A Youth strategy for Europe's future
Research Paper by Raluca Abaseaca
During the last years, trust in political institutions, membership in political parties and voting turnout among young people are in decline. This situation worsened after the outburst of the economic crisis in 2008. In this broader context, my paper focuses on the possibilities of participation of disadvantaged youth in Romania, one of the poorest countries in EU. My paper will take into account the problems that are facing the disadvantaged youth in Romania, the various subgroups and categories that are at risk of social exclusion in Romania and the policy responses and initiatives at the European and national levels, focusing especially on the role of education in stimulating youth participation. Education plays a central role in fighting against social exclusion and in empowering young people since differences in participation rates occur according to the level of education. Relying on recent surveys, EU and national studies and documents and on interviews conducted with Erasmus+ coordinators in Romania, the paper will test the effectiveness of Erasmus+ and of Youth Guarantee in promoting participation of disadvantaged youth in Romania. Since young people with fewer resources tend to be less involved in EU youth programmes, non-formal learning should be used as a tool to empower youth in having an impact upon policy development.