2022: The European Year of Youth

Source: European Parliament (EP) i, published on Thursday, February 17 2022.

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The EU decided to dedicate 2022 to young people. Find out more about the European Year of Youth and EU programmes for young people.

The EU recognises the importance of young people's wellbeing, development, engagement and participation in society. That is why it has launched so many youth programmes and initiatives over time: from the well-known and popular Erasmus exchange programme, which started in 1987, to the most recent involvement of young people in the Conference on the Future of Europe where a third of the participants in citizens’ panels are aged under 25.

Read more on what the EU does to help young people find work

European Year of Youth

This year the EU puts a special focus on young people. The goal is to include young people and their priorities in policymaking and organise youth-focused activities across the EU.

Young people in Europe

  • One in six Europeans is between the ages 15 to 29
  • One in three young people reported spending two or more weeks abroad for work, training or education in 2019
  • Three quarters of young people have a positive view of the European Union and democracy

At Parliament’s request, particular attention will be given to young people with fewer opportunities or mental health issues. During the year, the Alma project will be launched to promote cross-border mobility for disadvantaged young people.

Parliament condemned unpaid internships and called for the mental health of young people to be supported as part of the socio-economic recovery, during the plenary session in February 2020. MEPs also called for better coordination of the available youth programmes and for more effective labour market integration of young people in order to avoid a lost generation.

The Covid-19 pandemic's impact on young people

The Covid-19 crisis has severely affected young people: they have suffered job losses and their mental and emotional health has deteriorated. That is why the EU decided to prioritise youth issues and work to improve young people's prospects.

Young people and Covid-19

  • One in three reported having difficulties coping with Covid-19 measures
  • Unemployment among young people increased from 11.9% in 2019 to 13.3% in 2020.
  • 40% feel fear for their own health and 66% for the health of their families and friends

Find out more about EU youth initiatives

  • The European Youth Event is the European Parliament’s flagship event for young people that gives them the opportunity to meet with other young people and policy-makers, put forward and discuss ideas for the future of Europe
  • Visit one the European Parliaments buildings and take part in a wide variety of education and learning activities about the EU. You can book it here
  • The European Parliament Ambassador School Programme carries out activities that aim to teach students in secondary and vocational schools about European democracy and values and the role they can play in the EU
  • The European Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded every year to projects run by young people that promote European and international understanding and foster a sense of European identity and integration
  • The European Youth Portal offers European and national information and opportunities around education, volunteering, working active participation, culture and creativity, social inclusion, global issues and travelling for young people

Find out more

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