Ministers held an exchange of views about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on young people and youth organisations. In particular, the discussion focused on reduced mobility, decreased youth participation in decision-making processes, limited access to different services and employment opportunities, need for increased use of digital tools as well as the challenges in implementing Erasmus+ and European solidarity corps activities.
Within its presidency priorities, Croatia has paid special attention to young people. I am convinced that young people can play an important role in risk mitigation in these challenging times. This crisis can be redirected into a challenge and offer young people the opportunity to contribute with their creativity, enthusiasm, effort and innovative ideas.
Vesna Bedeković, minister for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy of Croatia
The exchange of views was structured around the following questions:
-How has COVID-19 affected young people's access to services (including health and counselling), digital tools, youth participation and employment opportunities?
-What measures can be taken at national and EU level to support the youth sector in areas affected by COVID-19 pandemic?
Ministers identified several actions to help young people in dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, in particular:
-allowing more flexibility in the implementation of the Erasmus+ and European solidarity corps programmes
-including youth-related policies and measures in EU recovery initiatives
-providing assistance to more vulnerable groups, such as young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or those living in remote and rural areas
-ensuring possibilities for activities during the summer break, such as participation in summer camps
The Croatian presidency thanked member states for their contribution to finalising the Council conclusions on raising opportunities for young people in rural and remote areas. These conclusions will be adopted through a written procedure.
-19 May 2020