Ministers responsible for the youth agenda adopted Council conclusions to promote the role of youth in environmental policymaking.
The Conclusions on the social dimension of a sustainable Europe for youth highlight the role of young people as key actors in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015, and the European Green Deal. The Conclusions call, among others, on member states and the European Commission to explore ways to increase the participation of young people (in particular from disadvantaged backgrounds) in the policy processes and to take the youth perspective into account in all policies and at all levels of governance.
Education for inclusive and sustainable societies
Member states and the European Commission should also promote opportunities for educators, trainers and youth workers to develop the knowledge, skills and competences needed to address issues of social inclusion and sustainable development. The Council also calls on member states to make full use of the Erasmus+, European Solidarity Corps and European Social Fund Plus programmes.
The newly adopted conclusions build on the European Youth Goals, which are part of the 2018 European Youth Strategy. They refer in particular to two goals: goal n. 3: Inclusive societies, which focuses on ensuring that young people in Europe have full access to their social rights, and goal n. 10: Sustainable green Europe, which aims to achieve a society in which all young people are active and environmentally literate and able to make positive changes in their daily lives. The document was also adopted in response to the outcomes of the European Year of Youth 2022, with the aim of increasing the participation of young people in policy-making processes.
Mental health as one of the key priorities
The ministers agreed that young people are currently facing various challenges, including the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the energy crisis and climate change. They stressed the need to address mental health, as the number of young people experiencing mental health problems has been increasing in recent years. The Council therefore calls on member states to promote "mental health literacy" through access to quality education and health services.
The Council also calls on the European Commission to further promote and support a cross-sectoral approach and synergies with other initiatives such as the Education for Climate Coalition, the Council recommendation on learning for the green transition and sustainable development and the New European Bauhaus initiative.
In addition to adopting the Conclusions on the social dimension of a sustainable Europe for youth, the Council also discussed ways to improve the social inclusion of young people in the EU, in particular displaced Ukrainians. At the same time, it adopted a Council Resolution on the results of the 9th cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue and a Council Resolution on the revision of the European Youth Strategy Work Plan 2022-2024.
Find more information on the Council's website.