Youth Pledge 2022
Our committments for the European Year of Youth
During her 2021 State of the Union speech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recognized and emphasized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and their living conditions. As a response, President von der Leyen proposed to make 2022 the “European Year of Youth”. In December 2021, the European Parliament voted in favour of the corresponding legislative framework. Now, we, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to make this year an ambitious year with concrete goals, to give back the opportunities that our youth have lost over the last 24 months.
Putting youth in the spotlight: Avoiding a lost generation
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, young people have missed out on education, training and job opportunities. Lockdowns and hindered social relations have affected their mental health and their way of life. The European Year of Youth 2022 is a chance to address some of those problems with tangible solutions.
We, Renew Europe, as dedicated pro-Europeans, promised to give citizens a greater say in determining the future of the European Union. Now is the time to put youth in the spotlight.
- We, Renew MEPs, pledge to recognise the sacrifice made by young people over the last two years, in which a whole generation demonstrated solidarity in order to protect elderly and vulnerable people.
- We, Renew MEPs, pledge to foster more inclusion and equality for all young people.
- We, Renew MEPs, pledge to give a chance to all young Europeans to develop their talents, regardless of their diplomas.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to mainstream youth perspectives in our committee work.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to involve youth in decision making through proper consultation and impact assessment.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to engage with young people from all backgrounds, by meeting them and using modern tools such as social media - let’s not only talk ABOUT young people, but let’s talk WITH them, using the communication tools they use.
Giving new opportunities for Skills and Fostering Mobility
Young people need adequate financial support for gaining access and opportunities to skills fit for the XXI century: digital education, soft skills, languages, as well as the acquisition of critical thinking and media literacy.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to support investments in youth across all policy areas, starting with the Recovery and Resilience Facility and national recovery plans.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to propose and support European Parliament pilot projects that address young people’s needs and that ensures intergenerational justice.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to accelerate policies towards young people fostering language skills and IT skills.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to promote media literacy and fact checking on social media, where young people look for information the most.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to commit to improve and promote mobility opportunities for youth from all backgrounds, to give them the chance to enhance their skills and their employability.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to develop and promote the mobility opportunities of the new Erasmus + and European Solidarity Corps programmes, as set out in the new inclusion chapter, to all young people in our constituencies. We commit to improve and foster long term mobility of VET-students, the mobility for NEETs, young people from rural areas and from the outermost regions.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to be unrelenting in our role to enhance the new ALMA Programme (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve) announced by the Commission, in order to give all young people mobility opportunities, and to help them find temporary jobs and internships in Member States other than their own.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to encourage Member States to develop special initiatives enabling and simplifying access to culture and mobility for Europe’s youth. We will seek out innovative solutions to make travelling by train across Europe more affordable for them.
Labour Market Integration of Young People
40% of employers cannot find people with the right skills to fill their vacancies, at the same time, too many young people cannot find a job; this is particularly worrying with regard to the high level of youth unemployment in several European member states.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to address the critical situation of youth integration into the labour market. We aim to facilitate coordination between youth and the private sector, while boosting integrated support for training, up-skilling, access to jobs and traineeships, and counselling for young people.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to give every young European a solution, through the Youth Guarantee and the EU programmes.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to support and propose actions that facilitate the labour market integration of young people, such as by mutual recognition of vocational and academic degrees or by removing barriers and supporting a single European Job Market.
Tackling mental health issues
Almost 2 out of 3young people are affected by anxiety or depression as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with pre-existing inequalities causing marginalised youth to be disproportionately impacted.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to address the critical situation of mental health of young people, by strengthening EU4Health and by developing parliamentary initiatives on this matter.
Welcoming young people in the European parliament
We have to open doors to young people and make their voices heard, while addressing their concerns and giving them new opportunities.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to give young people first-hand professional experience in the EP, through adequately paid traineeships.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to welcome at least one visitors group of young people per year in the European Parliament, especially during the plenary week, so that they can witness European democracy in action.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to organize a Youth parliament event on European Day on 9th May.
Listening to young people
Young citizens are not satisfied with the way democracy works at the national and European level. As we already initiated in the framework of the Conference on the future of Europe, we want to continue to engage with the young generation to develop a European public sphere and reinforce the democratic legitimacy of the EU, as well as to ensure that the best interests and views of young people are taken into account in all relevant legislative frameworks and parliamentary activities.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to organise during this Year of Youth, at least one event in each of our constituencies only for young people, to listen and engage with them and come up with proposals based on the outcomes of these events.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to regularly meet with representatives of youth and youth-led organisations, in order to work on strengthening youth political engagement, develop initiatives together, and discuss current matters that are affecting young people in Europe.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to support the proposal of a structured youth participation mechanism within the European Parliament.
Taking into account young people’s sensitivity to the environment
It is extremely hopeful to see young citizens’ growing sensitivity to environmental issues and their desire to put their beliefs and convictions into practice. Training in sustainable development and environmental professions is evolving and NGOs have a real capacity to make young people’s voices heard. At EU level, the implementation of the Green Deal requires new profiles, eager to make the ecological transition a reality.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to recognise the fundamental role of NGOs in the democratic life of the EU and advocate for more cooperation to give a voice to young people.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to promote a greater interest of young people in green professions and are convinced that the Green Deal cannot be a success without their engagement.
Protecting and empowering vulnerable children and young people
Last year, 24.2% of children in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. A precarious childhood creates vulnerable young people. Young people can face multiple forms of discrimination, for example in education and employment, but also in access to goods and services, including housing.
Moreover, at least one in five children in Europe is a victim of some form of sexual violence, often online.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to push and support EU Member States in implementing the EU Child Guarantee so as to fight child poverty.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to support and protect children and young people on the move, by securing adequate safeguards in the EU Migration Pact.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to protect children and young people against abuse and exploitation, both online and offline.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to fight against all forms of discrimination of young people, and develop parliamentary initiatives on this matter.
Strengthening EU citizenship
Thirty years have passed since European citizenship was created by the Maastricht Treaty, and it has not yet been implemented to its full extent. Young citizens should be part of it and have a voice in the Union.
- We, Renew Europe MEPs, pledge to inform all young Europeans of all the rights and opportunities attached to their EU citizenship, in particular when they reach adulthood, in order for them for them to seize all the opportunities attached to it (study, hold a job, work or live anywhere in Europe).