The EU Youth Report reveals that generally young people are better educated than their predecessors and less young people drop out of school in the EU. Yet, 8.7 million young people aged 15-29 are unemployed, 13.7 million are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) and close to 27 million are at risk of poverty or exclusion. “NEETs” tend to participate less in social activities, vote less and have less trust in institutions. Young people are active users of Internet and social media. Around half are active members of organisations. One in four has been a volunteer.
Since 2013, the EU and Member States have taken action to support young people, particularly to help them find a job. Yet, the dire situation of young people and the need to counter risks of exclusion, marginalisation or violent radicalisation, calls for giving priority to integration in society, with the ultimate purpose of allowing all young people to become active and engaged members in society. This requires more systematic cooperation across policies and actors under a comprehensive approach that reflects the scale of the challenge ahead. There is a particular need to reinforce links with sports and education in order to increase social inclusion and increase youth competences and employability. It is thereby essential to give young people a strong political voice in the process.
The Erasmus+ programme and other EU instruments will underpin policy efforts. Erasmus+ will dedicate greater funding to inclusion, citizenship and intercultural dialogue as from 2016.