In October 2022, the European Commission launched its first ever Youth Action Plan (YAP) for EU external action, covering the years 2022-2027. The YAP acts as the EU’s guiding framework to “promote meaningful youth participation and empowerment globally for sustainable development, equality and peace”.
In November 2022, EU Member States approved Council Conclusions on the YAP, expressing strong political support for its proposed actions and implementation. They committed to the objective of increasing meaningful and active youth participation, as well as youth empowerment in EU external action.
As civil society organisations (CSOs) dedicated to promoting children and youth empowerment worldwide, we commend the positive commitments and provisions encapsulated in the YAP. They establish a robust policy framework. This paper offers a brief analysis of the YAP and introduces a set of recommendations for its execution. Our insights are shaped by the lessons drawn from successful and impactful programmes our organisations have implemented, focusing on youth and child empowerment. By translating the YAP commitments into tangible actions, the EU can position itself as a credible geopolitical actor, fostering value-based partnerships with young individuals in partner countries.