European Year of Youth – are you getting involved?

Perhaps most of you have already heard about the announcement of 2022 as the Year of Youth. The Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Year of Youth was adopted on 20 December 2021. The European Year of Youth has several main objectives:

  • The first is to focus on opportunities for young people based on the ecological and digital transition.
  • The second goal is to help young people become active and engaged citizens.
  • The third is to promote youth opportunities.
  • The fourth goal is to highlight youth involvement in Union policies.

But what does this really mean and how will it contribute to your life?

What are the “European Years”?

The concept of the European Year was introduced in 1983 and offers an opportunity to raise awareness on specific issues. It encourages dialogue and debate in the EU Member States on specific topics. The European Year has been proposed by the European Commission and sends strong political messages at the national, regional, and local levels. Additional funding is provided, and based on the topic, participation in policies at all levels in the EU is increasing. Not every year is identified as a European Year. 2021 was designated as the European Year of Railway Transport, and before that – 2018 was the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

What is the European Year of Youth?

The European Year of Youth will include conferences, various events, information, and advertisement campaigns. The Council encouraged the European Commission to involve young people in the implementation of the European Year, in collaboration with the national coordinators responsible for activities in each Member State.

At the European level, 2022 will focus on restoring prospects for young people who are among the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Initiatives related to it will contribute to the personal and professional development and participation of young people in the discussion of public issues. 

This year, at the request of the European Parliament, special attention will be paid to young people with disabilities and mental health problems. The aim is to stimulate cross-border mobility for disadvantaged young people. 

What do young people want?

A survey of people aged between 18 and 29 on the European Year of Youth shows that young people want to focus on education, climate change, and physical and mental health. The young people have indicated that they want to organize mostly festivals, workshops, and debates. Most of the participants in the survey want to be informed about the initiatives, through social media and networks, as well as through the European Youth Portal. 

And you, do you know what opportunities you have for personal and professional development? Do you know which of these opportunities are made for you – at the European, national, regional or local level? 2022 may be the year that will turn your life into a better perspective and broaden your horizons! Many initiatives, projects with Bulgarian and international participants are waiting for you, in which you can get involved.

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