European Year of Youth will be about cooperation, minister says

Ljubljana – Education Minister Simona Kustec said that this year’s European Year of Youth will be about finding solutions for the future together with young people, who are the “bearers of change and the creators of tomorrow”. Youth policies should be integrated and designed in a way that would allow young people to gain opportunities, she added.

Kustec, who is also in charge of science, sport and youth policy, promised that Slovenia, through the Office for Youth, will enhance its coordinating role and connect different sets of content in finding best solutions for promoting the role of young people in various fields.

These fields range from education and health to the participation of young people in social and political life, the minister said at Wednesday’s press conference on the achievements of Slovenia’s EU presidency in science, education, sports and youth policy.

The year 2022 has been proposed for the European Year of Youth by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her state of the union speech last September. The address placed great emphasis on young people and urged the EU to look up to them.

The EU has declared the 2022 European Year of Youth in order to pay due attention to young people, who have been under great duress during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project will feature conferences, various events and information and promotional campaigns.

As the project aims to help get young people more involved in EU policy-making, the EU Council said last December that the European Year of Youth should highlight the efforts of young people to overcome obstacles related to the Covid-19 crisis.

Kustec said at the time that young people faced school closures during the pandemic, and were often unable to pursue their hobbies and meet friends. This is why they deserve a European Year that will “put them in the centre of attention”.

The minister added on the occasion that young people deserved to be listened to by EU decision-makers when formulating EU policies.