The EU Youth Action Plan - now what? Insights from civil society

In October 2022, the European Commission launched its first-ever Youth Action Plan (YAP) for EU external action, covering 2022-2027. This paper shares our insights as European civil society organisations working on youth empowerment.


The YAP acts as the EU’s guiding framework to “promote meaningful youth participation and empowerment globally for sustainable development, equality and peace”. In November 2022, EU Member States approved Council Conclusions on the YAP, expressing strong political support for its proposed actions and implementation. They committed to the objective of increasing meaningful and active youth participation, as well as youth empowerment in EU external action.

As civil society organisations (CSOs) dedicated to promoting youth empowerment worldwide, we commend the positive commitments and provisions encapsulated in the YAP. They establish a robust policy framework. This paper offers a brief analysis of the YAP and introduces a set of recommendations for its execution. Our insights are shaped by the lessons from successful and impactful programmes our organisations have implemented, focusing on youth and child empowerment. By translating the YAP commitments into tangible actions, the EU can position itself as a credible geopolitical actor, fostering value-based partnerships with young individuals in partner countries.

Check out the full report for our recommendations and learn more about our success stories – including End FGM EU’s Purple Chair project.