts. As a result, the Commission is launching this public consultation to initiate discussions on how existing and new instruments, as well as public authorities and stakeholders can be mobilised to that end.

The green paper presents a number of issues where further efforts towards learning mobility are needed. The aim is to promote organised mobility that is carried out across borders as well as within and across sectors. While the value of virtual mobility is recognised, the focus is on physical mobility and the challenges arising before, during and after such periods.

Preparing for a period of learning mobility

Preparation is an essential element of any mobility project and needs to be well thought-out in order for the mobility period to be a success. Firstly, this consists of providing good quality and easily accessible information and guidance on mobility opportunities, including on funding, education and training programmes, as well as on any practical issues. Secondly, there is a need to promote and motivate young people to be mobile by informing them of the benefits and guaranteeing the recognition of such an experience. Thirdly, linguistic skills and intercultural competences facilitate mobility, and may be upgraded during mobility periods. However, as a lack of such skills may be a barrier to participation, ways to address these obstacles must be explored.

Other challenges to take into consideration during the preparatory phase include the legal status of the young people in the host countries. A secure framework for the mobility of minors and a European Trainee Statute for the mobility of trainees could help to overcome such legal obstacles. Similarly, the obstacles to the portability of grants and loans as well as to the access to benefits, which often contravene Community law, should be overcome to promote mobility. To this end, the Commission is suggesting the publication of guides for Member State authorities and stakeholders.

There is also a need to assure that the mobility period is of a high quality, to which both the sending and receiving institutions should commit. Appropriate mechanisms should be set up for selecting participants in a fair and transparent manner, as well as for matching participants and receiving institutions. A number of charters, such as the European Quality Charter for Mobility, could be used to guide this work, as could learning/training agreements drawn up by the sending and hosting institutions together with the participants. Finally, measures should be taken to reach disadvantaged groups, so that they may also benefit from the opportunities of learning mobility.

The stay abroad and follow-up

Proper arrangements should be in place to receive young people during their mobility periods abroad. It is particularly essential that the hosting institutions provide mentoring support to young people in order to help them integrate better into the host environment. Concerning the follow-up, mobility periods must be appropriately recognised and validated in terms of both formal and non-formal learning. To this end, a number of European instruments are already available (such as ECVET, EQF, Europass), but greater use should be made of them at the regional and sectoral levels.

A new partnership for mobility

In order to overcome the continuing obstacles to mobility, it is imperative to mobilise actors and resources at all levels. A new partnership should be established between public authorities, civil society and partners from the business world. At the same time, the funding base needs to be enlarged to provide mobility opportunities to all groups of young people.

Virtual mobility can provide an added value by acting as a catalyst for physical mobility, as well as by providing an international dimension to learning for those who cannot or do not want to go abroad. “Multipliers”, such as teachers and trainers at all levels, youth workers, as well as people who have been mobile are important in motivating young people to embark on a period of mobility. Any obstacles to their involvement in promoting mobility should be removed and opportunities for their mobility encouraged.

At the moment, mobility has wide backing. However, it is essential to turn this support into concrete targets, based on which Member States, regional authorities, institutions and organisations may define their mobility strategies. Strategic benchmarks should also be established to complement those developed at European and national levels.

Background

The Commission invites stakeholders and the wider public to respond to the issues raised in this green paper before 15 December 2009. The Commission will propose follow-up actions on the basis of these responses.

A renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field

A renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

A renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-18)

Document or Iniciative

Council Resolution of 27 November 2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018) [Official Journal C 311 of 19.12.2009].

Summary

For Europe to attain the objectives regarding growth and jobs set by the Lisbon strategy, it is imperative that its young men and women are socially as well as professionally well integrated. Such integration also promotes young people’s personal fulfilment, social cohesion and active citizenship. However, young people still face challenges in terms of employment, education and training, poverty, health, and participation and democratic representation. Therefore, a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field has been designed to provide better opportunities for Europe’s young people.

This renewed framework is based on the Commission’s communication of April 2009 on the new European Union (EU) Youth Strategy. It aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of European cooperation by establishing a strategy for the next decade that builds on the progress made and lessons learned under the previous framework.

European cooperation in the youth field during 2010-18

European cooperation in the youth field during 2010-18 is motivated by two interrelated objectives:

  • the creation of more and equal opportunities in education and the labour market;
  • the promotion of active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity.

To this end, specific initiatives targeting young people and mainstreaming initiatives to incorporate youth issues into other policy areas are developed and promoted. The renewed framework outlines eight fields of action in which cross-sectoral initiatives to support young people should be taken:

  • education and training;
  • employment and entrepreneurship;
  • health and well-being;
  • participation;
  • voluntary activities;
  • social inclusion;
  • youth and the world;
  • creativity and culture.

European cooperation in the youth field must uphold a number of guiding principles, particularly:

  • promote gender equality;
  • combat all forms of discrimination;
  • consider differences between young people, especially in terms of disadvantage;
  • provide for the participation of young people in policy-making.

European cooperation should be evidence-based, relevant and concrete with clear and visible results that are regularly presented, reviewed and disseminated. It should be applied through a renewed framework of open method of coordination. This requires political commitment from EU countries and working methods based on:

  • a series of 3-year work cycles (the first cycle covers the years 2010-12);
  • an overall thematic priority for each trio presidency and specific priorities for each presidency country contributing to the overall thematic priority (the priorities for the period from 2010 to mid-2011 are set out in the annex to the resolution);
  • implementation instruments (knowledge building, mutual learning, progress reporting, dissemination of results, monitoring of the process, dialogue with young people, mobilisation of EU programmes and funds).

Within this renewed framework for European cooperation, the role of youth work must be strengthened. It should be supported and recognised for its social as well as economic contribution. The discussion should focus on the training, recognition of skills and mobility of youth workers and leaders, as well as on the promotion of innovative solutions in youth work.

Role of EU countries and the Commission

EU countries are called upon to work together on the basis of this resolution, with a view to improving European cooperation in the youth field. They should adopt national level measures that contribute to achieving the objectives set for this cooperation.

The Commission is invited to work with EU countries as well as to support their cooperation within the framework. The Commission should monitor the achievement of the objectives, in relation to which it should establish a working group to review data on the situation of young people and evaluate the need to develop new indicators for fields related to youth. The Commission should also propose peer-learning activities and initiate relevant studies.

Background

Established in June 2002, the framework for European cooperation in the youth field provided for the application of the open method of coordination in this context as well as for the mainstreaming of youth issues into other relevant policy areas. The European Youth Pact was adopted in March 2005 to contribute to reaching the objectives of growth and jobs of the Lisbon strategy. The renewed social agenda of July 2008 established children and youth as one of its main priority areas for action.

Youth

Youth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Youth

Youth-focused actions contribute towards the education, training, mobility, vocational and social integration, as well as the development of active citizenship of young people within the European Union (EU). The European Youth Pact (2005) provides support to meet all these challenges. As part of the strategy for employment and social inclusion, the “Youth in Action” programme supports cooperation between the different actors involved in the youth field, encourages exchanges between young people and enables them to participate in voluntary activities in order to develop active citizenship.

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

  • European Youth Pact
  • Youth on the Move
  • A renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-18)
  • Youth employment: opportunities
  • EU Youth Strategy
  • Health and well-being of young people
  • Youth mobility
  • Mobility of young volunteers
  • Participation of young people with fewer opportunities
  • Promoting young people’s full participation in education, employment and society
  • Recognition of non-formal and informal learning (in the field of youth)
  • European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011)
  • Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency
  • Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

WHITE PAPER ON YOUTH

  • White Paper on Youth

White Paper follow up

  • European policies concerning youth participation and information
  • Common objectives for voluntary activities
  • Common objectives for a better understanding and knowledge of youth
  • Common objectives for participation by and information for young people
  • Framework of European cooperation in the youth field

Preparatory documents for the White Paper

  • Mobility for students, persons undergoing training, young volunteers, teachers and trainers
  • Promoting young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity
  • Social inclusion of young people

PROGRAMMES

  • Youth in Action (2007-13)
  • Youth action programme 2000-2006
  • Programme to promote non-governmental organisations active in the youth field (2004 – 2006)

Mobility of young volunteers

Mobility of young volunteers

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mobility of young volunteers

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Mobility of young volunteers

Document or Iniciative

Council Recommendation of 20 November 2008 on the mobility of young volunteers across the European Union [Official Journal C 319 of 13.12.2008].

Summary

This recommendation establishes a framework of cooperation for Member States, based on which the cross-border mobility of young volunteers may be strengthened. It does so with due respect to the diversity of the national volunteering schemes.

The Council has defined cross-border voluntary activities as: “open to all young people, undertaken by their own free will in the general interest, for a sustained period, within a clear framework and in a country other than the country of residence, unpaid or with token payment and/or coverage of expenses”. Voluntary activities provide a non-formal educational and informal learning experience through which young people may develop their professional and social skills and competences. Thereby, these activities enhance their employability and active citizenship, while benefiting local communities and fostering social cohesion.

With this recommendation, the Council is encouraging Member States to strengthen cooperation among voluntary organisations and public authorities involved in organising voluntary activities, in order to promote the mobility of young volunteers within Europe. To this end, Member States should take action to:

  • promote the dissemination of information on national voluntary activities;
  • facilitate stakeholders’ access to information regarding cross-border voluntary activities and provide information on rights and opportunities thereof;
  • facilitate young volunteers’ access to cross-border voluntary activities, in particular by simplifying the procedures;
  • develop opportunities for cross-border voluntary activities through a flexible approach, taking into consideration such issues as hosting capacities, establishment of contacts among volunteers, use of European mobility mechanisms, mobility of youth workers and training of those active in youth work;
  • promote the development of intercultural competences and the learning of languages as means to facilitate cross-border mobility;
  • support the development of self-assessment tools with which voluntary organisations may guarantee the quality of their cross-border activities;
  • exchange information and cooperate with each other in order to assure the social and legal protection of volunteers;
  • promote the recognition of volunteers’ learning outcomes through the use of national and European level qualification instruments;
  • promote the participation of young people with fewer opportunities in cross-border voluntary activities.

The Commission is committed to support Member States’ actions relating to the above. It will do this through the EU cooperation framework in the youth field, the open method of coordination as well as the European Voluntary Service (EVS), as contained in the youth in action programme. The Commission will develop opportunities for voluntary organisations to exchange information and experience on cross-border cooperation. In addition, it will establish a European Youth Volunteer Portal to disseminate information to all stakeholders.

Background

The common objectives for young people’s voluntary activities and their implementation at national level were identified in the Resolution of 15 November 2004 on common objectives for voluntary activities of young people and in its implementing resolution of 16 November 2007. These also requested that Member States develop means to measures progress in practice. The 2007 resolution further requested the Commission to propose additional ways to promote and recognise young people’s voluntary activities.

Health and well-being of young people

Health and well-being of young people

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Health and well-being of young people

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Health and well-being of young people

Document or Iniciative

Resolution of the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 20 November on the health and well-being of young people [Official Journal C 319 of 13.12.2008].

Summary

Even though the health of Europe’s young people is considered to be in general rather satisfactory, concerns remain regarding nutrition, physical activity, alcohol abuse, as well as sexual and mental health. In this context, it is essential to promote a healthy lifestyle, to adopt preventive measures and to take gender issues into consideration.

Several aspects related to living conditions pose a risk to young people’s health and well-being. To ensure the healthy development of young people, their physical and social environments should be wholesome. This aim is best achieved by giving further support to parents.

The extent of social inclusion and level of education of young people is closely related to their health and well-being. Hence, it is important that young people are kept well informed of the advantages of a healthy lifestyle and that they are encouraged to become more responsible and autonomous with regard to their own health.

In order to ensure that youth health policy is efficient, the state of play should be assessed to provide better tailored strategies that take into consideration the needs of and differences among young people. The strategies should be based on a comprehensive and cross-sectoral approach. Youth health policy should involve the local, regional, national and European levels and be developed in close partnership with a wide range of stakeholders.

Consequently, the Council is inviting Member States to:

  • mainstream the “youth” dimension into all initiatives that are related to health issues and implement appropriate measures for youth health policy;
  • allow all relevant stakeholders, including young people themselves, to participate in developing and implementing the initiatives related to health issues;
  • support young people’s access to both cultural and physical leisure-time activities;
  • consider youth health issues in information and the media programmes and policies;
  • promote youth workers’ and organisations’ training on health issues and prevention measures.

The Commission is also invited to ensure the mainstreaming of the “youth” dimension in all initiatives related to health issues, as well as to include all stakeholders and the young people themselves at all stages of development of the initiatives on youth health policy.

Finally, the Council is inviting Member States and the Commission to collaborate, in order to:

  • expand knowledge of youth health issues by increasing research into and regular reporting on the topic;
  • include data on youth health and well-being into the Commission’s triennial report on young people’s situation in Europe;
  • inform the public about issues that affect the health of young people;
  • promote exchanges at the local, regional, national and European levels on best practice related to youth health;
  • promote the use of existing European Union (EU) instruments in the development of youth health-related projects;
  • encourage stronger collaboration on youth health issues among young people, youth organisations and other relevant stakeholders as well as civil society.

Background

The White Paper on youth of 21 November 2001 recognised the importance of health in empowering young people, fostering their social inclusion and developing their active citizenship. The European Youth Pact, adopted in March 2005, further emphasised the need to mainstream the “youth” dimension, in particular issues related youth health, to other relevant European policies.

Youth mobility

Youth mobility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth mobility

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Youth mobility

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 21 November 2008 on youth mobility [Official Journal C 320 of 16.12.2008].

Summary

The mobility of young people is essential in promoting a sense of belonging to Europe, enhancing social and occupational integration, and ensuring a competitive European economy. However, the mobility of young people is not widespread, regardless of the success of the Erasmus programme.

All young people in Europe should have opportunities for mobility. This should consist of physical mobility, whereby the young person will stay in another European country to study, do an internship, volunteer or carry out other training. In the educational context, “virtual mobility” may also contribute to the mobility of young people. Through mobility, young people may develop their skills and competences, thus improving their versatility and employability.

A European policy for mobility should be cross-cutting, provide for the arrangements with which opportunities for mobility are prepared and supported, and promote the recognition of learning outcomes from periods of mobility and the development of opportunities for mobility for teachers and trainers. Young people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds or having special needs must receive particular consideration.

In light of the above, Member States are encouraged to:

  • provide further opportunities for cross-border mobility within education, training and volunteering, thereby transforming mobility into a widespread phenomenon;
  • take steps to attain the objectives of the current European Union (EU) programmes for education, youth, culture, citizenship and research;
  • build on the work of the High Level Expert Forum in order to facilitate the participation of all young people in mobility schemes and enhance the mobility of all educational staff;
  • take action at various levels and in partnership with various stakeholders to increase opportunities for mobility.

The Member States and the Commission are invited to set out measures to remove possible barriers to mobility and to ensure the recognition of cross-border mobility periods. In particular, they should:

  • develop scope for mobility by promoting active coordination between stakeholders so that the management of public sector support is enhanced, taking advantage of relevant EU programmes, considering the needs of disadvantaged youth and encouraging the establishment of new opportunities for mobility;
  • inform about mobility programmes by disseminating information via various means to young people and their families, educational staff and youth workers, as well as by supporting the implementation of relevant EU programmes;
  • simplify procedures for implementing the EU programmes, for creating the financial incentive strategies and for enhancing the recognition of learning outcomes from periods of mobility;
  • provide funding sources for mobility through appropriate Community financial instruments such as the Structural Funds and by promoting funding from public and private sectors, with particular support given to disadvantaged youth and youth with special needs;
  • enhance the application of the European Quality Charter for Mobility principles in mobility schemes by promoting the exchange of best practices concerning reception conditions, the provision of proper living and working conditions as well as preparation for mobility, in particular from a linguistic and cultural point of view;
  • increase knowledge of youth mobility through comparable statistics and survey results, as well as by conducting impact assessments on the cultural, educational and professional benefits of mobility.

Furthermore, the Commission is invited to set up a work plan for the incorporation of cross-border mobility into other EU programmes. Information on these programmes should then be disseminated as widely as possible, in order to promote them among young people. To this end, national “one-stop-shops” and a European youth mobility portal should be created. In addition, the Commission must provide a mid-term report on the developments of youth mobility in Europe before the end of 2010, followed by regular reports. Finally, the Commission is requested to provide national authorities and other stakeholders with a guide on European policies that may be used to support mobility, as well as to investigate new financial support mechanisms.

Background

The European Council decided in March 2008 to establish a “fifth freedom” whereby barriers to the free movement of knowledge would be removed. This also entails improved cross-border mobility of students, researchers, scientists and educational staff.

Promoting young people's initiative, enterprise and creativity

Promoting young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promoting young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Promoting young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity

Document or Iniciative

Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 28 June 2001 on promoting young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity: from exclusion to empowerment [Official Journal C 196 of 12 July 2001].

Summary

Involvement of the Commission and the Member States

This resolution invites the Commission:

  • to associate young people in the preparation of Community cooperation policy geared to youth, education and training;
  • to ensure that the “youth” dimension is taken into account in Community activities;
  • to take stock of the experience gained from the Youth programme;
  • to take the “youth” dimension into account in devising new strategies for lifelong learning.

This resolution invites the Member States:

  • to encourage young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity in all fields;
  • to provide young people with better information about the opportunities and support available;
  • to promote pupil participation, initiative and creativity for active citizenship;
  • to promote student participation in higher education, in vocational training and in research;
  • to take note of young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity in devising innovative methods of teaching and learning;
  • to integrate young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity into practical employment-oriented measures;
  • to promote the sharing of good practice.

This resolution invites the Commission and Member States:

  • to integrate young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity in combating social exclusion;
  • to encourage young people’s initiative and creativity in combating racism, xenophobia and intolerance;
  • to promote dissemination of best practice;
  • to encourage young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity as a driving force for employment policy;
  • to take stock of the experience gained from the Socrates and Leonardo programmes in order to make the most of young people’s initiative and creativity;
  • to promote research and sharing of experience;
  • to develop young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity through non-formal learning;
  • to promote cooperation between the Member States, the Commission and international organisations;
  • to clarify how young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity are put to use as a resource;
  • to educate young people as critical consumers and practitioners in sectors such as music, film and other creative industries.

Context

Many Community initiatives have been launched to encourage young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity, most of them stemming from education and training policy (e.g. the Youth and Youth for Europe programmes, the resolution on the social inclusion of young people, the resolution on youth participation, the memorandum on lifelong learning) and employment policy (e.g. the multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, and the guidelines for employment).

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social committee and the Committee of the Regions – Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: Fostering entrepreneurial mindsets through education and learning

Council Decision 2001/63/ECof 19 January 2001 on guidelines for Member States’ employment policies for the year 2001 [Official Journal L 022 of 24.01.2001].

Council Decision 2000/819/EC of 20 December 2000 on a multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (2001-2005) [Official Journal L 333 of 29.12.2000].

 

White Paper on Youth

White Paper on Youth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Youth

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

White Paper on Youth

Document or Iniciative

European Commission white paper of 21 November 2001 – A new impetus for European youth [COM(2001) 681 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In recent years, Europe has experienced economic and socio-cultural changes that have significantly affected its youth. Hoping to meet the expectations of young people by giving them the means to express their ideas and to make a greater contribution to society, the Commission adopted this White Paper following wide-spread consultations with all relevant stakeholders at both national and European level, including young people themselves.

The White Paper on Youth is also intended as a response to young people’s strong disaffection with the traditional forms of participation in public life. Following the example of the White Paper on Governance, it calls on young Europeans to become active citizens.

In order to help European Union (EU) countries and regions to take action for young people in Europe, the White Paper proposes a new framework for cooperation consisting of two components: increasing cooperation between EU countries and taking greater account of the youth factor in sectoral policies.

Increasing cooperation between EU countries

The “open method of coordination” encourages cooperation between EU countries and takes advantage of best practice developed throughout Europe. It involves setting guidelines for the EU, together with timetables for meeting the short, medium and long-term objectives set by EU countries. It also provides for monitoring mechanisms. In this connection, the White Paper proposes appointing a national coordinator as Commission representative for youth-related issues.

The priority areas for this method of work are as follows:

  • introducing new ways of enabling young people to participate in public life. The Commission proposes giving general currency to regional and national youth councils and overhauling the European Youth Forum in order to make it more representative. In 2003 and 2004, the Commission will also launch pilot projects with a view to encouraging participation among young people;
  • improving information on European issues. To this end, the Commission proposes setting up an Internet portal and forum to allow young people to obtain information and express their opinions;
  • encouraging voluntary service. As an educational experience and a way of integrating young people into society, voluntary service plays an important role both at European level, within the European Voluntary Service (the EVS is part of the Youth in Action programme), and at national, regional and local levels, for which EU countries need to make a greater effort to eliminate the remaining obstacles to mobility;
  • increasing knowledge of youth-related issues. This involves, inter alia, networking existing research work and structures at European level.

Incorporating the youth factor into sectoral policies

The White Paper calls for EU and national policies to take greater account of the needs of young people. The policies most concerned are employment and social integration, the fight against racism and xenophobia, education, lifelong learning and mobility. The complex question of young people’s autonomy is also included in the future work programme.

Background

On the basis of Article 149 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), various European level actions related to young people have been developed in recent years in the fields of education, employment, vocational training and information technologies. EU countries have also begun to cooperate on issues related to youth exchanges and mobility.

All of these specific actions have received constant support from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, either when the programmes were being adopted or in the form of resolutions relating inter alia to the participation of young people or their social inclusion and, later, to young people’s sense of initiative. The Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee have regularly issued positive and encouraging opinions on various aspects of youth. However, greater use needed to be made of this body of information, and this still modest cooperation needed to be consolidated for and with young people themselves.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 22 October 2004 – Follow-up to the White Paper on a New Impetus for European Youth: evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field [COM(2004) 694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission takes stock of the progress made since the publication of the White Paper, in terms of the mandate expressly conferred upon it by the Council and the undertakings made with regard to all those involved in the process. The Commission’s undertakings have all been fulfilled, and the widespread mobilisation of young people, youth organisations, public authorities, ministers and European institutions has been achieved.
To prevent any loss of the new impetus imparted by the White Paper, the Commission feels that the Council should take account of the following aspects:

  • the priorities of the European cooperation framework must be discussed;
  • the balance between the flexibility and effectiveness of the open method of coordination in the youth field must be reassessed;
  • the open method of coordination must lead to effective action at national level in order to guarantee young people’s support for and commitment to the process;
  • young people should be consulted regularly, in a structured and effective way, at both national and European levels.

Framework of European cooperation in the youth field

Framework of European cooperation in the youth field

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Framework of European cooperation in the youth field

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Framework of European cooperation in the youth field

Document or Iniciative

Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 27 June 2002 regarding the framework of European cooperation in the youth field [Official Journal C 168 of 13.7.2002].

Summary

Adopting the White Paper “A new impetus for European youth”, the Commission suggested a new framework of European cooperation in the youth field, comprising two strands: firstly, the application of the open method of coordination and, secondly, taking greater account of the “youth” dimension in other policies. This resolution follows on from this White Paper by setting the priorities and the timetable for the European Union’s (EU) work up until 2004 in the field of “youth”.

For cooperation based on the open method of coordination

In the updated cooperation framework, based in particular on the open method of coordination, the Council is proposing four priority themes:

  • encouraging young people’s participation in the exercise of active citizenship and civil society. This means supporting the work of youth associations and other forms of active participation in order to improve young people’s participation and social cohesion. The exchange of good practices is essential here;
  • enhancing the information addressed to young people and existing information services for young people (successive reports deal with participation and information together);
  • promoting voluntary activities among young people. Making it easier for young people to find voluntary work so as to develop their sense of responsibility and citizenship and their active participation in society. Public authorities, businesses and civil society are called on to recognise the value of voluntary work so as to improve young people’s opportunities on the labour market;
  • encouraging greater understanding and knowledge of youth. This comprises, in particular, the compilation of studies on youth matters and the networking of research structures.

On the basis of these four priorities, the Commission will be sending targeted questionnaires to EU countries from July 2002 onwards. EU countries’ answers should be based on consultation with young people, youth associations and, where applicable, national youth councils or similar organisations. The Commission will then draw up reports in order to identify good practices of common interest for EU countries and proposals for common objectives to be adopted by the Council.

For their part, EU countries are called on to implement the measures they judge appropriate in order to achieve the common objectives set by the Council.

Taking greater account of the “youth” dimension in other policies

The Council calls on the Commission and EU countries to give the “youth” dimension greater priority in other policies and programmes. The Council, in cooperation with the Commission, reserves the right to add to the priority areas stated in the White Paper (education and lifelong learning, mobility, employment and social integration, combating racism and xenophobia and other priorities).

UPDATED FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION

The new framework for cooperation is updated by the resolution adopted by the Council on 24 November 2005. This framework for cooperation comprises three strands:

Promoting active citizenship among young people

The open method of coordination in the field of youth allows EU countries to cooperate with a view to sharing best practice on participation by young people, information for young people, voluntary activities and a greater knowledge of the field of youth, while respecting the areas of responsibility set out in the Treaties.

The European Pact for Youth

The European Pact highlights youth issues in key areas of the Lisbon partnership for growth and jobs, particularly in relation to young people’s access to the labour market, development of their creativity and the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills. The European Pact also highlights skills acquired through high-quality, relevant education, training and mobility experiences in the formal as well as the non-formal sector, and reconciliation of working life and family life.

Incorporating a youth dimension

Incorporating a youth dimension in other European policies will concern in particular anti-discrimination, healthy lifestyles, including sport, and research on youth issues.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 25 October 2004 – Follow-up to the White Paper on a New Impetus for European Youth: evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field [COM(2004) 694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].