What is Agenda 2020?

“Agenda 2020” is a medium-term strategic document on youth policy. It was unanimously approved by the youth ministers of almost 50 European States at the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Youth in Kyiv on 10-11 October 2008, and expresses the pan-European consensus on the principles, priorities and approaches.

Conference Declaration

 Achievements and lessons learned

In March 2017, the Joint Council on Youth looked back at the key highlights and achievements of Agenda 2020 with a view to drawing some conclusions and picking up some pointers for implementing a new youth strategy in the future.

In working groups, the CMJ members focused on the three thematic priorities of: human rights and democracy; living together in diverse societies; and social inclusion of young people; and reflected on the following questions:

  • what challenges and difficulties had been faced when implementing Agenda 2020;
  • which issues still needed to be addressed within the framework of Agenda 2020;
  • which lessons had been learnt that should be taken into account when developing the future “Youth sector strategy 2030”.

Conclusions of the discussions of the three working groups

Background documents

Political context

At the time, the specific context of youth policy was marked by the engagement of the member states to clarify the mission of  the Council of Europe, to formulate its role vis-à-vis the European Union and to (re)-focus its priorities and action on its core mission.  This process, which resulted in the Action Plan adopted by the third Summit of Heads of State and Government in 2005, involved also a reflection  by governments on how to improve the efficiency of the Council of Europe in a context of budgetary constraints. 

The “Agenda 2020” first set down the three main themes that European youth policy would address as priorities up to 2020: human rights and democracy; the promotion of cultural diversity; and social inclusion. In each of these three dimensions, a set of six specific topics (with several subject areas) defined in more detail the full range of activities. This was different from previous strategic documents in both tone and thematic scope.