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White Paper under threat

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2001

No White Paper on Youth Policy?

It is with great concern that the British Youth Council has learnt that there is a serious risk that the European Commission will not produce a White Paper on Youth Policy. It is understood that Commissioner Reding now believes that there is not sufficient support for a White Paper.

Commissioner Reding is planning to announce this change of policy at the meeting of the Council of Youth Ministers on the 28th of May 2001. It seems that the Commission is planning instead of a White Paper, only a communication on Youth Policy.

Why should there be a White Paper on Youth Policy?

Whilst a White Paper may be the basis for the development of policy areas that are not yet covered by existing Community legislation, a Commission communication outlines proposals for the development of policy within an already existing field. For youth policy this means that no or little progress would be made. Youth policy risks therefore not to be developed into a real cross-sectoral policy for young people in Europe.

The scope of a communication is not likely to be as innovative or forward-looking as a White Paper. The greater significance of a White Paper is also underlined by the fact that only 17 have been produced since 1985, whilst there have been numerous communications.

The decision of Commissioner Reding not to produce a White Paper would disappoint the actors involved in the consultation process to date, as well as hopes for the development of a genuine youth policy at the European level.

What is to be done?

The British Youth Council will work with others to try to ensure that the White Paper is not droped and that the UK remains committed to the process.

Useful Contact details:
Contact details of Ms Reding's cabinet
Telephone: +32-2-2999434
Fax: +32-2-2999201
Email: [email protected] and [email protected]

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