Youth Civic Engagement: How EU Institutions support Youth Civic Engagement!

Youth civic engagement is a cornerstone of democratic societies, and the European Union (EU) recognises its significance by actively supporting various initiatives to empower young people across its institutions.

For example, the European Commission launched its first Youth Action Plan in External Action, focusing on engaging and empowering young people in EU external affairs. The Commission allocates €100 million to initiatives like the Youth and Women in Democracy Initiative, the Youth Empowerment Fund, and the Africa-Europe Youth Academy. These programmes aim to promote youth participation in governance, democracy, and climate action.

The European Parliament fosters youth involvement through the European Youth Event (EYE), an event held every two years where young people from across Europe gather to discuss pertinent issues. Additionally, the Parliament has a Youth Outreach Unit that coordinates various activities targeting young Europeans.

The Council of the European Union acknowledges the importance of youth engagement in decision-making; by establishing structured dialogues with youth organisations, allowing young people to voice their opinions on EU policies directly. In addition, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) actively promotes youth engagement by organising events, consultations, and initiatives. The EESC has a dedicated European Youth Portal, providing information on opportunities, initiatives, and youth-related policy matters.

Another European Institution which supports youth civic engagement is the Committee of the Regions (CoR). The CoR encourages youth participation in local and regional politics through initiatives like the European Entrepreneurial Region Award, which showcases successful local policies for youth entrepreneurship. Lastly, we want to highlight the work of the European Youth Forum (YFJ). While not an EU institution, the YFJ is a key partner in promoting youth engagement and representing youth interests at the EU level. It works closely with EU institutions to ensure that young voices are heard.

These EU institutions collaborate to create a comprehensive framework for youth civic engagement, aiming to create more inclusive and participatory democracies. As they continue to prioritise young people’s concerns and provide opportunities for their active involvement, the EU strengthens its commitment to nurturing the leaders and change-makers of tomorrow.