The LADDER Project Youth Path, led by JEF Europe, has been following the design and implementation of youth policies at EU level, always bearing in mind participation, inclusiveness, participatory and transparent policy-making processes. Advocacy actions are permanently carried out to raise citizens and stakeholders’ awareness on the role and importance of youth in development.
On June 1, 2017, the Youth Path drafted a resolution in response to the revised European Consensus for Development, a new framework for development cooperation for the EU and its member states. The European consensus for development is the EU’s response to the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development. It sets out the main principles which will guide the approach of the EU and the member states to cooperation with developing countries over the next 15 years, as well as a strategy for reaching the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
JEF Europe welcomes the essential integration of a youth dimension in the new EU Consensus on Development and the recognition of youth unemployment as one of the biggest challenges for both developed and developing countries, especially those experiencing situations of conflict. Whereas the 2005 EU Consensus simply mentioned the need to invest in quality primary education and vocational training, the new EU Consensus highlights the role of education and of creating quality jobs in promoting the engagement of young people in the economic, social and political life of their societies.
Nevertheless, JEF Europe also expressed its concerns with regards to the implementation of this new framework for EU development policies as it reveals a strong leaning towards solving short-term political concerns rather than laying down a long-term coherent vision to address the primary objectives of eradication of poverty and fight against exclusion and inequalities. In that sense, it supports the concerns of numerous other civil society organisations, which expressed their worries about the securitization agenda and hardened tone of the new consensus.