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Document 52024SC0001

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the European Year of Youth 2022

SWD/2024/1 final

Brussels, 10.1.2024

SWD(2024) 1 final

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

Accompanying the document



Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

on the European Year of Youth 2022

{COM(2024) 1 final}


Contents

Introduction    

Executive Summary    

1. Why was 2022 chosen as the European Year of Youth?    

1.1 Objectives of the European Year of Youth    

2. Implementation of the European Year of Youth    

2.1. Target group    

2.2. Surveys on young people’s expectations    

2.2.1. Call for ideas on the European Year of Youth 2022    

2.2.2 The 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth    

2.2.3 Comparative analysis between the surveys    

2.3 Key policy areas and initiatives    

2.4. Budget implementation and resources    

2.5 Co-creation process with stakeholders and multipliers    

2.5.1 Interservice steering group and the Commission Youth Network    

2.5.2 The EYY national coordinators, national contact points and stakeholder group    

2.5.3 National coordination grants    

2.6 The main EYY events    

2.6.1 Traineeship and European Year of Youth welcome event    

2.6.2 LevelUp! Accelerating change festival    

2.6.3 Claim the Future EYY closing conference    

3. Key results and key achievements    

3.1 The European Year of Youth communication campaign    

3.1.1 The EYY campaign in numbers    

3.1.2 Goals of the EYY campaign based on the four objectives of the Decision    

3.1.3 Look and feel of the European Year of Youth    

3.1.3.1 Slogan and messaging    

3.1.3.2 Development of the visual identity    

3.1.3.3 The hashtag: #EYY2022    

3.1.4 European Youth Portal – EYY webpage    

3.1.5 Communication material/stakeholder toolkit    

3.1.6 Key statistics of the European Youth Portal    

3.1.7 The European Year of Youth social media campaign    

3.1.8 Solidarity with Ukraine    

3.2 What was achieved? Meeting the objectives of the European Year of Youth    

3.2.1 EYY Objective 1: highlighting how the green and digital transitions, and other EU policies, offer opportunities for young people after the COVID-19 pandemic    

3.2.1.1. Key achievements at EU level    

3.2.1.1.1 Mental and physical health    

3.2.1.1.2 Green and digital transitions    

3.2.1.1.4 Other institutions    

3.2.1.2. Examples of achievements at national level    

3.2.1.3. Examples of achievements at stakeholder level    

3.2.2 EYY Objective 2: empowering and supporting young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, to become active and engaged citizens and actors of change    

3.2.2.1. Key achievements at EU level    

3.2.2.1.1. European Commission    

3.2.2.1.2. Other EU institutions    

3.2.2.2. Examples of achievements at national level    

3.2.2.3. Examples of achievements at stakeholder level    

3.2.3 EYY Objective 3: promoting opportunities available to young people from public policies at all levels    

3.2.3.1. Key achievements at EU level    

3.2.3.1.1. European Commission    

3.2.3.1.2. Other EU institutions    

3.2.3.2. Examples of achievements at national level    

3.2.3.3. Examples of achievements at stakeholder level    

3.2.4 EYY Objective 4: bringing a youth perspective to the EU’s policies    

3.2.4.1. Key achievements at EU level    

3.2.4.1.1. European Commission    

3.2.4.1.2. Other EU institutions    

3.2.4.2. Examples of achievements at national level    

3.2.4.3. Examples of achievements at stakeholder level    

4. Feedback on the results of the European Year of Youth    

4.1 Introduction    

4.2 Call for evidence    

4.2.1. Overall feedback    

4.2.2. Recommendations    

4.2.3. Sharing good practices and initiatives    

4.3. National coordinators    

4.3.1 Sample composition    

4.3.2. Executive summary    

4.3.3. Survey results according to the European Year of Youth’s objectives    

4.3.3.1 European Year of Youth objectives    

4.3.3.2 Outreach and engagement    

4.3.3.3 Making young people’s voices heard    

4.3.3.4 Contributing to the European Year of Youth    

4.3.3.5 Main achievements linked to the European Year of Youth according to national coordinators    

4.3.3.6 Activities that took place because 2022 was designated the European Year of Youth    

4.3.3.7 Tools, resources or expertise from the European Commission    

4.3.3.8 Bringing a youth perspective across all relevant EU policy fields (EYY Objective 4)    

4.3.4. National coordinators’ views on the European Year of Youth and recommendations for beyond 2022    

4.4 Stakeholders’ survey    

4.4.1 Sample composition    

4.4.2. Executive summary    

4.4.3. Survey results according to the European Year of Youth’s objectives    

4.4.3.1 European Year of Youth objectives    

4.4.3.2 Outreach and engagement    

4.4.3.3 Making young people’s voices heard    

4.4.3.4 EYY measures and activities    

4.4.3.5 Main achievements linked to the European Year of Youth according to stakeholders    

4.4.3.6 Activities that took place because 2022 was designated the European Year of Youth    

4.4.3.7 Tools, resources and expertise from the Commission    

4.4.3.8 Bringing a youth perspective across all relevant EU policy fields (EYY objective 4)    

4.4.4. Stakeholders’ views on the European Year of Youth and recommendations for beyond 2022    

4.5 Young people’s survey    

4.5.1 Sample composition    

4.5.2 Executive summary    

4.5.3 Survey results in relation to the European Year of Youth’s objectives    

4.5.3.1 Benefits that the EYY brought to young people in line with the Year’s objectives    

4.5.3.2 Discovering the initiative    

4.5.3.3 Making your voice heard    

4.5.3.4 Young people’s participation in activities    

4.5.3.5 Young people’s opinion of the EU    

4.5.4. Young people’s views on the European Year of Youth and recommendations for beyond 2022    

4.6 Comparative analysis of the three surveys    

4.6.1. Sample composition    

4.6.2 Survey results according to the European Year of Youth objectives    

4.6.2.1 Activities organised and participation    

4.6.2.2 Benefits and achievements    

4.6.2.3 Making young people’s voices heard    

4.6.3 Overall views on the European Year of Youth and recommendations for beyond 2022    

5. Conclusion and next steps    

6. Annexes    

6.1 List of abbreviations    



Introduction

Article 7 of the Decision  1 on a European Year of Youth 2022 requires the European Commission to submit by 31 December 2023 a report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation, results and overall assessment of the measures provided for in the Decision. That report is to include ideas for further common endeavours in the field of youth in order to create a long-lasting legacy for the European Year.

This staff working document details the implementation, key results and achievements, and the feedback on the European Year of Youth 2022. It accompanies the Communication on the European Year of Youth, which proposes future follow-up actions in the field of youth to create the Year’s legacy.



Executive Summary

The European Year of Youth 2022 (the EYY or the Year) was co-designed by EU institutions, Member States, youth stakeholders and young people. The co-creation process began in October 2021. As required by Decision (EU) 2021/2316 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 December 2021 on a European Year of Youth (2022) and in order to optimise coordination, a group was created composed of 29 EYY national coordinators from the EU Member States  2 , 6 national contact points in Erasmus+ associated countries and more than 120 European-level youth stakeholders. This group was animated by the EU Youth Coordinator. It met nine times before and during the Year and exchanged views regularly on an online platform. The European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions were part of this group and contributed actively.

The EYY was essentially a bottom-up initiative and successfully triggered large-scale mobilisation and engagement. More than 2 700 stakeholders  3 across the EU and beyond implemented activities that helped meet the Year’s four objectives as set out in the Year’s Decision.

Objective 1: highlighting how the green and digital transitions and other EU policies provide opportunities to young people after the COVID-19 pandemic

In the context of Objective 1, the Commission proposed a range of opportunities for youth to learn, exchange views and act. Acknowledging young people’s growing call for action on the climate and biodiversity crises, the Council Recommendation of 16 June 2022 on learning for the green transition and sustainable development  4 includes a clear roadmap for Member States to support learning and teaching for the green transition. Young people and stakeholders were consulted in the preparation of the Recommendation, which highlights the importance of youth involvement in the design of solutions related to learning for the green transition and sustainable development. The Recommendation went hand in hand with the Council Conclusions of 5 April 2022 on promoting engagement among young people as actors of change in order to protect the environment  5 . These Council Conclusions included the ideas and opinions of young people that were shared at the EU Youth Conference under the French Presidency in January 2022, which launched the ninth cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue.

In the context of the European Sustainable Energy Week, the Year was the occasion for the Commission to organise the European Youth Energy Day and youth policy labs, including conversations with young people and youth organisations about the EU’s energy independence and energy future.

To promote a responsible digital transition and after consultation with more than 750 children and young people, the Commission adopted a new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+)  6 with the aim of providing age-appropriate digital services in which every child in the EU is protected, empowered and respected online guidelines for teachers and educators  7 . These were reinforced by the Council Conclusions of 28 November 2022 on supporting well-being in digital education 8 .

The development of well-being and environmental policy frameworks went hand in hand with participative initiatives such as:

-the HealthyLifeStyle4All Youth Ideas Labs, where young people put forward ideas to promote healthy lifestyles and remove barriers to youth participation;

-the Plastic Pirates – Go Europe! initiative, which is part of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Oceans and Waters’ and was expanded across the EU to inspire young people to tackle plastic pollution;

-the Green Track campaign, which was launched in the run-up to the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) and invited young people across the EU to voice their hopes and concerns about nature, biodiversity and the EU’s sustainable future and inspired them to be drivers of the process;

-the EU Teens4Green, which encouraged young people to design and implement projects to address challenges linked to the just transition towards climate neutrality and a greener EU.

Objective 2: empowering and supporting young people, including those with fewer opportunities, to become active and engaged citizens and actors of change

The Year was for young people and was implemented with and by them. 92% of EYY national coordinators and the non-EU national contact points collaborated with national youth councils made up of young people. Of the 18 EYY steering groups/networks set up at national level, 16 included national youth councils and 12 included other youth organisations. Thanks to the EYY, a larger number of young Europeans experienced first-hand how the EU adds value to their lives, supporting their personal development and equipping them with key resources and skills to become active citizens, and agents of solidarity and positive change. The close collaboration with young people and diverse youth organisations was essential for ensuring that the Year was a year for all young people including those with fewer opportunities.

Young people’s highest expectation from the EYY was that society and decision-makers would listen more to young people’s opinions and needs 9 . To address this demand, the EU and Member States gave utmost priority to the topic of youth participation. It emerged as the EYY’s top theme, with the largest number of activities (43%) on the EYY activities map on the European Youth Portal 10 . The Year coincided with the final stage of the Conference on the Future of Europe (April 2021-May 2022), which had a specific focus on youth. The Year provided an extra boost in encouraging young people to speak up and share their ideas through new participatory formats and tools with a view to the formulation of the conference’s final proposals. As part of the Year, the Commission launched high-level youth policy dialogues, participation platforms, learning hubs, new programme actions, Youth Talks, and the Youth Voice Platform. The Commission launched youth networks such as the Bioeconomy Youth Ambassadors network, the Global Erasmus+ Alumni Mentoring Scheme, the Network of Young European Ambassadors to promote Holocaust remembrance, the European Climate Pact Ambassadors and the Horizon Europe Young Observers, where the Commission invited over 127 masters-level students to attend and learn how EU research and innovation project proposals are evaluated and selected by the EU’s top scientists.

In 2022, the participation of young people from outside the EU was also highlighted as a key pillar of the first Commission Youth Action Plan in EU External Action. To empower children as active citizens, the Commission launched the EU Children’s Participation Platform in September 2022. Co-designed with children and young people, its functions are to connect existing child participation mechanisms at local, national and EU levels, and to involve children in decision-making processes at the EU level. The ALMA initiative (aim, learn, master, achieve) was launched to help young, disadvantaged people aged 18–29 to integrate into the society and labour market across the EU. The European Youth Forum organised the capacity-building LevelUp! Event in the European Parliament on 28-29 October 2022, involving more than 1 300 young change makers from over 50 countries in activities, boosting their communication, advocacy and organising skills. This initiative was part of a larger campaign to increase participation in elections, including the 2024 European Parliament elections. In Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands, EYY national coordinators set up micro grants schemes to provide low-threshold easy access to opportunities for the youth sector and young people to deliver EYY projects and to build capacity. In the context of the Outermost Regions Strategy 11 the Commission launched a EUR 1 million grant scheme to enable young people in the outermost regions to develop and implement actions to improve quality of life tailored to their communities and regions. 12  

Almost to 90% of stakeholders in the youth sector and 66% of young people, who provided feedback on the EYY via online surveys, stated that young people had opportunities to make their voice heard during the Year.

Objective 3: promoting the various opportunities available to young people from public policies at all levels

The EYY reached every corner of the EU and beyond. Public administrations, youth organisations and networks, universities and schools, civil society and intergovernmental organisations, which organised EYY activities, estimated overall outreach through events and social media campaigns at more than 150 million citizens and that the great majority of them were young people  13 . The Year brought EU, national, regional and local institutions closer to young people. 83% of EYY activities took place face to face and this outreach effort played an important role in informing young people, including those with fewer opportunities, about various opportunities.

More than half of the organisers of EYY activities who provided feedback on the Year agreed that most of their activities took place because 2022 was designated as the European Year of Youth 14 . 70% of the young people providing feedback to the EYY survey said that the Year positively changed their knowledge or view of the EU’s work.

The Commission’s EU4Youth Days for the first time brought together young people, youth workers, policymakers and researchers from all EU neighbourhood regions (the Eastern Partnership region, the Western Balkans, Türkiye and the Southern Neighbourhood) to highlight opportunities and good practices. The first edition of the EU TalentOn contest challenged young talented researchers to find solutions to the most pressing global issues, with the overall aims of promoting a career in research, facilitating collaboration and promoting the entrepreneurial skills of young researchers. It was organised by the Commission and co-created by Leiden2022 European City of Science.

Thanks to a partnership between the Commission, the European Festivals Association (EFA) and YOUROPE, 73 festivals from 25 countries embraced the EYY through the #ImpossibleWithoutYouth campaign. The European Parliament launched the Youth Hub website to promote its comprehensive and diverse youth offer among young people, educators and youth organisations.

The EYY national coordinators have highlighted many examples of EYY outreach events in Member States. At least 13 Member States set up dedicated webpages to promote the EYY. In Austria, the State Secretary for Youth toured provinces to meet young people and discuss their expectations for the future. In Ireland, two national ‘All Aboard’ youth events were hosted on moving chartered trains. In Italy, an EYY truck tour raised awareness and promoted opportunities for young people. A similar tour took place in Romania, mainly targeting young people from rural areas. The Year also managed to reach out to citizens and organisations that had not previously taken up opportunities provided by the EU. Of the stakeholders who replied to the EYY stakeholders’ survey, more than a third contributed to an EU initiative for the first time. Thanks to the Year, young people acquired a better understanding of the various public policies opportunities available to them at EU, national, regional and local levels.

Objective 4: bringing a youth perspective across all relevant Union policy fields

Many policy initiatives and decisions have an impact on the lives of young people. This is also shown in the European Youth Goals, which provide a vision and guide for young people in the EU Youth Strategy. Taking better account of the youth dimension in all relevant policy areas and ensuring that young people have a say in these policy areas that affect them has therefore been a priority for EU youth policy cooperation since 2001, with the White Paper on a new impetus for European youth  15 and the current 2019-2027 EU Youth Strategy  16 . The EYY is cross-sectoral  17 in nature and mainstreaming the youth perspective across policy fields is one of its key objectives. The EYY created a large interservice mobilisation within the Commission. More than 30 departments and services contributed to the Year, with over 130 policy initiatives for young people, many of which were developed in cooperation with youth. An estimated indicative amount of around EUR 140 million  18 was identified in relevant EU programmes and instruments for the implementation of the Year’s objectives, such as via campaigns, events or calls for proposals.

At national level, 81% of EYY national coordinators and national contact points reported that they collaborated with ministries or public bodies other than those responsible for youth policy. 69% set up steering groups / networks for the Year. Ministries or public bodies other than those responsible for youth policy were part of 61% of these groups.

This wide mobilisation of diverse stakeholders in the Year’s preparation and implementation resulted in new partnerships at EU, national and regional levels. This should boost youth cooperation for years to come.

1. Why was 2022 chosen as the European Year of Youth?

On 15 September 2021, President von der Leyen announced in her State of the European Union Address  19 that the Commission would propose to make 2022 the European Year of Youth ‘a year dedicated to empowering those who have dedicated so much to others’. President von der Leyen added that ‘… if we are to shape our Union in their mould, young people must be able to shape Europe’s future’.

The EYY 2022 was launched at a critical time when young people and the youth sector were struggling to rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic had an unprecedented – and uneven – impact on the education, employment, social inclusion and mental health of young people worldwide and across the EU. The pandemic disrupted their education, training and transition to employment, and many young people experienced feelings of social isolation, anxiety and depression. Children, adolescents and young adults have been extremely affected by disruptions of family and social ties, and the economic crisis provoked by lockdowns has hit young Europeans in particular  20 .

At the same time, young people have shown remarkable intergenerational solidarity and support, while being forced to sacrifice valuable ‘youthful moments’ in their daily lives. Young people have shown great resilience and have helped to mitigate the pandemic’s impact.

President von der Leyen stated that ‘being young is normally a time of discovery, of creating new experiences. A time to meet lifelong friends, to find your own path. And what did we ask this generation to do? To keep their social distance, to stay locked down and to do school from home. For more than a year’  21 .

Against this backdrop, the Year mobilised the EU’s institutions, Member States’ public authorities at different levels and youth stakeholders to seek new and effective ways to honour, support and engage young people. The EYY encouraged the EU’s young people to provide contributions and insights to shape the EU’s development and society at large. The Year was also an occasion to raise awareness of the opportunities that lie ahead for young people.

1.1 Objectives of the European Year of Youth

Decision (EU) 2021/2316 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 December 2021 on a European Year of Youth (2022)  22 (the Decision) laid down four objectives in its Article 2. These objectives aimed both to highlight the issues facing youth and to help tackle them:

(a)renew the positive perspectives for young people, with a particular focus on the negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on them, while highlighting how the green transition, the digital transition and other Union policies offer opportunities for young people and for society at large, drawing inspiration from the actions, vision and insights of young people to further strengthen and invigorate the common European project and listening to young people, taking into account their needs and concerns, and support young people in developing concrete, inclusive opportunities and deliverables, while making optimal use of Union instruments;

(b)empower and support young people, including through youth work, especially young people with fewer opportunities, young people from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds, young people belonging to vulnerable and marginalised groups, young people from rural, remote, peripheral and less-developed areas and young people from outermost regions, to acquire relevant knowledge and competences and thus become active and engaged citizens and actors of change, inspired by a European sense of belonging, including additional efforts at building capacity for youth participation and civic engagement among young people and among all stakeholders that work to represent their interests and involving the contribution of young people from diverse backgrounds in key consultation processes, such as the Conference on the Future of Europe and the EU Youth Dialogue process;

(c)support young people to acquire a better understanding of, and actively promote the various opportunities available to them from, public policies at Union, national, regional and local level support their personal, social, economic and professional development in a green, digital and inclusive world, while aiming to remove the remaining barriers thereto;

(d)mainstream youth policy across all relevant Union policy fields in line with the 2019–2027 European Union Youth Strategy to encourage the bringing of a youth perspective into policymaking at all levels.

The context surrounding the Year’s creation and implementation was further impacted by Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, which exacerbated the situation and challenges faced by young people, education systems, youth work and civil society organisations across the EU.

As European young people woke up to the horrors of a full-scale war and its consequences on the EU’s borders, it became clear that the safeguarding of the EU’s liberal and humanist values (solidarity, peace, unity, democracy, justice, dignity, safety and security, rule of law, freedom and the fight against disinformation) needed to be included in the themes of the Year. Solidarity was a key driver in the EU’s response to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Mobilising the EU’s young people around these values and showing solidarity with Ukraine and its young people was therefore of utmost importance.

2. Implementation of the European Year of Youth

2.1. Target group

The Year was aimed at all young people in the EU and beyond. The 2019-2027 EU Youth Strategy 23 does not include an official definition of when a person is considered to be ‘young’. This definition is different from one Member State to the other. At EU level, the 15-29 age range is often used for statistical purposes.

In fulfilling its objectives and in line with Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/1877(22) 24 , the EYY aimed to be fully inclusive and actively promote the participation of young people. It included a particular focus on young people with fewer opportunities, from disadvantaged backgrounds and belonging to vulnerable groups. Such criteria include young people with disabilities, young people with migrant, Roma or LGBTIQ backgrounds, young people belonging to vulnerable groups, young people with reduced mobility and young people living in remote areas (e.g. the outermost regions) or facing economic obstacles. Efforts to include all young people in the EU and beyond also strove to achieve gender balance and the representation of diverse backgrounds.

To achieve these aims, the campaign took several measures to promote inclusiveness and representation.

All the campaign’s written communication published on the EYY’s web page was available in all 24 EU official languages. Through multilingual content, the campaign aimed to reach young people speaking different languages and ensure that language barriers did not hinder their participation. This approach enabled young people to access information and engage with the campaign in their preferred language, promoting a sense of inclusion and enabling wider participation.

In addition to linguistic inclusivity, the Years’ visuals placed particular emphasis on representing all groups of young people. By showcasing diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, ability and socio-economic backgrounds, the campaign sought to reflect the rich tapestry of young people’s experiences across Europe. This visual representation aimed to ensure that every young person, regardless of their background, could see themselves reflected and acknowledged in the campaign’s visuals.

Overall, the EYY communication campaign’s inclusive approach aimed to create an environment where all young people could feel valued, heard and represented. By providing multilingual content, embracing diverse visual representation, and collaborating with stakeholders, the campaign actively worked towards dismantling barriers and promoting equal opportunities for young people from all walks of life.

2.2. Surveys on young people’s expectations

Two surveys were conducted as part of the groundwork for the Year. They aimed to examine young people’s anticipations and expectations about the Year. The surveys helped identify the policy areas of special interest to young people. The first survey, the Call for Ideas, was carried out at the end of 2021 by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC). The second survey was a Eurobarometer survey, the 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth (‘Flash Eurobarometer survey 502’), which was carried out at the beginning of 2022 at the request of DG EAC 25 . 

2.2.1. Call for ideas on the European Year of Youth 2022

The call was launched on the European Youth Portal in October 2021 and remained open until November 2021. The survey was promoted via social media ad campaigns on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (now X) and was also shared with key stakeholders and multipliers. EUSurvey, the Commission’s web application for online survey creation and publication, was used to collect the ideas. The call received 4 686 replies overall. Most of the respondents were between 18 and 24 years old (55.5%). Of the respondents, 81.1% were living in cities or towns and 16.3% in villages and rural areas. The survey report was published on the Youth Portal in December 2021.

Key outcomes and results of the survey

The report 26 on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY showed that young people:

·were eager to participate in the Year;

Figure 1. ‘Would you like to actively contribute to the European Year of Youth?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

·wanted to make their voices heard to have an impact on policymaking but did not know how to do this;

Figure 2. ‘If you want to make your voice heard/to express your opinion, do you know how to do so?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

·identified debates and interactive dialogues as the preferred way of making their voices heard;

Figure 3. ‘What is/would be your preferred way of making your voice heard?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

·indicated the following themes as the most important and interesting: education and training, climate change/environment, health/mental health, and inclusive societies;

Figure 4. ‘What themes do you think the European Year of Youth should focus on?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

·wished to interact with young people from other European countries and emphasised the need for communication on the EU and youth;

Figure 5. ‘Who would you like to interact with during the European Year of Youth?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

·suggested social media, podcasts and digital tools as a means of informing and involving young people;

Figure 6. ‘How would you like to stay informed on developments of the European Year of Youth?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

·wanted to take part in the following activities: festivals, workshops, debates and training.

Figure 7. ‘What kind of activities do you think should absolutely be part of your European Year of Youth?’
Source: Report on the results of the Call for Ideas on the EYY

2.2.2 The 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth

The Flash Eurobarometer survey 502 was conducted by Ipsos European Public Affairs at the request of DG EAC. They interviewed a representative sample of young people aged 15 to 30 in each of the 27 Member States. Between February and March 2022, 26 178 young people were surveyed via computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI) using Ipsos online panels and their partner network. The survey report 27 was published in May 2022.

Key outcomes and results of the survey

The Flash Eurobarometer survey 502 executive summary report showed that young people:

·expected the EYY to lead to society and decision-makers listening more to young people’s opinions and needs;



Figure 8. ‘What do you most expect from the European Year of Youth? You can select up to three answers.’
(% - EU27)

Source: 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on ‘Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth’

·considered voting in local, national or European elections to be the most effective way for their voices to be heard by decision-makers;

Figure 9. ‘In your opinion what are the most effective actions for making young people’s voice heard by decision-makers? You can select up to three answers.’ (% - EU27)
Source: 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on ‘Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth’

·selected the top four EYY priorities:

1.improving mental and physical health and well-being;

2.protecting the environment and fighting climate change;

3.improving education and training;

4.fighting poverty and economic and social inequalities;



Figure 10. ‘The European Commission has decided to make 2022 the “European Year of Youth” to support the generation that has sacrificed the most during the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the key themes you think the European Year of Youth should focus on?’ (% - EU27)
Source: 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth survey report

·wanted to participate in festivals, artistic performances, concerts, meet-ups and exchanges with young people from other European countries, conferences, workshops and training;


Figure 11. ‘In the context of the European Year of Youth, activities will be organised on topics that affect young people. In which activities, if any, would you be most interested in participating? Activities can take place online and offline.’ (% - EU27)
Source: 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth survey report

·were well aware of the Erasmus+ programme but did not have much knowledge about other EU-funded opportunities to stay in another EU country.

Figure 12. ‘Below are some EU-funded opportunities for young people to stay in another EU country. Which, if any, have you heard of?’ (% - EU27)
Source: 2022 Flash Eurobarometer on Youth and Democracy in the European Year of Youth survey report

2.2.3 Comparative analysis between the surveys

Youth participation in civic life

The two surveys clearly demonstrated that young people’s major expectation for the Year was youth participation. Respondents had a fundamental desire to engage in policymaking. Young people were concerned that their voices remained unheard. They wished to connect with policymakers and showed interest in contributing to EU policymaking and decision-making.

Young people’s views on the European Year of Youth

Responses in the two surveys about young people’s views on the EYY also overlapped. The themes young people showed most interest in were mental health, education, environment/climate change and inclusive societies. The two surveys’ responses on young people’s preferred activities were also similar: festivals, workshops, debates and training were the top four activities.

While the Call for Ideas included a question directly related to communication (‘Who would you interact with during the European of Youth?’), the Flash Eurobarometer survey 502 touched upon young people’s awareness of EU opportunities for them.

The two surveys provided some valuable insights that helped select the Year’s themes most relevant to young people. This facilitated the Commission’s efforts to meet young people’s expectations throughout the Year. It also enabled the subsequent development and introduction of new formats and tools for youth participation, such as the Youth Voice Platform, policy dialogues with European Commissioners, the Youth Talks and the Pool of European Young Journalists.

2.3 Key policy areas and initiatives

Apart from the Year’s four objectives, eight policy areas were identified for the Year. Based on the Commission’s political priorities, these areas were identified as being of special interest to young people. More than 130 Commission policy initiatives of relevance to young people were identified as contributing to the Year’s four objectives and framed under the policy areas.

The eight policy areas were: European learning mobility; employment and inclusion; policy dialogues and participation; the green and digital transitions; culture; health, well-being and sports; youth and the world. A ninth area, solidarity with Ukraine, was added in February 2022.

The Year’s key policy areas and main policy initiatives are described in more detail below. In Chapter 3 ‘Key results and key achievements’, you will find a more detailed explanation of the main initiatives.

1.European learning mobility and education

The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on mobility activities, particularly those organised under the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. In 2020, 50% fewer learners started a mobility abroad compared with 2019 28 . Nevertheless, young people can be confident that the new Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps programmes for 2021-2027 specifically dedicated to young people have returned with more improvements. These new programmes not only provide new opportunities for inclusion, cultural enrichment and unique learning experiences, but also contribute to the EYY’s objectives.

In 2022, the Erasmus+ programme marked its 35th anniversary. The EYY was a great opportunity to celebrate the participation of more than 13 million young people in the programme since 1987 and promote the new edition of the programme, covering education, training, youth and sport. The European Solidarity Corps also entered its fifth year in 2022.

Main initiative under this policy area: Global Erasmus+ Alumni Mentoring Scheme 29 (DG EAC).

2.Employment and inclusion

The economic crisis provoked by the pandemic and lockdowns hit young people in particular. As a result, youth unemployment rates in the EU grew from 11.9% in 2019 to 13.3% in 2020 30   31 . The EYY therefore focused heavily on increasing employment opportunities for young people and promoting youth entrepreneurship as part of the post-pandemic recovery, including through vocational education and training (VET). The Year included a series of initiatives, events, and activities for young people. These aimed to boost the efforts of Member States and regional and local authorities in supporting and engaging with young people as part of the economic and social recovery.

Main initiative under this policy area: ALMA 32 (DG EMPL).

3.Policy dialogues and participation

Strengthening young people’s democratic participation and providing youth spaces in all areas of society is key to maintaining an active civil society in Europe. It is also crucial for the EU and its democratic societies today and in the future. The EU promotes youth participation in policymaking globally, building on the experience of the EU Youth Dialogue. This is a mechanism that ensures that young people’s needs, views and opinions are taken into account when drawing up the EU’s youth policies. The EU Youth Dialogue is a tool to bring young people’s voices closer to decision-makers by consulting with them and listening to their recommendations. These efforts were further boosted in 2022.

Main initiative under this policy area: ‘Family of policy dialogues’: Members of College in conversation with youth 33 (Secretariat-General).

4.Green

Young people will be affected the most by the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Of the challenges faced by the EU, climate change is one of the three main concerns highlighted by young Europeans 34 . Since 2019, young people’s civic participation and engagement, in particular through the global climate movement, shows the importance they give to tackling climate change and achieving climate justice. Therefore, it is crucial to involve and prepare the next generations for the green transition. In the context of the EYY, the EU proposed several opportunities under its green priority for young people to engage, act and learn about topics related to climate and the environment.

Main initiative under this policy area: The Green Track campaign 35 (DG ENV).

5.Digital

96% 36 of young Europeans use the internet daily 37 . The COVID-19 pandemic led to an acceleration in digital trends. Despite being digital natives, young people, especially those under 18, deserve support and empowerment in a world where the distinction between online and offline is increasingly blurred. Rapidly advancing digital technologies present both new opportunities and challenges for young people, especially on digital skills, the digital divide and the potential exposure to harmful online content. To address these issues, there is an urgent need for education and capacity building to accelerate the digital transition and equip young people with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a digitalised world.

Main initiative under this policy area: Updated Better Internet for Kids (BIK+) Strategy 38 (DG CNECT).

6.Culture

When asked about what creates a sense of community in the EU 39 , 29% of young Europeans indicated culture as playing a significant role. Europe’s cultural heritage is a rich and diverse mosaic of cultural and creative expressions, an inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and a legacy for those to come. Cultural heritage and creativity enrich the individual lives of people, drive the cultural and creative sectors, and help create and increase Europe’s social capital. The EYY connected young people to culture through music and encouraged them to visit cultural heritage sites around Europe.

Main initiative under this policy area: Culture Moves Europe new mobility scheme for artists in the EU (DG EAC).

7.Health, well-being and sports

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an unprecedented increase in mental health distress, particularly among young people. Addressing well-being calls for a comprehensive policy approach, bringing together sport, health, food and other policies. A healthy lifestyle is first and foremost about being aware of its importance. However, many people face different barriers, for instance, due to their financial situation or a lack of information. Promoting a healthy and active lifestyle from a young age is essential in helping reduce non-communicable diseases later in life.

Main initiative under this policy area: HealthyLifeStyle4All Youth Ideas Labs 40 (DG EAC).

8.Youth and the world

The EYY was not only relevant to European youth but also to young people all over the world. Through specific initiatives, the EU aims to provide opportunities for education, learning and exchanges, partnerships and dialogue between young people from the EU and partner countries, such as from the Eastern Partnership, the Western Balkans and Africa. The EU also seeks to increase the role of youth engagement in strategic communication and public diplomacy action.

Main initiative under this policy area: Youth action plan (EEAS/DG INTPA/DG NEAR, DG ECHO, FPI).

9. Solidarity with Ukraine

A ninth policy area, solidarity with Ukraine, was added in February 2022, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Chapter 3.1.8 Solidarity with Ukraine describes the Year’s many initiatives related to supporting the Ukrainian people. These initiatives were promoted through the EYY’s communication campaign.

All the Year’s initiatives fell under one or more of the above policy areas. The Year’s policy initiatives, in line with its objectives, provided many opportunities for young people from Europe and beyond to engage in learning and civic engagement activities. This enabled them to gain the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to move forward in life with confidence. The initiatives aimed to help young people become more familiar with politics at EU, national, regional and international levels.

Most of the initiatives are published on a special section of the European Youth Portal 41 where young people can access them. The content is written in a language adapted to young people and describes the benefits for them.

At the Commission level, 31 DGs, agencies and services contributed to the Year with their programmes, policy initiatives and communication channels.

2.4. Budget implementation and resources

A budget mapping exercise was carried out during the Year. This gave an estimation of the Commission’s indicative investment in actions mainly targeting youth (but not always exclusively) under different EU programmes and budgets.

As laid down in recital 30 of the Decision, the financial allocation required to implement the Decision had to come from the budget of the contributing programmes in line with the 2021-2027 EU long-term budget (also known as the multi-annual financial framework). Subject to the availability of funding, co-financing activities in support of the Year from the EU budget had to comply with the rules and procedures of the relevant programmes, including Erasmus+, the European Solidarity Corps and other EU programmes. EU programmes with objectives in line with the goals of the Year were examined to identify activities and initiatives that could contribute to the Year’s objectives, thus contributing to its overall success.

From a technical and operational point of view, there was no transfer of funds from one instrument to another, and each programme implemented activities in line with its own rules and decision-making procedures. However, to better assess the Year’s impact and have an idea of how much these activities contributed to its objectives, examples of relevant activities and corresponding estimates were mapped in the programmes involved.

In its conciliation procedure (concluded on 15 November) for the revised 2022 budget, the budgetary authority provided for additional budget for the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. Part of this budget was earmarked for preparing and carrying out activities in line with the EYY, namely EUR 5 million for Erasmus+ and EUR 3 million for the European Solidarity Corps.

In the budget negotiations with Parliament and the Council, the Commission made the following statement: ‘The Commission will carry out a mapping exercise throughout the Year and will regularly update it outlining the possible and actual contributions by EU programmes and instruments to the implementation of the Year and reporting on the activities. The progress in the deployment of contributions by the Union programmes will be regularly presented to the European Parliament and the Council. These contributions should be considered as complementary and above the minimum operational budget of EUR 8 million’ 42 .

On four occasions, the Commission shared an update on the indicative estimates of the budget mapping and the initiatives with Parliament and the Council (in December 2021, May 2022, October 2022 and May 2023). The budget mapping exercise could not be exhaustive as certain actions were not directly managed by the Commission (e.g. shared management); other actions might have included young people among the target population or beneficiaries but may not have focused exclusively on them. As a result, the indicative amounts are estimates rather than precise amounts.

An estimated indicative amount of around EUR 140 million was identified in the following participating EU programmes, schemes and instruments for the implementation of the Year’s objectives, for example, via calls for proposals, campaigns and events. Apart from the Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps programmes, relevant actions to achieve the EYY objectives were identified in Creative Europe, Horizon Europe, European Social Fund+, the Just Transition Fund/REACTEU, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Value programme, the Single Market programme, Digital Europe, the Justice Programme, the Connecting Europe Facility, NDICI Global Europe, the Foreign Policy Instrument, the Programme for Environment and Climate Action, activities supporting EU transport policy, transport security and passenger rights, including communication activities, EU4Health, the Technical Support Instrument (TSI), ESTAT budget, DG Communication’s budget (citizen’s dialogues and visitor’s centre), Finance, Learning, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights for cultural and creative sectors preparatory action (FLIP), EU Datathon, the Internal Security Fund – Police, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.

2.5 Co-creation process with stakeholders and multipliers

The Year was created in a spirit of co-creation. Once the Commission adopted its proposal for a Decision on the Year, it immediately kicked off a co-creation process with other EU institutions, Member States, youth stakeholders and young people. Recital 27 of the Decision emphasises the need for collaborative creation in coordinating the EYY at EU level. To effectively execute and co-create the Year, the Commission arranged joint meetings and individual ones with stakeholders, representatives from youth organisations and bodies, and national coordinators (‘NCs’). In these gatherings, the EU Youth Coordinator assumed a vital role, actively engaging with diverse stakeholders and representatives of youth-focused organisations or bodies.

Furthermore, Article 6 of the Decision underscores the importance of efficiently implementing the Year by maximising its international outreach and leveraging existing delivery mechanisms. To optimise the added value and ensure a bigger impact on young people, it was crucial to create synergies and complementarities between the EYY and EU programmes, particularly those with an international dimension, including programmes in cooperation with the Youth Partnership Council of Europe. This cooperation encompassed joint participation in stakeholder meetings and the exchange of valuable studies issued by the Youth Partnership Council of Europe.

Additionally, a series of events was organised to promote studies on youth political participation, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on democratic youth participation, new forms of youth civic engagement and critical thinking in citizenship education. These collaborative efforts further boosted the Year’s effectiveness in addressing the needs and aspirations of young people across Europe and beyond.

2.5.1 Interservice steering group and the Commission Youth Network

An interservice steering group (a Commission cross-department group) on the European Year of Youth was set up immediately after the Year was announced. In total, eight meetings took place with 31 departments (Directorate-Generals or DGs) participating and consulted throughout the Year.

In the Commission, a new Youth Network was created, coordinated by the EU Youth Coordinator. The Commission Youth Network enabled continuous exchanges between the DGs on youth-related initiatives and was a key enabler of the Year’s strong cross-sectoral dimension. Nine meetings have taken place since its establishment, listed in detail in the table below.

23 June 2021

1st Commission Youth Network Meeting: 9 DGs attended (ENV, CLIMA, COMM, ENER, INTPA, MARE, MOVE, REGIO, RTD), presenting information on practical matters related to the functioning of the informal network.

28 October 2021

2nd Commission Youth Network Meeting: 12 DGs attended. Discussion on the role of the Youth Network in the EYY and Commission EYY policy initiatives.

8 December 2021

3rd Commission Youth Network Meeting: DGs were updated and had the chance to discuss the timeline and main points of the negotiations on the Decision on the Year, the EU survey and visual identity, the EYY budget mapping and policy initiatives.

3 February 2022

4th Commission Youth Network Meeting: EYY updates, a demo of the EYY site, and 3-minute updates from each DG on upcoming EYY plans.

30 March 2022

5th Commission Youth Network Meeting: EYY updates (policy fiches, reporting exercise, etc.) and change of narrative linked to the war in Ukraine.

3 June 2022

6th Commission Youth Network Meeting: 16 DGs and services attended. EYY updates, reflections on EYY legacy, and presentations on the Green Track campaign (ENV); the Council Recommendation on learning for the green transition and sustainable development (EAC); Youth Climate and Sustainability Roundtables (EESC); the Better Internet for Kids Strategy (CNECT); and ALMA (EMPL).

17 October 2022

7th Commission Youth Network Meeting: EYY updates, presentations from DGs on EYY activities and events and its legacy (RTD, NEAR, EAC, D3).

16 December 2022

8th Commission Youth Network Meeting: EYY updates (activities, closing conference, EYY reporting) and presentations by European Youth Forum on the outcomes of EU Youth Dialogue; REGIO on the Youth4Cooperation initiative; CLIMA on #MyEUClimatePact campaign; SG/EAC on youth policy dialogues with Commissioners; and EMPL on the European Year of Skills 2023.

25 May 2023

9th Commission Youth Network Meeting: EYY updates and presentation of legacy – ‘the way forward.’ Presentations by SG on ‘EU Democracy in Action – Have Your Say with the European Citizens’ Initiative’; INTPA on the Youth Action Plan and youth initiatives for international partnerships’; EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership on the EU Youth Dialogue evaluation and findings on inclusion; and EMPL on the European Year of Skills 2023.

Table 1. Meetings of Commission Youth Network

2.5.2 The EYY national coordinators, national contact points and stakeholder group

As mentioned in recital 27 and in Article 5 of the Decision, the Commission set up a group of European Year of Youth national coordinators, national contact points and stakeholders (‘EYY NCs/SH group’) as soon as the Commission proposal for a Decision on the Year was published in mid‑October 2021.

The EYY NCs/SH group was open to any EU-level non-profit organisation, network or platform, which was led by young people or worked with them. Any organisations interested were invited to express interest to be part of the group via an online form. More than 120 stakeholders at European level were part of the group. The organisations work in a wide range of policy fields, contributing to a fully cross-sectoral approach to the EYY.

The Commission set up an online collaboration space on Microsoft Teams for regular exchanges on the Year. Stakeholders used this space to ask questions about the Year and promote their projects and activities. The space was also used to share all the reports and presentations from the EYY NCs/SH group meetings. On 2 June 2023, the space had 216 members (including 19 Commission staff).

Members of the group participated in co-creating and implementing the EYY. They organised activities linked to the Year’s objectives and promoted youth participation. They acted as multipliers and represented their organisations and the interests of their members in meetings at EU level and in the EYY NCs/SH group.

Nine meetings took place before, during and after the Year (and there was an additional meeting before the Year on Youth Councils). Two preparatory meetings took place in November and December 2021 to exchange ideas on the Years’ policy areas and activities. Representatives of the European Parliament, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) also attended. In 2022, the Commission held five other meetings with this group to discuss the Year’s implementation. The Commission organised two more meetings with the group in 2023 (February and May) to discuss the Year’s reporting, follow-up and legacy. At these meetings, the EYY team provided general updates on the Year, followed by contributions from keynote speakers and presentations on plans for the Year and policy initiatives by other DGs. There were also group discussions/brainstorming in breakout sessions on certain topics.

16 November 2021

1st Joint Meeting, online

17 December 2021

2nd Joint Meeting, online

9 February 2022

3rd Joint Meeting, online

29 March 2022

4th Joint Meeting, online

2 June 2022

5th Joint Meeting, online

18 October 2022

6th Joint Meeting, online

5 December 2022

7th Joint Meeting, in person, Brussels

16 February 2023

8th Joint Meeting, online

3 May 2023

9th Joint Meeting, online

Table 2. EYY NCs/SH group meetings

2.5.3 National coordination grants

In November 2021, Member States were invited to appoint a NC, responsible for coordinating relevant activities and all the EYY policy areas at national, regional and local levels, as set out in Article 4 of the Decision. The NCs were expected to have a cross-programme and cross-field coordination role of national activities. The aim was to ensure the close involvement of national youth councils, youth civil society organisations, Erasmus+/European Solidarity Corps National Agencies and Creative Europe Desks, youth workers, organisations implementing EYY activities and young people during the Year. These activities were intended to contribute directly to the four objectives of the EYY.

It was proposed that the NCs would closely involve national youth councils, youth civil society organisations and young people in the Year.

The NCs were therefore expected to:

·represent their country in meetings at EU level;

·organise or act as a multiplier at national, regional and local meetings and events;

·raise awareness and communicate on EYY national, regional and local activities;

·encourage a broad involvement in the Year, beyond the youth policy focus;

·work closely and promote synergies with different national stakeholders in fields relevant to young people.

To ensure a smooth implementation at national level, the Commission allocated grants to the NCs under the Erasmus+ programme for a total amount of EUR 4.5 million. A call for proposals for national coordination grants opened on 15 December 2021 and closed on 1 February 2022. In March 2022, the evaluation took place, and then information on the results were issued.

The call for proposals for grants to the NCs included the following requirements based on the types of measures set out in Article 3 of the Decision:

·promote an inclusive and accessible debate on challenges that young people face (including those with fewer opportunities and belonging to vulnerable groups) and on potential courses of action; this includes addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;

·promote youth participation and improve existing tools, channels and programmes, enabling young people to reach policymakers by identifying, collecting and sharing experiences and good practices;

·gather ideas using participatory methods to co-create the Year;

·support information, education and awareness-raising campaigns to convey values, such as equality, solidarity, volunteering, a sense of belonging and safety, a feeling of being heard and respected, in order to inspire young people to actively help to build a society that is more inclusive, green and digital;

·create a space for an exchange on turning challenges into opportunities in an entrepreneurial spirit;

·carry out studies and research on the situation of young people in the EU, including by producing European harmonised statistics, and promoting and disseminating these results at European, national and regional levels;

·promote programmes, funding opportunities, projects, activities and networks of relevance to youth, including through social media and online communities.

A particular emphasis was placed on ensuring that the events and activities organised would be environmentally friendly.

The award criteria for the call were as follows:

·Relevance: clarity and consistency of the project, objectives and planning; the extent to which they match the themes and priorities and objectives of the call; contribution to the EU strategic and legislative context; European/transnational dimension; impact/interest for a number of countries (EU or eligible non-EU countries); possibility to use the results in other countries; potential to develop mutual trust/cross-border cooperation (34 points)

·Quality – project design and implementation: technical quality; logical links between the identified problems, needs and solutions proposed (logical frame concept); methodology for implementing the project (concept and methodology, management, procedures, timetable, risks and risk management, monitoring and evaluation); feasibility of the project within the proposed time frame; cost effectiveness (sufficient/appropriate budget for proper implementation; best value for money) (33 points)

·Impact: ambition and expected long-term impact of results on target groups/general public; appropriate dissemination strategy for ensuring sustainability and long-term impact; sustainability of results after EU funding ends (33 points).

Following the evaluation, 28 national coordination grants were signed (Level 2 commitments). The maximum Commission contribution per Member State is listed in the table below.

Member State

Max. Commission grant amount (EUR)

Member State

Max. Commission grant amount (EUR)

BE

319 404 

LT 

143 089

BG 

142 985

LU 

71 542

CZ 

143 089

HU 

114 471

DK 

107 430

MT 

71 542

DE 

286 174

NL 

143 016

EE 

130 212

AT 

143 089

IE 

143 089

PL 

226 953

EL 

100 000

PT 

143 079

ES 

286 174

RO 

143 089

FR 

286 176

SI 

143 089

HR 

143 088

SK 

143 089

IT 

286 174

FI 

143 089

CY 

143 089

SE 

142 207

LV 

143 089

Table 3. Maximum Commission contribution for national coordination grants per Member State

Several of the grants awarded to the NCs continued into 2023. Many of these grants had an end date between March and May 2023, enabling many events to take place in the first part of 2023.

With the aid of these Commission grants under Erasmus+, Member States organised meaningful projects and launched new initiatives, youth structures and strategies. These are a major legacy of the Year at national, regional and local levels.

2.6 The main EYY events

2.6.1 Traineeship and European Year of Youth welcome event

On 21 March 2022, an informal and interactive online welcome event was held to inaugurate the EU institution’s 2022 traineeship session, with a focus on the EYY. The primary objective of the event was to promote meaningful connections among trainees, providing an opportunity to highlight the European vision for the future, driven by democratic principles, solidarity, peace and European values. The participants included trainees from the Commission and other EU institutions, such as the European Parliament, the Council, CoR, the EESC and the European Ombudsman. In total, the event hosted approximately 1 000 participants.

2.6.2 LevelUp! Accelerating change festival

Focusing on the second objective of the EYY – supporting young people to help them gain knowledge and skills – the European Youth Forum organised the LevelUp! Accelerating change festival in cooperation with the Commission and the European Parliament.

Figure 13. LevelUp!
Source: European Youth Forum

On 28 and 29 October 2022, more than 1 330 young people participated in over 220 workshops to boost their skills and accelerate change in their communities. The interest shown was impressive as there were more than 3 000 applications for attendance of the festival at the time of registration.

Young people with diverse experiences and backgrounds from more than 50 countries, including the 27 Member States, gathered at the heart of Europe. The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola opened the event in Brussels encouraging young people from across Europe to bring the promise of Europe wherever they go. More than 25 trainers and more than 10 partners made the event happen. The training areas focused on three meta-skill sets: communication, advocacy and organising.

2.6.3 Claim the Future EYY closing conference

On 6 December 2022, the EYY’s closing conference, on the theme ‘Claim the Future’, took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was jointly organised by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Czech Presidency of the Council. As Michaela Šojdrová, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), pointed out after the event, it was the first time all three main EU institutions had jointly organised an event on such a scale.


Figure 14. Claim the Future EYY closing conference
Source: European Commission

The conference was an ideal opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the Year and how youth policy could remain high on the political agenda after 2022. Over 700 people, including MEPs, Commissioners, Czech, Swedish and French ministers or state secretaries, civil society representatives and many young people participated. They all had the opportunity to attend thematic sessions on education and mental health, participate in the discussions and leave their mark on the Year’s legacy. At the closing session, former Commissioner Mariya Gabriel reaffirmed the need to listen to, engage with and support young people. This kicked off the Year’s legacy process.