LYMEC Welcomes the European Commission's Youth Action Plan

The European Commission included a Youth Action Plan in their 2022 Work Programme which acts as the external dimension to the EU Youth Strategy. The Action Plan aims to tackle all forms of discrimination by “offering a policy framework for a common EU approach to youth empowerment and engagement in the external action”. Young people are the future leaders and changemakers of Europe and are essential partners in ensuring the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the digital transition. The Youth Action Plan hopes to ensure young people are empowered at a political, social and economic level by EU external action. The Action Plan hopes to help young people engage more meaningfully in the decision making and policymaking processes as well as adopting more inclusive policies when inviting young people to the table. Since the pandemic, young people have been facing global challenges linked to inequalities, lack of employment and educational opportunities and shrinking democratic and civic spaces. Despite these challenges, young people have been constantly underrepresented in the policymaking processes both at local, regional and global levels. Tapping into the potential of young people and supporting gender equality is key for sustainable development. The Action Plan hopes to make youth engagement a core element of European foreign policy. It hopes to bring together ongoing initiatives such as the Erasmus+ Programme to include young people from all backgrounds to have a stronger role as agents for change. The Action Plan seeks to integrate youth issues into the European policy dialogue and cooperate with partner countries to establish evidence-based cross policy sector interventions.   

LYMEC welcomes the Commission’s Youth Action Plan and views the meaningful participation of young people in politics as essential at all levels, especially with the backdrop of the European Year of Youth. The creation of safe spaces for youth dialogue is key to ensure the voices of young people are listened to and not merely taken as tokenistic gestures by decision makers. LYMEC sees the empowerment of girls and young women as vital to ensuring sustainable development and appreciates the references to ensuring gender equality and ending discrimination in the Action Plan. In addition, LYMEC addresses that there is a need for concrete actions to be taken from this Action Plan and decisions taken have to be more than just words. Furthermore, LYMEC criticises the lack of response during the feedback process highlighting the lack of representativeness amongst responses. This shines a light on the need for young people to be provided with all the information regarding important topics to allow them to make informed decisions and contribute accurately and meaningfully to the policymaking process. 


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