As the next generation of citizens within our countries, our cities and our towns, today’s young people have an obligation to involve themselves in the institutions that define their future. The European Union has a catalogue of opportunities set up to benefit the learning of, and to give experiences to young people across the globe. Discover EU, for example, is an action of the Erasmus+ programme that gives 18-year-olds the opportunity to, predominantly by rail, travel across mainland Europe and discover the towns, landscapes, and cultures of people all around the continent. Applications for Discover EU are only available for a short period each year with the last one being at the end of October. Another opportunity available is The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) - an international volunteering program set up by the European Commission that helps young people take part in projects that benefit communities, either abroad or in their own country. The ESC gives young people aged 18 - 30 the opportunity to volunteer cross-border as an individual, for anywhere between 2 months and 12 months full time, or as a team, for a period between 2 week and 2 months full time. Cross-border volunteering in an excellent way for young people to learn new skills, spend time in other countries and even learn a new language. Also, through the ESC, young people can work on solidarity projects, and access traineeships and jobs.
Zack Harden O Connor
What is the European Year of Youth?
2022 is the European Year of Youth, shining a light on the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital. With plenty of opportunities to learn, share your vision, meet people and engage in activities all over Europe, the European Year of Youth is the moment to move forward with confidence and hope in a post-pandemic perspective.
What is the EU doing for youth?
Programmes, initiatives, and funded opportunities have been set up for young people in Europe. The Erasmus+ is a programme to support education, youth and sport in Europe. It provides funding and support for organisations to create opportunities for young people to study, do trainings, and gain experience abroad.
Why is the focus on youth important?
When it comes to building our global future, there is no bigger asset than today’s youth – this is the generation that will solve future crises, lead countries, write policies, innovate and preserve or destroy democracies and systems of justice.When young people pair their assets with supportive resources and opportunities to interact with others, they make positive contributions to their communities.
What is the legacy of this year?
The European Year of Youth is generating the momentum to bring young people into the spotlight. Youth issues will continue to be put high on the agenda beyond 2022. The initiatives and frameworks for youth engagement set up during the year will live on.