Genesis in parliament of Brussels

European Year of Youth Legacy Event on Mainstreaming of Youth Policy on the 19th of June, Brussels

A Legacy Event on the European Year of Youth

This event is a follow up to the conference of the final European Year of Youth “Claim the Future” in December 2022. There were 750 people in the parliament in Brussels and one of them was our member Linda, about her experience and expressions of this event you can read here. All this conference was prepared by Czech Presidency.

And recently happened the follow up – A Legacy Event on the European Year of Youth.

One of the overall objectives of the EU Youth Strategy is to improve policy decisions with regard to their impact on young people across all sectors. The lives of young people are shaped by policies rooted in many policy areas and on different levels of implementation. Therefore, only by mainstreaming youth as a priority amongst different policy areas it can be ensured that the specific needs or effects for young people in envisaged policies or programs are taken into account. 

The EU Youth Strategy points out that an EU level cross-sectoral approach should be further pursued as a fundamental basis. Furthermore, youth mainstreaming can only be effective when it also guarantees a say for young people in all possible policy areas that affect them. Cross-sectoral cooperation should be reinforced at all levels of decision-making striving for synergies, complementarity between actions, and including greater youth involvement. Mainstreaming is however a complex process that presents many challenges for policy makers, youth representatives and other concerned policy areas.

One of the purposes of the mainstreaming event was to secure a more sustainable legacy of the European Year of Youth (EYY) by taking stock of lessons learned on mainstreaming during the year. Another purpose was to bring representatives of different institutions and policy areas together to discuss mainstreaming of youth policy based on relevant examples at European, national, and regional levels. Member state and Commission experts from the four policy areas climate, transport, labour market, and mental health participated with knowledge and perspectives from outside of the youth policy field.

One of the objectives of the event was to highlight good examples of mainstreaming and lessons learned during the implementation of the EYY and the EU Youth Dialogue. The event also aimed to foster interactive discussions on how mainstreaming of youth policy into other policy areas can be made in more sustainable and coherent ways.


As one of the purposes of the Legacy Event was to bring experts and representatives from different policy areas together to discuss mainstreaming, the focus on the day was on best practices and interactive discussions. This was done through plenary sessions and break-out sessions where discussions can be held in different formats.

Morning Planary Session

The morning plenary session started with opening addresses from the Presidency and the Commission, followed by presentations of the EU Youth Strategy and Youth Dialogue. To set the scene for the break-out sessions, best practices were shared by representatives from a selection of the Member states, the Commission, and the OECD.

Break-out session

The break-out sessions consisted of four thematic sessions held in parallel, one block before lunch and block one directly after. The break-out sessions followed the four thematic policy areas climate, transport, labour market, and mental health (see more below). The participants chose two sessions of particular interest to them and partake in the discussions with four experts, one moderator and one rapporteur. Below, the four thematic areas were developed to set the scene for the discussions. 

Break-out Session: Climate

As young people has a critical role as actors of change in climate action and further involvement of youth in climate change policy.

Break-out Session: Labour market

Young working-age individuals, with limited experience and new to the job market, are highly affected by economic fluctuations, facing high unemployment rates, exploitative working conditions, and discrimination. Addressing the lack of information and suitable skills is crucial to ensure their full integration and quality employment opportunities.

Break-out Session: Mental health

Mental health, highlighted as goal #5 in the EU Youth Strategy, has long been a priority in youth policy. The rising number of European youth reporting mental health challenges like stress, anxiety, and depression underscores the importance of promoting their well-being to enable them to shape their lives and contribute to society’s progress.

Break-out Session: Monitoring and Evaluation

A strong monitoring and evaluation system is necessary to ensure effective implementation of mainstreaming activities and their intended outcomes. This includes utilizing age-disaggregated statistics and integrating monitoring into regular operations to assess the positive and negative effects of policy initiatives on young people.