Providing for the ability of young persons to participate in society and contribute to the European and national agendas (social/political/economic) is of extreme importance, not only to their future but also to the future of Europe. Support services for youth have to be considered a priority, particularly in the present time when young persons find themselves faced with many barriers preventing growth, such as unemployment, discrimination, homelessness, rising school/university fees.
Across Europe right now, 5.5 million young people – one in five of those aged between 15 and 24 who are on the labour market – are without a job. In some individual member states, the situation is even worse. In Spain and Greece for example, youth unemployment rates are above 50 per cent. Youth homelessness is also on the rise. A more recent campaign on homelessness in the UK gave voice to young homeless people who feel that they have become "invisible" to society. Many young people, like Roma or those coming from different ethnic backgrounds, face yet more issues like social exclusion and discrimination.
For the first time in the modern age, the younger generations, far from hoping for a better life than that of their parents and grandparents, are sure that they will have a harder time of it. Social difficulties like the ones described above can leave permanent scars on Europe’s youth. Nevertheless, there are emerging at the same time examples of positive responses from institutions, civil society and, most importantly, young people themselves that seek to confront and tackle the challenges in place.
Below are examples of the different types of ACTIONS (in orange) and POLICIES (in green) that aim to give support for youth.
Youth participation and empowerment
Government youth policies
Interaction between generations
ALL examples of Actions and Policies
The Athens Time Bank was created in May 2011, at Sydagma Square, when thousands of people gathered there to participate in mass strikes and demonstrations.