Youth at Risk - How to prevent criminal engagement and promote youth empowerment through the European Social Fund

This page provides contextual information about the workshop organised by Gothenburg European Office, the European Committee of the Regions, the Swedish ESF Council, the YoungEast project and  the Bradow Youth Diversion Project. The workshop was an offical partner event during the European Week of Region and Cities 2022 titled: "Youth at Risk - How to prevent criminal engagement and promote youth empowerment through the European Social Fund".

About the workshop

One of the overall objectives of the EU Youth Strategy (2019-2027) is “to encourage young people to become active citizens and actors of positive change”. To achieve this objective, new methods sensitive to the specific needs of youth at risk are required. This workshop was created with the aim of exploring the concept of youth empowerment where the target group specifies youths at risk - focusing on the perspective of societal inclusion as empowerment, with the added benefit of preventing criminal engagement through such initiatives, and how the new European Social Fund (ESF+) can support projects targeting these individuals.

Understanding youths as a diverse social group

If the EU wants to get serious about its youth policy, it is necessary to treat youths as the heterogenous group of individuals that they are. Only by treating them as such, and by extension understand the hinders faced by varied groups of young people, can we create policy that empowers and includes them all, both societally and by extension politically.