One of the initiatives mentioned in the Commission Work Programme is the establishment of the year 2022 as the European Year of Youth.
On October 14, the proposal of 2022 becoming the Year of Youth, originally voiced in the State of the Union address 2021 by President Von der Leyen, was formally adopted.
With this year dedicated to European youth, the Commission intends to honour and support the generation that had sacrificed a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic for the sake of the wider population. It is further meant to encourage all young people to grow into active citizens and actors of positive change for the European Union. EU policies for young people shall promote opportunities and support their personal, social and professional developments. Lastly, building on the Conference on the Future of Europe, the youth shall draw inspiration from actions, visions and insights of their peers and fellow European citizens to make the common EU project stronger.
"Young people play a key role in shaping our Europe of tomorrow. Whether those are pensions, attractiveness of rural areas, digitization or climate change — solutions are only possible if they are being found together with young people” commented Sabine Verheyen, Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Culture and Education committee.
The programme of activities is currently under construction and all interested parties are invited to submit their ideas and proposals until 13 December. A survey on the Youth Portal will be launched in the coming days. The scope of activities will cover thematic areas such as equality and inclusion, sustainability, mental health and well-being and quality employment.
Sport can and should also play a role through granting the youth access to sporting opportunities after the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting a healthy lifestyle and promoting the benefits of sport that are well aligned with the thematic areas of the initiative e.g. equality, inclusion and well-being.