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.
The Youth Sounding Board is a space for young people to have an influence on EU external action and international partnerships.
Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen met today for the first time the new cohort of the Youth Sounding Board for EU International Partnerships, discussing expectations and the work ahead for 2023–2025.
Today the EU has committed €30 million in budget support to Tajikistan to advance vocational education and training. It will empower local youth, women and returnee migrants, while also promoting employment in critical sectors such as agriculture, energy and the emerging green and digital industries
EU launches the Youth Empowerment Fund: new partnership with the world’s largest youth organisations to support young people contributing to the SDGs
The European Commission and the world’s largest youth organisations, the “Big Six”, announced a partnership today to launch the EU Youth Empowerment Fund, to be implemented through the Global Youth Mobilization (GYM).