Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Brussels, 15 May 2023

The EU should do more to get young people involved in developing policy for a sustainable future, ministers for youth said in Brussels today.

In conclusions approved at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council, EU ministers stressed the need to consider the social dimension of a sustainable Europe for young people, highlighting their role as key players in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

There can be no sustainable future without young people. We need to ensure that the next generation plays a meaningful role at every level in policy-making on issues relating to sustainability.

Jakob Forssmed, Swedish Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health

In its conclusions, the Council calls on member states and the European Commission to:

  • explore ways to increase the involvement of young people in the political process, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • promote opportunities for educators and youth workers to develop knowledge, skills and competences to address issues of social inclusion and sustainable development
  • take a cross-cutting approach to integrating a youth perspective across all policies and levels of government
Promoting the EU’s youth agenda

The conclusions are in line with the European Youth Goals on inclusive societies and a sustainable green Europe, which focus on protecting young people from social exclusion and empowering them to act as agents of change for sustainable development. They also build on commitments made as part of the European Year of Youth 2022 to increase the participation of young people in policy-making processes.

Prioritising mental health

Ministers acknowledged the difficulties facing young people today, including the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the energy crisis, and climate change. They stressed the need to address the mental health problems affecting increasing numbers of young people as a result of these challenges. In particular, they called on member states to foster ‘mental health literacy’ through access to quality education and health services.


Today’s conclusions echo and build upon a number of developments that have taken place at EU level in recent years and which acknowledge the importance of fostering social inclusion for young people, involving them in sustainable policy-making, and prioritising their mental health.

The European Youth Goals were developed during the 6th cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue as part of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027. The third goal, ‘inclusive societies’, stresses the need to ensure that young people in Europe have full access to their social rights, while the tenth goal, a ‘sustainable green Europe’, focuses on achieving a society in which all young people are environmentally active, educated and able to make a difference in their everyday lives.

At the closing conference of the European Year of Youth 2022, policy makers and youth stakeholders reiterated their joint commitment to mainstreaming a youth perspective in policy-making and increasing the participation of young people in policy-making processes. There were also calls for an increased focus on combating health issues, including those related to mental health.

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Source – EU Council


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