Young people are key drivers of positive change and essential partners to advance sustainable and inclusive development.
There are over 1.8 billion young people in the world today, 90% of whom live in developing countries. In Africa alone, three-quarters of the population is below 35.
Nearly all policy decisions have an impact on youth. It is therefore fundamental to ensure that young people’s perspectives are taken into consideration in those decisions.
However, despite the clear benefits of engaging with children and youth, they are often excluded from political, economic and social decision-making processes on issues that affect them and their future. Girls and young women, and young people with disabilities, are particularly disadvantaged, further exacerbating inequalities.
Youth should be at the centre of everything we do - this is fundamental to build stronger, more legitimate, inclusive, peaceful and democratic societies, where human rights and the rule of law are respected. This is clearly recognised in the Council Conclusions on Youth in External Action, the European Consensus on Development and in the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024.
Programmes and initiatives
The EU supports partner countries to review and design policies to promote young people’s well-being and rights, and facilitate their inclusion in social, civic and economic life.
Youth Sounding Board
The Youth Sounding Board is a space for young people to have an influence on EU external action and international partnerships.
Overseas Countries and Territories Youth Network
Youth Democracy Cohort
DEAR: Development Education and Awareness Raising Programme
AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub
EU and UNICEF join forces to bring youth voices into the EU–LAC partnership
The European Union (EU) and UNICEF have launched today a new initiative to bring youth voices to the centre of the partnership between the EU and the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States (CELAC).
Commissioner Urpilainen to reaffirm EU support to the Least Developed Countries at the 5th UN Conference
Today, 7 March, Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, is in Doha, Qatar, to participate in the 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5), which will focus on the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action for the least Developed Countries 2022 – 2031, endorse
Global Gateway: Commissioner Urpilainen travels to Nepal to reaffirm strong partnership in support of its green recovery
Commissioner for International Parnterships Jutta Urpilainen will travel on 8 February to Nepal for an official one-day visit to meet Nepali leaders and launch several EU actions in the country.