Jean Lambert has today joined with colleagues in the European Parliament to call for the a new cross-party Intergroup to be formed to address issues affecting young people and to ensure that the voices of young people are heard by MEPs.
There is concern by some MEPs that despite a strong interest in Europe, young people show a significant mistrust towards political institutions.
Jean Lambert MEP said:
“European institutions need to address young peoples’ issues and concerns, including around youth unemployment and poverty, the future of our planet and climate change, movement throughout Europe, and the fight against discrimination. If we’re serious about representing young peoples’ views then we need to give them a platform to ensure they can be heard. The formation of an Intergroup, providing a cross-sector and cross-party approach, would provide a significant step towards involving young people in the parliamentry process.”
The European Union has constantly deepened its commitment to address youth policies, however, the institutions, through the White Paper on Youth (2001) and the European Youth Pact (2005), have only partially answered the growing challenges. In line with the spirit of the Lisbon Strategy, the European Parliament adopted during the 2004-2009 legislature a Written declaration (33/2008) on devoting more attention to youth empowerement in EU policies. The Written Declaration highlights the need for a cross sector approach to youth policies. The new EU Youth Strategy, presented by the Commission and under discussion in the Council, is also expected to acknowledge the importance of such an approach when dealing with youth issues.
“Continuing to design policies for young people is no longer enough: it is crucial to develop youth policies with young people. Looking towards the future of the European Union, we must seize the opportunity offered to us with the political renewal of the institutions and bring the issue of youth policies to the very heart of the European Parliament.
“To answer the expectations and needs of young people in each of the European fields of action, we need to adopt a cross sector and cross party approach to youth policies. The establishment of an intergroup on youth issues is the tool to implement such an approach. It will send a strong political signal on the commitment of the Members of the European Parliament to improve the quality of life of young people across Europe.”
Concrete objectives for concrete actions:
– Encourage youth active citizenship: promote stronger participation, from local youth organizations to the European democratic processes;
– Improve youth autonomy: a smooth transition from education to the labour market is crucial to avoid youth poverty, and should be achieved implementing the European Youth Pact;
– Propose new European initiatives and ambitions in favour of youth mobility, such as an Erasmus program for apprentices.