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Global Trends to 2030: Challenges and Choices for Europe

Roughly a third of the five hundred million people living in the European Union is younger than 30 years old. According to a new EU report, "Challenges and Choices for Europe. Global Trends to 2030demography is one of the three mega-trends that will shape Europe’s future up to 2030. Demographic trends show that Europe’s population is growing too slowly and is expected to decline in the years to come.

The opposite can be said for Africa, where the population will have almost doubled to 2.5 billion people by 2050, 60% of which will be under 24.

So, addressing the needs of young people of today and tomorrow is a top priority, especially when youth unemployment figures average 15% in Europe and 13.3% in Africa. Both the EU and the African Union have repeatedly pledged to work together to tackle the issues facing young people in both continents. But is there real value in working on youth unemployment at the regional level?

The paper of Kesa Pharatlhatlhe and Bruce Byiers on the case of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the youth agenda shows that the jury is still out.  According to James Mackie, there is much more that the EU and the AU could do together at multilateral level, and especially at the UN level. Right at a time when rules-based multilateralism is under threat, the case for greater collaboration between the world’s strongest regional organisations, which have multilateralism in their DNA, is both urgent and compelling.

Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges for the African continent. Regional organisations are trying to address it through regional frameworks, which are in practice often thrown over by domestic priorities of member states. Read  Youth unemployment and the role of regional organisations.  Would you like to know more about ECDPM work on youth and international cooperation? Check the latest dossie here