The right to autonomy is far from being a reality, especially because it covers such a great extent of topics. Housing, social welfare, financial security… those are more than ever at stake when we consider the growing disparities. We have to tackle the increasingly polarised life chances (even within young people), and the extent to which public policy may address different manifestations of poverty and social exclusion.
Beyond the necessity to provide a safe environment for young people to grow to their full potential, the right to autonomy is about empowering people and including them in society. Knowing the cost of social exclusion in terms of health, social care but also simple economic growth, advocating for the right to autonomy is making the choice of investing in the present and the future. If the current focus on employment is understandable, we shouldn’t forget that the crisis’ fallouts are not limited to this issue. That’s why the European Youth Forum should strongly lobby for a new social pact. If the Youth Guarantee is a step towards a new way to tackle these issues, we have to take into account the articulation between youth policies and the rest of the political framework. In this perspective, we need a better approach on intergenerational justice.
Finally, youth autonomy is about trust. We as youth organisations are demonstrating in our daily practice that young people are trust-worthy and fully capable to participate in social life. The European Youth Forum is a more than relevant actor in the dissemination of this empowering vision of youth.