Mobility for all and support for young people and sport


At its meeting on 13-14 May, the Council adopted recommendations and conclusions on education, youth and sport.

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council met on 13 and 14 May. Member State representatives discussed important current issues in all these areas and approved several documents.


The main theme of the meeting in the field of education was the promotion of mobility for all within and outside the EU. Education Ministers or their delegated representatives adopted the recommendation "Europe on the Move" – learning mobility opportunities for everyone. Its main aim is to encourage more mobility across all areas of education, training and youth in order to enhance the personal and professional knowledge and skills of those who participate in mobility, and thus ensure a better prepared and competitive Europe in the context of the green and digital transformation. A more skilled workforce would also help address talent gaps in the labour market and reduce the mismatch between the skills of school leavers and those required by employers. Last but not least, international mobility of students and adults should increase mutual trust between countries and education systems.  

The Recommendation sets new targets to be achieved by 2030, especially for the mobility of higher education and vocational education and training students. At least 23% of graduates in higher education and at least 12% of learners in vocational education and training (VET) should have international mobility experience. At the same time, Member States should focus on a more inclusive approach to promoting mobility, with the aim that by 2027 at least 20% of participants in mobility abroad in all fields of education at EU level should be from any disadvantaged background.  

To achieve these objectives, the document recommends specific actions for Member States, but also for the European Commission or other relevant stakeholders. Member States should focus on greater integration of mobility into mainstream education, on promoting language learning and mutual recognition of learning outcomes, or on taking full advantage of digital technologies to support mobility. The European Commission will then be tasked with developing a methodology to better monitor the state of play of mobility and an overview of all funding opportunities. In addition, the Commission will act as a facilitator in sharing and disseminating examples of good practice between Member States. The Commission is also committed to the continued development of tools to facilitate mobility (e.g. the European Student Card) or to support initiatives such as the European University Alliances or the Erasmus+ Teaching Academy. The role of other stakeholders is mainly in promoting cooperation between schools and the private sector (e.g. through apprenticeships and internships or traineeships for students in companies).    

In addition to mobilities, the Council also focused on supporting evidence-based policies and practices. The Council conclusions on promoting evidence-informed policy and practice in education and training to achieve the European Education Area identify four priority areas on which Member States could focus - 1. a positive approach to evidence-based policy and practice and stimulating research; 2. building the capacity of all relevant organisations to be able and capable of using evidence; 3. promoting the use of data; 4. further developing the Learning Lab on Investing in Quality Education and Training.

The ministers' policy debate brought up the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in education and training, specifically in three areas. These included the design of national education systems, assessing the impact of AI and potential EU-level measures to make the most effective use of AI. 


In the field of youth, the Council adopted three conclusions. The first are the Council conclusions on inclusive societies for young people. These are based on the European Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and on the eleven European Youth Goals, namely "Inclusive Societies" (No 3), "Mental Health & Wellbeing" (No 5) and "Space and Participation for All" (No 9). The document recognises the challenges that young people face in today's society and highlights the need to involve them in local communities and democratic life. Emphasis is also placed on young people's mental health and the provision of quality and personalised healthcare in this area.    

The second document adopted is the Council conclusions on European and international policy agendas for children, youth and children’s rights. The Council recognises the need to ensure a safe transition from childhood to adulthood for all children, including those at risk of poverty and other negative influences. This includes the protection of children in the online environment, taking into account the rise of artificial intelligence and other challenges. The text calls on Member States to develop or revise national strategies or coordinated policies on children and youth rights.    

The third conclusions adopted during the May meeting concern the European Year of Youth 2022. The document Council conclusions on the legacy of the European Year of Youth acknowledges the achievements and calls on the European Commission to mainstream youth issues into all relevant EU policies. Mechanisms such as the EU Youth Dialogue, national youth councils and the proposed platform for youth stakeholders should play a key role here. 

In addition to the above-mentioned documents, the Council also adopted a Council resolution on youth work policy in an empowering Europe, which empowers young people. This resolution calls on Member States, the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders to support the development and implementation of quality youth work and youth policy at EU, national and local level. The ministers also held a policy debate on the follow-up to the EU Youth Conference held in Ghent on 2-5 March 2024, focusing on inclusive societies. They discussed ways to better monitor the results of EU youth dialogues and provide feedback at political level.


In the field of sport, the Council conclusions on the contribution of self-organised sport to supporting active and healthy lifestyles among Europeans have become a key document. These conclusions encourage Member States and the Commission to support self-organised sport policies, including in regions with insufficient sport infrastructure. They also call for awareness-raising campaigns and the development of appropriate infrastructure to encourage Europeans to participate more in sporting activities. The Council resolution on the EU’s Work Plan for Sport will be in force from July 2024 to December 2027. The main priorities of this plan are integrity and values in sport, the socio-economic and sustainable dimension of sport and participation in sport and healthy physical activity. 

The final debate in the field of sport concerned the role of volunteers. Ministers shared measures to promote volunteering in sport in their countries and identified barriers that prevent people from volunteering at national and European level. They also discussed strengthening under-represented groups in volunteering, such as older people, women and people with socio-economic problems. Suggestions for improvement included making use of funding and programmes such as Erasmus+ or the European Solidarity Corps, as well as recognising the contribution of volunteers in sport through awards or certificates

For more detailed information on the meeting and links to all the agreed documents, see the EU Council press release.