European Union External Action

Youth empowerment has to be at the core of the EU policies, Mogherini says

25/05/2018 - 14:00
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"The EU needs to include youth in our actions, policies and projects". That's the message that the EU High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini passed to young peacebuilders at the closing session of Conference on "Youth, Peace and Security" on 24 May. "We are trying to create space for various ideas to be heard" in EU foreign and security policy, she went on, and the aim is to "empower" people to participate in politics.

youth, peace, security

In terms of deliverables from the 2-day conference and the youth, peace and security meetings and initiatives, Federica Mogherini said that the EU would:

  • continue to create open spaces for young people to come together, build long-term relationships and directly engage the EU
  • expand this community with youth from Asia and Latin-America
  • work on translating some of the proposals put forward by young people into projects by the EU, or by partners governments or local authorities
  • promote funding for youth work at all levels and pilot a youth consultation on thematic and country-specific EU policies.

The "EU Conference on Youth, Peace and Security" at the EEAS was realised in partnership between the EU, the UN and civil society, and brought together 70 young peacebuilders, representing 27 EU countries and 29 partner countries, engaged in nine EU youth networks from Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean. Many of the speakers highlighted the importance of listening and inclusion – "creating open spaces and direct channels of communication" - when it came to empowering young people in conflict prevention and sustaining peace around the world. And on this, the European Union and the African Union are setting the tone. As Mogherini stressed during the meeting, many of the ideas (such as on culture and digital issues) generated at the Africa Union – European Union (AU-EU) "Youth Plug-in Initiative" last year in Abidjan in which she participated, had been discussed at the AU-EU meeting this week in Brussels.

The two day event brought was part of EU's implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda, as set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) It builds on the work done at around various EU networks and initiatives to promote youth in peacebuilding, such as the Africa Union – European Union (AU-EU) Youth Plug-in Initiative and the Young Mediterranean Voices Plus initiative. The EU has held a regional consultation in September 2017 on Youth, Peace and Security in support of the global Progress Study on these subjects.