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Young Europeans: an urgent educational challenge

Motion for a recommendation | Doc. 12256 | 11 May 2010

Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Deborah BERGAMINI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Alexander [The Earl of] DUNDEE, United Kingdom ; Mr Bill ETHERINGTON, United Kingdom ; Mr Renato FARINA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Franz Eduard KÜHNEL, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Göran LINDBLAD, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr José MENDES BOTA, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Krasimir MINCHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Fritz NEUGEBAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Kent OLSSON, Sweden ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Gabino PUCHE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Janusz RACHOŃ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Paul WILLE, Belgium

Suicide rates among young Europeans are rising in absolute terms year on year, and in many Council of Europe countries this phenomenon is a growing source of concern.

Bullying and violence, which are found particularly in the large metropolitan areas of Europe, are spreading more widely in many areas of the European countries: in schools, places of recreation and those normally used by the general public.

The use of drugs and self-harm by young people seem to be the result of a general lack of self-esteem and an inability to address the challenges and responsibilities linked to the future.

The educational challenge facing young Europeans has been worsened by growing unemployment which, at this time of crisis, has mainly affected young people between 19 and 25 (for example, in Italy, France and Sweden 26%, and in Spain as high as 44%), undermining their ambition to pursue goals and exploit their talents and skills.

The weakening of family ties and the inadequacy of schooling in moral values, civil virtues and duties are fostering loneliness and very serious psychological depression in the younger generation.

Repressive policies alone, lowering the age at which minors can be imprisoned, and the alarming data on repeat offenders, demonstrate the need to expand educational and preventive measures for young people. At the same time it is indispensable to create an educational covenant between families, associations, schools and the young people themselves.

The suicide rate and other indicators of the serious plight of young people in the Council of Europe countries, also in consideration of their great value to the European countries and the European continent as a whole, require a wide-ranging debate within the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers so that the educational challenge facing young Europeans can be urgently addressed, also by identifying and exchanging "common best practices"