The Closing Conference of the European Year of Youth 2022 occurred 5th-6th December in Belgium, Brussels, under the slogan “Claim the future.”
After a year full of activities, events, quality initiatives and processes dedicated to youth, young people, representatives of youth organisations, policy-makers, and other relevant stakeholders gathered to summarise the outcomes, reflect on the lessons learned and highlight the mapped issues and topics in the area of youth especially relevant for the upcoming Swedish presidency of the European Union.
European Year of Youth for 12 months put youth at the centre of the European Union’s agenda. Finally, the grassroots movement’s demands have met with the political will to involve young people in decision-making processes in a greener, more digital and more inclusive European community. Young people cocreated the European Year of Youth, which should be done in a quality participatory process.
However, 2022 is ending, and the new “European Year of Skills” follows. What stays after this unique year is finished was one of the main topics of the conference. In the upcoming year, the legacy of the European Year of Youth will stay visible through the legal framework set during the year, such as Youth Test, Youth Hub, Euroscola or Youth Sounding Board. The political and administrative will to keep young people close to the decision-making processes at the European level was expressed by the officials during the event.
The administrative officers and politicians in the European Union bodies say the same – European Year of Youth leaves a concrete framework for involving young people in decision-making processes, and there is a belief that the work within this framework should and will be continued. What happens in reality, is a question of the future.
Until the end of 2023, the Commission will submit a report on the implementation of the EYY2022, which shall include the ideas for “further common endeavours in the field of youth to cement the legacy’ of the Year.” In a year from now, we will once again reflect on what has been already forgotten and which processes are maintained for a more youth-friendly European Union.
DYPALL Network’s representatives took part in this activity, with aim to Increase the advocacy capacity of the DYPALL Network members to influence national and European youth policy development following one of the DYPALL Network’s strategic priorities.