What is the EU's role?

The EU aims to support young people to engage with regions outside Europe and to become more involved in global policy processes regarding issues such as climate change, the UN Millennium 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-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue" launched in 2012 has produced a number of joint partnership projects involving youth organisations, focusing on issues of common interest such as youth employability and entrepreneurship, youth involvement in society, and voluntary activities. In addition specific events took place in Europe and China on youth work development, on youth entrepreneurship and on youth social inclusion. As agreed at the second HPPD meeting in September 2014, these events should continue over the next few years
  • 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