As part of the EU external action for 2022-2027, the EC passed early this month a plan of action for youth. This youth action plan is the first policy framework for a strategic partnership with youth across the world with a view to building a more resilient future, favoring inclusion and durability. The plan is the result of ample consultations with over 220 interested parties all over the world, especially children's rights organizations and youth organizations. It answers the demands of young people, as reflected in the findings of the Conference on the Future of Europe, in order to allow more structured participation in the processes of policy and decision making in the EU overall. According to EU High Representative Josep Borrell, while presenting this plan of action, the world now has the most numerous generation of young people in history. According to him, however, unfortunately, nowadays 600 million young people live under conditions of conflict or fragility, and around 264 million children and young people are not attending school. He said it was our responsibility to make sure that young people have the necessary tools and opportunities to develop fully, since they are tomorrow's adults, who need investment in their present and their future. The plan will consolidate present initiatives, and will launch new key investments aimed at youth across the world. Youth and Women in Democracy is one of the initiatives, with a budget up to 40 million Euro, and aims to give a voice and a role of leadership to youth, with a consolidation of their rights, enabling their participation in public and political affairs. The initiative will support young activists and local youth leadership organizations which act in areas such as institutional oversight, combating corruption, or promoting democratic reform. Another example is the fund for enabling youth, a new pilot initiative with a budget of 10 million Euro. It offers direct financial help to initiatives led by young people in partner countries, with an emphasis on implementing sustainable development objectives locally, especially the ones that target the environment and climate change, as well as on supporting vulnerable or marginalized youth. According to Dubravka Suica, EC vice-president for democracy and demography, youth and children around the world should be mobilized, and we should make sure that they have concrete opportunities, promoting their right to engagement, making sure that no one is left behind. The action plan rises up to the commitment made by the EU to place young people at the center of its external action for sustainable development, equality, and peace, finding solutions for a better future.
These lines of action are meant to define the EU's partnership with youth in partner countries. Firstly, it is a partnership meant to mobilize through the voice of young people. They deserve a wholesale approach for significant involvement, which is inclusive and effective, according to voices in Brussels. This is the reason for which the EU is committed to give a voice and leadership to youth across the world, especially young women, in youth organizations. Secondly, the partnership is meant to enable, to combat inequality, and to provide youth with the tools and competencies they need. Decision makers in Brussels say that young people are enabled when their voices are heard, and the inequality that affects their life is reduced. The EU will continue to support a reform in global education, improving young people's access to economic opportunities, consolidating their ability to contribute to sustainable development, and to the transition to a green and digital economy. They also support health, youth mental and physical well-being, as well as their access to healthcare, and sexual and reproductive rights. Also, the EU will continue to grant special attention to children and young people who live under conflict. At the same time, the partnership is aimed at connection, by enhancing the opportunities for young people to network and exchange information with their peers around the world. The EU aims to promote mobility, but also to ensure diversity and inclusion, with special attention on social and economic barriers, digital disparity, and risks of disinformation.