The EU Youth Strategy is implemented by EU Member States with the support of the Commission.
Cooperation between Member States and the Commission is based on seven pillars (implementation instruments):
To ensure that government strategies and policies targeting young people lead to appropriate and timely measures it is important that they are based on concrete evidence, experience and knowledge.
The EU Youth Report, published every three years, is a key document. The 1st EU Youth Report (2009) presented statistics and data on youth; the 2nd Report (2012) evaluated how the EU Youth Strategy was implemented over the previous three years and proposed priorities for the next three.
The Commission carries out public opinion surveys (Eurobarometer and Flash Eurobarometers), on topics such as youth participation and volunteering , learning mobility, and entrepreneurship . It also funds studies. The following studies, surveys or research papers were published recently:
The Eurydice and Policy Support Unit of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission produces analyses and reports on youth, such as 'Youth Social Exclusion and Lessons from Youth Work' and 'Political Participation and EU Citizenship'.
11 youth research projects were funded under the Seventh Research Framework Programme and the Commission's Directorate-General for. Research published a policy review with results of youth research in social sciences and humanities.
The EU also works with the Council of Europe to promote better knowledge about youth through different measures and tools, including the European Knowledge Centre on Youth Policy and Pool of European Youth Researchers.
In 2011, the Commission together with Member State experts and youth stakeholders developed a set of 40 youth policy indicators covering the EU Youth Strategy's eight fields of action.
Member States are encouraged to exchange good practices through peer learning, conferences and seminars, forums and expert groups, as well as through studies and analyses and web-based networks. The Commission coordinates four expert groups: mobility of young volunteers across the EU; indicators in the youth field; peer-learning on the creative and innovative potential of young people; youth work quality systems in EU Member States.
Member States agreed to establish a mechanism for regular reporting and assessment of the implementation of the EU Youth Strategy. National Youth Reports explain how it has been carried out at national level. The reports are based on a questionnaire developed by the Commission, covering all eight fields of action. The Commission and Member States jointly evaluate the implementation in the EU Youth Report. Youth stakeholders are also involved in the Report.
These take various forms, including publication of the EU Youth Reports, studies, Eurobarometers and leaflets aimed at young people.
To encourage the delivery of results, Member States and the Commission work closely together in steering, implementing, taking forward and regularly evaluating the process and its outcomes. This is done through the EU Youth Report, the application of indicators, meetings of expert groups, the Council Youth Working Party, Directors-General for Youth with the Commission and Council, surveys, studies and regular consultations with youth through the Structured Dialogue.
The Structured Dialogue with youth forms an integral part of the EU Youth Strategy and is a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the youth field. The structured dialogue involves consultation with young people and youth organisations at all levels in Member States, at EU youth conferences organised by the EU Presidency countries, and at the European Youth Week. The thematic priorities are aligned with the overall objectives of European cooperation in the youth field and the priorities set for each of its 18-month work cycles.
The European Youth Forum plays a key role in the daily coordination of the Structured Dialogue, chairing its European Steering Committee and providing its secretariat. National working groups run the process in the Member States. These groups involve representatives from ministries dealing with youth issues, National Youth Councils, local and regional youth councils, youth organisations, youth workers, young people and youth researchers. International non-governmental youth organisations are invited on an ad-hoc basis to contribute to the consultations.
The consultations during the first trio Presidency (2010-11) resulted in joint recommendations between youth policymakers and young people on youth employment, while in 2011, the second cycle of the Structured Dialogue dealt with youth participation. Social inclusion is the current theme.
The EU Youth Report 2012 proposed to expand the scope of the consultation and its monitoring in the national working groups. It also called for the results of the Structured Dialogue to be communicated to stakeholders from other policy areas and to create a clear role for youth researchers in the process. It recommended strengthening the EU youth conferences as a forum for the Structured Dialogue with a view to reaching tangible political outcomes.
Erasmus+ builds on the success of the Youth in Action programme in its support for the EU Youth Strategy. The Strategy also calls for effective use of EU funds such as the Structural Funds and other relevant programmes such as Creative Europe, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and the Competitiveness and Innovation programmes.
In order to ensure that the young are included in society and provided proper opportunities for work and participation, the EC regularly reviews its activities through the Youth Report.
Every three years, a report is commissioned on the EC's progress towards the goals of the Youth Strategy, serving to evaluate progress, identify best practices, and establish the priorities for the next three years.
The report, which relies on consultations with Member States and youth, as well as reliable evidence and indicators, also provides more detailed information on the implementation of the strategy in individual Member States.