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Order 523 (1996)

Situation of young people in Europe: marginalised youth

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 26 June 1996 (20th Sitting), (see Doc. 7574, report by the Committee on Culture and Education, rapporteur: Mr Elo). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 June 1996 (20th Sitting).

1. In past reports the Assembly has drawn attention to the importance of the participation of young people in institutional and political life. This remains essential for the survival of the democratic system.
2. Society is however changing and the younger generation is increasingly vulnerable to these changes. The role of the traditional family and other values such as religion and solidarity in society in general are being called into question. Unemployment has more and more become a fact of life. How then can young people have any confidence in the future?
3. These problems are only to be added to the situation of young people in central and eastern Europe, as identified by the Assembly in 1992 (Doc. 6665 and Recommendation 1191).
4. In these situations intergeneration solidarity can counteract the risk of marginalisation. But it is also essential that the situation of young people be recognised. Action is necessary at European but also at national level.
5. Key areas for policy discussion at national level are such as whether or how to:
5.1. adopt specific policies for young people;
5.2. admit youth representation to appropriate government departments;
5.3. ensure the right of all young people to an education of quality;
5.4. advance the right of young people to suitable employment;
5.5. improve possibilities of accommodation for young people;
5.6. provide systems of credit for young people;
5.7. recognise voluntary work and social and local employment as economic activities;
5.8. lower the minimum age for voting.
6. Young people should be more closely involved in policy-making at both national and European levels. This should apply to the social sector.
7. In this context the Assembly asks its Committee on Culture and Education along with other competent committees to consult further with youth representatives with a view to formulating specific proposals for youth and in particular marginalised youth as part of general social and educational policy.