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An ever-stronger Europe: the view of young people

In April 2019, Eurobarometer published a report titled How do we build a stronger, more united Europe? The views of young people. The report presents, among others, findings on young people’s views on what education and training (ET) should deliver and on youth mobility. The survey was carried out in March 2019, targeting young people aged 15-30.

The main findings suggest that, according to 56% of the respondents, improving ET should be a key priority for the EU in the years to come, second only to the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change, which was chosen as the key priority by 67% respondents. Considering the EU competences in the area of ET, the most relevant initiatives for young people would be:

  • connecting schools or universities with counterparts abroad (44%);
  • funding projects or activities for young people (41%);
  • increasing participation in EU programmes among those with fewer opportunities (39%).

Concerning the most important things school should offer young people, respondents said that school should:

  • prepare young people for employment (49%);
  • give everyone a chance to succeed and have access to the same opportunities (45%).

Regarding youth mobility, 31% of respondents have stayed abroad for at least two weeks for studies, work or volunteering and, of those who did not stay abroad, 53% have considered to do so. The most mobile people are those with a higher level of education, who live in large cities and are involved in volunteering. Instead, the two main reasons for not going abroad are the lack of finance and family, personal or work-related issues.

Another important European initiative putting young people at the forefront of debates and actions was the ninth edition of the European Youth Week, which took place from 29 April to 5 May and brought together an unprecedented 115 000 participants at nearly 1 000 events in all 34 Erasmus+ programme countries.

At the same time, on 9 May, EU27 leaders gathered in Sibiu, Romania, where they adopted the Sibiu Declaration and agreed on 10 main commitments. One of the priorities is investing in youth and enhancing EU support to Member States’ cooperation in the field of education and mobility.

More information on the Eurobarometer Report here

European Commission – Daily News European Youth Week

European Commission – News Sibiu Summit