What is the EU's role?

EU cooperation with partner countries is aimed at contributing to human development and engagement of young people worldwide and is core to more resilient societies and to enhance trust between cultures and stability for the EU itself. In addition, it seeks to promote active participation in society at global level. EU is supporting young people to engage with regions outside Europe and become more involved in global policy processes regarding issues such as climate change, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, human rights, etc. In particular, this means:

  • raising awareness of global issues among young people
  • providing opportunities for young people to exchange views with policy makers on global issues
  • fostering mutual understanding among young people from all over the world through dialogue
  • encouraging young people to volunteer for environmental projects ("green volunteering") and to act green in their everyday life (recycling, saving energy, using hybrid vehicles, etc.)
  • promoting entrepreneurship, employment, education, and volunteering opportunities outside Europe
  • promoting cooperation with and exchanges between youth workers on different continents
  • encouraging young people to volunteer in developing countries or to work on development issues in their own country

How is this being done?

Specifically, the Commission pursues these objectives through:

  • Erasmus+ projects supporting the international mobility of young people and youth workers as well as international cooperation of youth organisations. These projects help young people become active citizens and make them more employable through non-formal education and learning. They also contribute to both the quality and recognition of youth work help youth organisations and other stakeholders develop
  • Increased cooperation with partner countries neighbouring the EU such as: The "Eastern Partnership Youth Window", which strengthens youth cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine and the "Western Balkans Youth Window" which fosters youth cooperation with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia
  • Bilateral events between the EU and non-EU countries which promote intercultural dialogue and understanding between young people
  • The EU-Council of Europe youth partnership  – an annual symposium between youth policy-makers, youth researchers, youth workers, and young people in South-East Europe, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, as well as the Southern Mediterranean