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EU Youth Strategy

The EU developed an EU Youth Strategy and wants young people to engage and become an active citizen involved in democracy and society. We want young people to tell us what is important to them by taking part in the EU Youth Dialogue.

Social inclusion

What is the EU's role?

Social exclusion and poverty among young people has increased during the economic crisis. The EU Youth Strategy aims, in particular, to:

  • Create more and equal opportunities for all young people to participate in education and in the labour market
  • Support the active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people
  • Realise the full potential of youth work and youth centres as a means of inclusion
  • Encourage a cross-sector approach to address exclusion in areas such as education and employment
  • Support the development of intercultural awareness and combat prejudice
  • Support information and education for young people about their rights
  • Promote access to quality services – e.g. transport, e-inclusion, health, and social services


How is this being done?

The Commission supports these objectives through:

  • The EU Work Plan for Youth 2016-2018 outlines the specific priorities of youth policy at the European level. For this period, priority has been given towards increased social inclusion of all young people with particular emphasis to young people at risk of marginalisation, young people who are "Not in Education, Employment or Training" (NEET) and young people with a migrant background, including newly arrived immigrants and young refugees. 
  • Expert groups which examine the specific contribution of youth work to promote active citizenship, prevent marginalisation and violent radicalisation and integrate young migrants and refugees. Specific monitoring of the situation of young people in the EU is ensured, through various monitoring tools, including through the Youth Wiki.
  • The Erasmus+ programme and the activities supported by it in the youth field. As of 2015, the Erasmus+/Youth programme is also following up on the ‘Paris Declaration’, which promotes active citizenship and the European values through education, both formal, non-formal and informal. 
  • The Inclusion and Diversity Strategy outlines the support and possibilities available in the Erasmus+ programme for the youth field when it comes to including young people with fewer opportunities. The strategy also sets the aims to be reached and defines the groups to be targeted. So far, roughly one out of three participants in the Erasmus+/Youth programme are young people with fewer opportunities.
  • The European platform against poverty and social exclusion was launched in 2010. It  proposes measures to reduce the number of people living in poverty or who are somehow socially marginalised in the EU by at least 20 million by 2020.
  • The European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy, (run jointly with the Council of Europe), provides reliable information about the living conditions of young people.


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