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433 MEPs ask for more youthful EU policies


04 Sep 2008


Innovation & Enterprise

The European Parliament is taking a step forward in placing youth policy higher on the political agenda by adopting a written declaration on youth empowerment, in its plenary session this week in Brussels.

"Young people from across Europe expect policy-makers to come up with more specific actions that truly reflect our needs in different areas such as employment, education, non-discrimination or health; this can only be achieved through a genuine dialogue with young people and their organisations and a coherent set of measures and programmes," explains Bettina Schwarzmayr, President of the European Youth Forum (YFJ).

"The adoption of this declaration is an important but initial stride in promoting youth policy, and underlining its transversal nature, within the European Parliament. We trust that the EP will also reflect this position in the forthcoming policy processes and take it into account while setting up the structure of the next legislative period," she adds.

On the initiative of the European Youth Forum, 433 Members of the European Parliament signed the declaration calling on the European Commission and the EU Member States to take into account the needs of young people when developing policies that affect them. The declaration also calls on the European Commission to commit to developing a more horizontal youth policy; something endorsed by the Council of Ministers but that has not yet been translated into tangible action. Furthermore, the declaration reminds EU Member States to focus on youth when implementing the Lisbon National Reform Programmes.

The MEPs supporting the declaration include Graham Watson, Chair of the ALDE Group, Joseph Daul, Chair of the EPP-ED Group, Francis Wurtz, Chair of the GUE/NGL Group, Daniel Cohn-Benit and Monica Frassoni, co-Presidents of the Greens/EFA Group, and Poul-Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists.

In order for a written declaration to be adopted, over half of all the 785 MEPs have to sign it, within a period of three months. The success of the campaign has resulted from the joint work carried out by the five MEPs sponsoring the declaration (Marie-Hélène Descamps, Christa Prets, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Ramona Nicole Manescu and Bart Staes) together with the YFJ and its Member Organisations.

The European Youth Forum is convening a meeting with a number of MEPs keen on further working on youth issues and with youth organisations, for a more youthful European Union, on Thursday, 4 September at 9am at the EP in Brussels.

For background information, and if you wish to know which MEPs have signed, please visit the campaign’s website:


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