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Brussels, 1st June 2007

European Youth Week 2007: Social inclusion and diversity on the top of the agenda, as 200 young people gather in Brussels

Social inclusion and diversity will be placed at the top of the agenda during the third edition of the European Youth Week, to be held from 3-10 June 2007. Political debates, cultural and other events will take place in all corners of Europe, all linked to the Europe-wide launch of the new Youth in Action programme (2007-2013).

In Brussels, some 200 young people will gather for the Youth in action! event, a direct follow-up of the recently held Rome Youth Summit and the youth event organised by the German presidency in Cologne. An integral part of the structured dialogue with young people, the Brussels debate will culminate in a political discussion (6 June) with Commissioners Ján Figel' and Vladimír Špidla, and senior representatives of other EU institutions.

On the eve of the launch of the European Youth Week 2007, the European Commission has published a Flash Eurobarometer survey showing that 38% of young Europeans consider the lack of job opportunities in their country as the most important difficulty in securing employment. If confronted with unemployment, they are not willing to make concessions: whereas 33% of them would accept any job, if it met certain conditions, such as stability and a good salary, only one in ten would accept any job without such conditions.[1]

Commenting on the European Youth Week, the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel’, said: "The Commission respects the commitment made at the Youth Summit in Rome that we should consult with young people on matters of particular concern to them. Therefore in Brussels we shall discuss problems related to social inclusion and diversity. It is also an excellent opportunity to highlight how the Youth in Action programme can complement the political action by lending support to projects launched by young people all over Europe."

Activities organised by National agencies of the Youth in Action programme at local, regional and national level will contribute to the overall objective of the European Youth Week 2007 by providing young people with a platform and an opportunity to participate and make their voice heard. Following successful Youth Weeks in 2003 and 2005, these events will now be organised by the European Commission with regular intervals, every 18 months.

The Youth in Action! event in Brussels will be co-hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee and is being organised in close co-operation with the European Youth Forum. Selected young participants from all over Europe will discuss relevant issues linked to the concept of social inclusion and diversity, such as employment, equal opportunities, anti-discrimination, volunteering, active citizenship and non-formal learning. Particular reference will be made to the future of Europe.

As part of the Youth in action! event, the "European Youth Celebration" (5 June) will present certificates of recognition to nominated social inclusion and diversity projects, which were funded under the YOUTH programme (2000-2006). In the presence of Commissioner Ján Figel', the celebration will focus on the success of this programme, which supported more than 100.000 youth projects involving more than half a million young citizens. It will also highlight the launch of the new Youth in Action programme (2007-2013)

For more information:

Youth in Action programme:

European Youth Week 2007:

Eurobarometer Complete report:

Eurobarometer Summary:

[1] The survey involved 19.000 young Europeans between 15 and 30 years of age. Conducted between 30 January and 4 February 2007, the Flash Eurobarometer is the first such survey of young people in all 27 Member States of the EU.

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