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Commission wants to make 2022 the European Year of Youth

Commission wants to make 2022 the European Year of Youth

It is currently developing a rich programme of events and activities targeting young people

On 14 October, the European Commission adopted the proposal to make 2022 the European Year of Youth. In this way, it will give young Europeans the chance to share their ideas and help create a greener, more inclusive and digital future. Thus, 2022 will give young people access to more and better opportunities that promote their personal, social, and professional development.

COVID’s impact on younger generations

It is not surprising that the outbreak of the pandemic has most strongly affected the younger generations. Taking a case in point, COVID forced students to stay home, avoid friends, and study online. In turn, many lost meaningful relationships and struggled to maintain their grades. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expanded on COVID’s impact, noting:

“The pandemic has robbed young people of many opportunities - to meet and make new friends, to experience and explore new cultures. While we cannot give them that time back, we are proposing today to designate 2022 the European Year of Youth. From climate to social to digital, young people are at the heart of our policymaking and political priorities.”

A variety of activities in 2022

With the European Year of Youth, the European Commission seeks to honour and support younger generations, encourage them to become active citizens, and create new opportunities for their development. In addition to this, it sets out to draw inspiration from the actions, visions, and insights of young Europeans in order to shape and strengthen the future of the EU.

To do so, it is working alongside various bodies such as EU Member States, European Parliament, regional and local authorities, stakeholders and young people to develop a rich programme for 2022. The 2022 programme will reportedly consist of various activities surrounding issues that affect young people. That is, they will address equality, inclusion, sustainability, mental health, wellbeing, and quality employment, among others.

Events and activities are expected to start in January 2022. The Proposal of the EU executive is yet to be discussed with Parliament and Council, as well as the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

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