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EU ‘youth check’ will give young people more say in policy making

European Youth Event (EYE 2021) - Workshops (courtesy of European Parliament)

A new ‘Youth Check’ is being introduced to help ensure that young people are given more influence on how European Union policies are formulated.

Building on the 2022 European Year of Youth, the European Commission says it is introducing a range of measures which are designed to give young citizens across the continent a greater say in all aspects of the democratic process.

When designing EU policies, the commission will apply a ‘youth check‘ that is designed specifically to ensure that that any impact on young people is ‘systematically factored in’, and that processes such as including consultations and impact assessments, are used to their maximum potential.

Reflecting youth in EU policies

These tools, says the commission, will complement various other several youth-specific instruments under the 2019-2027 EU Youth Strategy. These include policy dialogues between young people and European Commissioners, dedicated youth mainstreaming roundtables and a new youth stakeholders’ platform that will facilitate a continuous exchange with youth organisations, youth researchers, Member State representatives and other EU institutions.

The Commission will also strenghen the EU Youth Dialogue, the largest youth participation mechanism in Europe aligning the dialogue’s focus more closely with the Commission’s work programme.

Several concrete actions have been proposed, all addressing young people’s concerns in five policy fields that are of key relevance for them: health and wellbeing, environment and climate change, education and training, international cooperation and European values, and employment and inclusion. They include:

  • Developing work towards a joint European degree in 2024, in line with the European Strategy for Universities;
  • Establishing a platform for regular dialogue and consultations with youth organisations worldwide
  • Preparing guidelines on wellbeing in schools, to be published in 2024;
  • Reaching out to young people through the commission’s upcoming campaign on climate and democracy ahead of the 2024 European elections;

European Youth Week 2024

Coming just a couple of months before the European Parliament elections, and as part of the commission’s effort to bring the EU close to young people, the 2024 European Youth Week will take place from 12 to 19 April, focusing on democratic participation and elections. It will also be a celebration of youth engagement, participation and active citizenship through a series of activities all over Europe.

The 2022 European Year of Youth saw more than 13,000 activities, organised by more than 2,700 stakeholders across the EU and beyond, including EU bodies and countries, organisations working with and for young people, and, of course, young people themselves. The commission identified more than 130 policy initiatives for young people, many of which were developed in close cooperation with them.

Click here for more on the new developments

Author: Simon Weedy

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