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European cooperation in the field of youth policy aims at contributing to the quality of life of young people by means of specific youth policy instruments, but also through improved mainstreaming of the youth dimension into related policy fields and cross-sectoral coordination.

The objectives of youth policy and European cooperation in this field are:

  • improving young people's social inclusion and facilitating their transition towards independence and thus responding to demographic challenges;

  • improving the conditions for living in multicultural societies by fostering the inter-cultural skills of young people;

  • promoting respect for human rights and values, such as tolerance, mutual respect, diversity, equality and solidarity, as well as combating all forms of discrimination;

  • increasing young people's well being, especially enabling them to lead a healthy life;

  • promoting cultural activities and creative engagement of young people;

  • providing support for young people through better reconciliation of work, family and private life so as to enable them to create a family, participate fully in education or training and enter into working life at the same time;

  • improving the socio-economic conditions in which young people from disadvantaged urban and rural areas live.

Certain policies have a considerable impact on young people, in particular lifelong learning, mobility, employment and social integration, combating racism and xenophobia, and autonomy to exercise citizenship. Therefore the main objective in this field is to develop inter-sectoral youth policy and close cooperation with young people active in the youth-related field and in youth organisations.

In 2009 the first general framework of European cooperation in the youth field will be evaluated. It was set up in 2001 by the White Paper of the European Commission “New Impetus for European Youth” and in 2002 when the framework for the implementation of common objectives in the field of informing young people, their participation, voluntary work and better understanding of young people was set up.

More effort should be dedicated to European cooperation in the youth field and utmost advantage taken of experience obtained from existing sources, instruments and mechanisms, such as the work of the Council of Ministers responsible for young people, continuation of structured dialogue with the young, the European Commission Programme “Youth in Action”, the European Commission’s structural funds and efforts of the European Commission aimed at developing a European centre of knowledge, and their connection with Eurostat.


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Date: 11.01.2008