The EU Youth Report adopted on 10th September 2012, calls for youth employment, social inclusion, health and the well-being of young people to be top priorities in Europe’s youth policy. The report, which is produced every three years by the Commission, underlines that the EU and Member States must do more to support young people, who have borne the brunt of the economic crisis.
Youth unemployment in the EU among 15-24-year-olds has increased by 50% since the onset of the crisis, from an average of 15% in February 2008 to 22.5% in July this year. Latest figures released by Eurostat show that highest rates are in Greece (53.8%) and Spain (52.9%). Across the EU, more than 30% of young unemployed have been jobless for more than a year.
There are, however, signs of hope on the horizon: the report finds that the EU Youth Strategy has reinforced existing priorities at national level in nearly all Member States, which are to create more and better opportunities for young people and to promote active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity. Since the previous report in 2009, Member States have strengthened education, employment and entrepreneurship initiatives aimed at young people. Levels of youth participation in associations and social movements have remained high.
The EU Youth Report will be submitted to the Council and is scheduled to be adopted as a Joint Council–Commission Report in November 2012.
The EU Youth Strategy (2010-2018) was adopted by the Council on 27 November 2009. Its objectives are (1) to create more and better opportunities for young people and (2) to promote active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity. The nine-year strategy is divided into three cycles. Towards the end of each cycle, an EU Youth Report is drawn up assessing results and proposing new priorities for the next three-year cycle. If adopted by the Council, the new priorities will apply from 2013-2015.
The 2012 Report includes a summary of how the EU Youth Strategy has been implemented at national and EU level since 2010 and a comprehensive analysis of the situation faced by young people. It draws on input from Member States, government agencies and ministries as well as consultations with young people. Candidate countries and EFTA countries also participated in the reporting exercise on a voluntary basis