Next year dedicated to young persons, what about young persons with disabilities?

In her State of the Union address to the Parliament on 15 September 2021, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, outlined the idea to make 2022 the ‘European Year of Youth’. The aim would be to highlight and mitigate the pandemic’s impact on young person’s education, employment, social inclusion and mental health. Within a month, the Commission had adopted a formal proposal for a decision. During the December plenary session on 14 December, the European Parliament adopted the decision establishing the Year.

The overall objective of the European Year of Youth shall be to boost the efforts of the Union, the Member States and regional and local authorities, together with civil society actors, to empower, honour, support and engage with young people, including those with fewer opportunities, in a post-COVID-19 pandemic perspective with a view to having a long-term positive impact for young persons.

  • Renew the positive perspectives for young persons, with a particular focus on the negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on them.
  • Empower and support young persons, including through youth work, especially young persons with fewer opportunities.
  • Support young persons to acquire a better understanding of, and actively promote the various opportunities available to them from, public policies at Union, national, regional and local level in order to support their personal, social, economic and professional development
  • Mainstream youth policy across all relevant Union policy fields in line with the 2019-2027 European Union Youth Strategy.

And young persons with disabilities?

In the legal text young persons with disabilities are specifically mentioned two times. First the European Union recognizes that persons with disabilities were strongly affected by COVID-19 and that the European year of Youth should not be discriminatory to certain groups and young persons with disabilities is one of them.

The year promotes the EU priorities, a green inclusive and digital year where inclusion and accessibility should be priority.

It is not mentioned which type of accessibility and in the measures proposed in the text inclusion is not detailed how is this going to be ensured.

Read the full text at

Source: European Disability Forum