To kick off the year, the European Commission published a report on the results of the call for ideas on the European Year of Youth. Based on a survey in which 4,686 young people responded, the report highlights the key themes that young people want to see more action on from the EU during this year.

Education and training was listed as the first priority for young people. Notably, health was listed as the third most important topic for young people, with 56.1% of respondents prioritising the topic. The second most popular theme was climate change and the environment (59.8%), which is of high importance to the Youth Parliament given the impact of climate change effects such as air pollution and increased pollen cycles on allergy and asthma, especially on young people whose lungs are still developing.

Other topics listed as important, such as the effect of the pandemic on young people, empowering rural communities and strengthening digital skills, are addressed by the Youth parliament in their EU policy recommendations, which proves that young people are impacted by similar issues across Europe. It is therefore not only important that the European Year of Youth exists to address these topics, but also so that young people’s specific needs are taken into account with concrete results.

As highlighted by the Youth Parliament’s recommendations, topics important to young people such as health, the environment, and digital literacy are entwined and one cannot be addressed without considering others, especially for young allergy and asthma patients.

Young people must be the drivers behind the Year of Youth

Before the Year was approved, the European Parliament debated the initiative based on a report on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a European Year of Youth 2022. Members of the Youth Parliament contacted MEPs to advocate and ask them to support the prioritisation of health in the European Year of Youth.

During the debate, various MEPs emphasised the need to include young people in all actions around the European Year of Youth and to support young people in influencing EU policy, especially around health, work and environmental policy. With this in mind, the Youth Parliament would also emphasise that any initiative under the Year must be organised to be as inclusive as possible. Therefore, the Youth Parliament will follow the work of the European Parliament as it contributes to the Year of Youth to see that MEPs remain committed to their promises to create youth-centred initiatives, that are created by young people and not for them.

To learn more about the European Year of Youth and follow its progress, the European Commission launched a youth platform.

Do not hesitate following the European Allergy and Asthma Youth Parliament on LinkedIn and their website.