The EU Youth Strategy 2019-27 wants young people to engage and become active citizens, involved in democracy and society.
The strategy focuses on three main areas of action: Engage, Connect and Empower, and set 11 European youth goals.
Goal 6 is “Advancing Rural Youth: create conditions that enable young people to realize their potential in rural areas and ensure equality for youth in urban and rural settings.”
Specific objectives of this European Youth Goal include ensure the decentralization of activities carried out by, for and with young people in order to support their inclusion and benefit local communities.
Establishing a positive image of rural areas and ensuring the protection of rural traditions are other important goals.
Exchanges with rural European stakeholders have identified the changes needed to close existing gaps and make progress toward stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas, while highlighting the role of young people in achieving these changes.
As Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “While young people are anxious about the future, they are determined to make it better.”
Using their creativity and enthusiasm, rural youth can contribute to the ambitions of the EU’s Vision for Rural Areas by starting new economic activities that create local jobs.
The development of short supply chains contributes to more sustainable and resilient agribusiness, diversification of rural economies, and the preservation of local traditions.
The vitality of rural life is not only a function of its economy, but is also shaped by the vibrancy of its cultural activities, identity, cohesion and inclusiveness. Therefore, green and digital transitions in rural areas should be equitable and take into account the needs of all rural citizens, including those from disadvantaged groups.
Closing the gender gap, for example, is critical for Europe and requires addressing a variety of issues, from increasing the availability of basic services, to promoting women’s employment.
The 6th European Youth Goal, Moving Rural Youth Forward, means that conditions are created to enable young people to fulfill their potential in rural areas. It is important to ensure equality for young people in both urban and rural settings.