Children and young people are one of the region’s greatest assets. But too often their voices go unheard or they are excluded from decisions that affect their lives.
In March, the European Commission plans to launch the new European Union Strategy on the Rights of the Child 2021 – 2024. For this, decision-makers decided to set a new standard by inviting children and young people living in Europe and beyond to share their views and influence how the strategy would be shaped and what topics it should prioritize.
To this end, consultations were launched that collected input from over 10,000 children in the European Union and beyond.
Topics like mental health, quality education, discrimination and bullying, the climate crisis and participation in decision-making processes were important for the young people that were consulted.
The results of the consultations are available in the report “Our Europe, Our Rights, Our Future”.
Check out what young Europeans have to say on issues like climate change and sustainability, online safety, employment, migration, diversity and tolerance - and what they want from their leaders in this blogging series.
In May 2019, the European Parliament election took place and UNICEF and partners have been working for months to ensure that the opinions and voices of children and young people - including those who are not old enough to vote yet - do not get left out of the discussions. Scroll down to read some of the blogs they wrote back then.
Feeling inspired to add your voice? Check out the many ways you can get involved!
What do young people in Europe think about these key issues?
Young people are taking climate action, but are our leaders paying attention?
Pablo from Spain, shares how he's taking climate action and calls on those in power to take the issue far more seriously.
Can travelling and studying increase tolerance?
Read Giulia's blog about the important role travel has played in helping her embrace the world.
Can Europe be united in diversity?
Jacopo calls on everyone to do their part to support migrants and refugees arriving in Europe.
Does everyone in the EU have an equal opportunity to gain an education?
Read Mariana's take on why we won't address youth unemployment in Europe if we don't address inequality in education.
We may not be able to vote, but we can participate
Konstantino's, founder of Teens4greece, shares his views on why more needs to be done to include children and young people in decisions that affect them.
How do we fix the mismatch between education systems & the labour market?
All across Europe, young people feel that school does not prepare them for the future. Can anything be done about this? Krzysztof shares his views.
The migrant crisis: a danger for the European Union, or an opportunity to be human?
Matija from Croatia shares his views on how Europe responded to the recent refugee crisis.
Save our planet - it's the only home we have
In the past, people loved and respected nature. But over time, says Antonija, we lost our way and began to focus too much on money and the pursuit of luxuries.
Online, things are not always as they seem
The digital world brings many opportunities, but Amine says, Europe's youngest internet users need more guidance and support to minimize the risks.
Engaging, connecting, and empowering youth across Europe
Are you unsure about the European Union's programmes and initiatives for young people? Read Victoria's blog and find out.