Youth is one of the areas of action listed in the European Union founding texts:
“Union action shall be aimed at:
[...] encouraging the development of youth exchanges and of exchanges of socio-educational instructors, and encouraging the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe...” (article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union paragraph 2).
The development of the national youth policy is therefore embedded in a European dynamic. The framework for the current cooperation is set by the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027.
The strategy aims to:
- enable young people to be architects of their own lives, support their personal development and growth towards independence, build their resilience and equip them with life skills to cope in a changing world;
- encourage and equip young people with the necessary resources to become active citizens, agents of solidarity and positive change inspired by EU values and a European identity;
- improve policy decisions with regard to their impact on young people across all sectors, notably employment, education, health and social inclusion;
- contribute to the eradication of youth poverty and all forms of discrimination and promote social inclusion of young people.
One of the key instruments is mutual learning between Member States, the European Commission and stakeholders to further develop youth policy.
Regular consultations are being conducted within the context of the Youth Dialogue. Successor to the “structured dialogue” implemented in Luxembourg in 2013, the Youth Dialogue brings institutional and political decision-makers and young people together around the same table, to set the common priorities for implementing the youth policies at a European and a national level. Eleven objectives, the Youth Goals, have thus been developed and integrated into the European Union’s Youth Strategy 2019-2027.
In every EU country, consultations are organised with young people on specific themes, defined for every work cycle (18 months). Each cycle of dialogue focuses on one or more of the eleven European objectives for youth.
The Youth Guarantee (Garantie pour la jeunesse) was implemented in Luxembourg as from June 2014 upon a recommendation of the Council of the European Union of April 2013. It requires from the State to implement a series of measures to provide to every young person aged between 16 and 25:
- a job offer;
- additional training;
- vocational training or
- an internship
within four months after leaving school or losing a job.
The Youth Guarantee is not an employment guarantee. It is based on the commitment of the relevant State services (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (ADEM) (National Employment Agency), Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ), local youth branches, etc.) to provide quality guidance for young people to find a job, to re-enrol in a school or participate in an activation project such as the voluntary service.
Young people are offered a personalised course of action based on their profile, personal situation and aspirations.
The European Union’s Erasmus+ programme aims to support actions within the fields of education, training, youth and sport. Its purpose is to give students, interns, staff and young people in general, aged below 30 years, with or without a degree-level qualification, the option to live abroad, to strengthen their skills and increase their employability. The programme helps organisations to work within the framework of international partnerships and to share innovative practices within the fields of education, training and youth.
It can be broken down into several “key actions”:
- Key action 1: The mobility of individuals for learning purposes
- Key action 2: Cooperation between organisations and institutions
- Key action 3: Support for the development of policies and cooperation
- and a “Sport” section.
European Solidarity Corps
The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) enables young people to get involved and enables organisations to put initiatives in place in Luxembourg and Europe on a range of activities, within the humanitarian fields, health, the environment and intergenerational relations. There are several parts to the ESC:
- Volunteering enables young people to contribute to the actions by organisations that benefit communities and people across the whole of Europe. Through this experience, young people have the opportunity to acquire new skills, to be deployed in Europe, to learn a foreign language, and to come back with lasting memories.
- With the solidarity project, a group of young people can finance the implementation of mutual aid programmes. These projects aim to provide a solution to the main challenges encountered in the local youth community.
- Humanitarian volunteering brings together volunteers and organisations to provide concrete support to humanitarian-aid projects for communities that are victims of disasters.
Anefore asbl is the national agency responsible for implementing European programmes related to education, training and youth, in particular Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps as well as other European initiatives and programmes.