As the European Year of Youth 2022 is soon reaching the halfway mark, debates at the CoR's SEDEC Commission meeting on 21 June focused around youth policy. Mainstreaming the youth dimension across EU policies, improving the young people's participation in democratic life and promoting the social inclusion of vulnerable young people into the educational system are among the key elements of an upcoming opinion which will be prepared by Tine Radinja (SI/The Greens), Mayor of Škofja Loka.
According to the rapporteur, the European Year of Youth should leave a
long-lasting legacy by involving young people in the design, leadership,
implementation and assessment of policies at EU, national, regional and
local levels. Mr Radinja highlighted the importance of
local and regional authorities for the success of the EU Youth Strategy and
the contribution they can bring through education and culture to foster an
inclusive society for young people. He pointed out that the pandemic and
the insecurity of labour market are having an impact on the mental health
of young people.
Many speakers voiced their concerns over the low turnout in recent
elections, especially among young people. Lowering the voting age to 16 was
among the recommendations from the floor. Mayor of Cluj-Napoca Emil Boc (RO/EPP) suggested that this could be done first
in local elections across Europe, allowing young people a first contact to
democracy. However, obviously this competence remains at Member State
(IE/EA), Member of Cork City Council, welcomed the European Youth Forum's
proposal for an
EU Youth Test
to assess the impact of any new EU proposals for young people. The European
Commission representative from DG EAC confirmed that the Commission is
exploring the most efficient way to implement it.
of the Conference on the Future of Europe also show that citizens agree on
the need to promote learning on environmental sustainability and climate
change, as well as civic education on democratic values and on the
functioning of the EU. The CoR has already collected more than 100
examples and best practices
from 19 Member States and their regions and cities in this field.
Marcos Ros Sempere
(ES/S&D) underlined that Russia's aggression in Ukraine has taught us
that we cannot take democracy for granted. He recalled that the European
Parliament has recommended including EU civic education in the school
curricula in all Member States. He also placed high expectations on the
European Education Area
, which is set to be completed by 2025, to widen the harmonisation of
education among the Member States across all educational levels.
Representing the CoR's group of
Young Elected Politicians
, Vienna city councillor Julia Heinrich pointed out that
young people still lack information about job opportunities in other Member
States and that moving to another country remains often a bureaucratic
The SEDEC Commission has also published a study on the local
implementation of the Reinforced Youth Guarantee.
The next SEDEC meeting will be held in Brno, Czech Republic, on 3-4