European Year of Youth 2022: EU adopts first Youth Action Plan to strengthen engagement with young people worldwide
October 5, 2022

European Year of Youth 2022: EU adopts first Youth Action Plan to strengthen engagement with young people worldwide

On 4 October, the European Commission adopted the Youth Action Plan in the European Union external action for 2022-2027. This is the first-ever policy framework for a strategic partnership with young people around the world to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.

Announcing the Action Plan, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said: “The world is home to the largest generation of young people in history. Sadly, 600 million young people live in conflict or fragile situations and about 264 million children and youth are out of school,” he said, adding: “It is our responsibility to ensure that youth have the tools and opportunities needed to fully develop and participate in everyday life. They are the adults of tomorrow, we must invest in their present and future.”

The Youth Action Plan in EU External Action is guided by three pillars of action that will help shape the EU’s partnership with young people in partner countries:

  • partnership to engage: increasing young people’s voices in policy and decision-making;
  • partnership to empower: fighting inequalities and providing young people with the skills and tools they need to thrive;
  • partnership to connect: fostering opportunities for young people to network and exchange with their peers worldwide, despite the digital divide and risks related to disinformation.

The EU External Action Plan on Youth will strengthen current initiatives and launch new key initiatives targeting young people around the world, including the Youth and Women in Democracy Initiative and the Youth Empowerment Fund.

The €40 million Youth and Women in Democracy Initiative will enhance the voice and leadership of young people, youth activists and youth organisations around the world by strengthening their rights, empowerment and participation in public and political affairs. The initiative will support grassroots organisations and youth activists in the fields of institutional oversight, anti-corruption, citizen election observation, advocacy for democratic reforms, civic education, promotion of suffrage, freedom of association and assembly, and human rights.

The Youth Empowerment Fund is a new €10 million pilot initiative that will provide direct financial support to youth-led initiatives in partner countries aimed at implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at local level, particularly in the areas of environment and climate change, and engaging vulnerable and marginalised youth.

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Press release


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