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European Year of Youth 2022

EFA calls for focus on youth unemployment

With 2022 set to be designated as European Year of Youth, the European Free Alliance (EFA) has called for a focus on youth unemployment and its impact.

MEPs have given the green light to the plans which will put young people at the heart of deciding how the EU wide programme will be implemented.

According to EFA MEP Diana Riba, a member of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee which led on negotiations with the European Commission “the figures are clear: in August the youth unemployment rate was almost triple the overall unemployment rate in the European Union. The social and economic crisis caused by the pandemic has disproportionately affected young people.”

Earlier this week, the Culture Committee voted to support a deal with the European Commission on a package of measures which will see 2022 designated as European Year of Youth.

EU Year of Youth 2022 will have as its key objective ‘to empower, support and engage with young people in a post-pandemic perspective,’ according to the Culture Committee.

MEPs insisted that when the Commission and the Member States draw up national and pan-European plans, they will have to consult with young people and youth organisations in designing them.

MEPs have also secured 8 million euros in new funding to support the plans, in addition to existing support through Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps.

With the backing of MEPs, the necessary legislation will be in place to allow Member States to present their own national plans from the start of 2022.

Diana Riba and other MEPs also called for the EU Year of Youth to focus on the abusive practice on unpaid internships. They would like the European Commission to legislate on the practice.

Diana Riba added: “In the European Year of Youth we have a great challenge in overcoming an adult-centric culture so that the plurality and complexity of young people’s interests and concerns are truly valued. This goes beyond the labour market and includes the climate crisis and economic policy. Young people’s voices should be front and centre of European Year of Youth and building the future of Europe.”

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