In 2001, the European Commission published a White Paper A new Impetus for European Youth on youth policy that encouraged Member States to increase cooperation in four priority areas: participation, information, voluntary activities and a greater understanding and knowledge of youth. The White Paper also proposed that youth related issues be taken into account when formulating policy in related fields such as education and training, employment, social inclusion and health.
In 2002, on the basis of the White Paper, the Council of the European Union agreed a Framework for European Co-operation in the Youth Field which comprised three main strands aimed at promoting:
- Young people’s active citizenship
- Social and occupational integration of young people, and
- Including a youth dimension in other policies.
In 2005, the framework was updated to take account of the European Youth Pact which aimed to promote the participation of all young people in education, employment and society.
Following on consultation with the Member States and an impact assessment, the European Commission published An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering in 2008 which had the following goals:
- to create more opportunities for youth in education and employment
- to improve access and full participation of all young people in society, and
- to foster solidarity between youth and society.
It also emphasised the role of youth work in dealing with unemployment, school failure and social exclusion, as well as in improving skills and providing leisure time.
Resulting from the European Commission’s initiative, a Council Resolution on a renewed Framework for European Cooperation in the Youth Field (2010-2018) was approved by the Council of Youth Ministers in 2010.
EU Youth Strategy, Engage, Connect, Empower (2019-2027)
The new EU Youth Strategy, Engage, Connect, Empower, which covers the period 2019 to 2027, and was concluded under the Austrian Presidency, provides for supporting youth organisations, projects and activities under Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps; connecting young people and youth organisations with policy-makers through a new EU Youth Dialogue; and implementing a Youth Work Agenda as well as setting down European Youth Goals.