Announced last September by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the European institutions want to make 2022 the European Year of Youth and the official proposal is published. By doing so, the European Commission wants to:
- address some challenges faced by younger generations, especially since the COVID-19 crisis, like employment and mobility. This will be undertaken through the promotion of tools and opportunities provided by the European Union to support youth personal and professional development.
- Encourage all young people to take part in public life and be active citizens, including those living in rural and remote areas.
- Hear young people’s vision of the future of Europe and highlight the opportunities offered to younger generations by the green and digital transitions.
The European Year of Youth in 2022 is designed as a moment for discussions and debates. Therefore, European institutions and Member States will collaborate with regional and local authorities and stakeholders to organise conferences, encourage research on youth and build communication campaigns to raise awareness on the different programmes targeting young Europeans. A call for ideas was recently launched on the EU Youth Portal for stakeholders to propose activities for the European Year of Youth.
In its communication, the European Commission highlights the cross-sectoral nature of work on youth, with links to different existing policies such as the Green Deal, the Cohesion Policy, the Action Plan for Democracy, and social and employment policies. The Commission also stresses the links with the Rural Pact and Action Plan of the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas. Euromontana welcomes the effort to include all young people in this European Year of Youth, including those living in rural, remote, and mountainous areas. Euromontana in particular hopes to see this year a concrete application of the rural proofing mechanism and the Rural Observatory, both announced for 2022, in order to better adapt youth policies to the needs of young mountain people.
Building on the results of our European mountain youth survey, the preliminary results of which were presented at our recent conference Being young in a mountain area in 2021, Euromontana will bring the voice of mountain youth throughout 2022. A report will be published at the beginning of the year to feed the debate and Euromontana will work to ensure that the specific needs of young people in our regions are heard, particularly in relation to employment, education, and mobility.10 November 2021