Commission Staff Paper: EU indicators for the youth field
Arbeidsdokument lagt fram av Kommisjonen 25.3.2011
BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens arbeidsdokument, engelsk utgave)
Through the EU Youth Strategy , the Council invited the Commission to "set up a working group to discuss, in consultation with relevant policy areas, existing data on the situation of young people and the possible need for the development of indicators in fields where they do not exist, or where no youth perspective is apparent. The results of this work and proposals for potential new indicators should be submitted for consideration by the Council no later than December 2010".
Accordingly, the Commission established an ad-hoc expert group on youth indicators in January 2010. The group has had two meetings (January and April 2010) as well as extensive contact by email. It has been comprised of 60 experts from 25 Member States plus Norway  coming from public administrations, research institutions and statistical agencies as well as from different youth stakeholder groups  and the Commission.
The EU Youth Strategy does not operate with an official definition for the specific period in life when a person is considered to be "young". This definition varies from one Member State to another and the age to consider differs with time and socio-economic development. As an instrument for implementing the EU Youth Strategy, the 'Youth in Action' programme targets young people between 13 and 30 . The dashboard of indicators operates with three 5-year categories where possible, covering the age-range 15-30. For some indicators it is more suitable to target a more limited age range (for example early leavers from education and training), to target the child population (at risk of poverty or social exclusion) or, on the other hand, a limited sample size may necessitate using other age categories. All indicators will further be broken down by gender and, where relevant, by educational attainment. The dashboard will be updated and revised on an annual basis.
This document is based on the work of the above expert group on EU indicators on youth, led by the European Commission. Unlike the general guidance provided by the Europe 2020 headline indicators, its results are supposed to support the more specific EU policy processes dealing directly or indirectly with youth: the dashboard identifies key indicators for the EU Youth Strategy that are central to achieving a thorough understanding of the general living and working situation of young people. It is, therefore, fully complementary to the headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy of the European Union  and its flagship initiative 'Youth on the Move'  which deals more specifically with youth employment and mobility issues. Given that two of the headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy have a bearing on youth, these two headlines targets are also integrated into the dashboard.
The Communication emphasises that its objectives should be achieved through cooperation between the Commission and the Member States in the context of existing arrangements, including the EU Youth Strategy.
To ensure that these policy indicators can continue to reflect the changing reality for young people in the EU, and upon request of the Member States, the Commission will continue to work with the expert group on an annual basis to review the dashboard and propose revisions. This work will not imply a financial or administrative burden for the Member States. Data for existing indicators will be collected through existing sources, such as Eurostat. For possible new indicators outlined in this document, the Commission will consider conducting Flash Eurobarometers in regular intervals to generate new data, for example every 4 years.
WHY ARE INDICATORS IN THE FIELD OF YOUTH NEEDED?
The EU Youth Strategy greatly emphasises an evidence-based approach to youth policy. Having indicators in all the eight 'fields of action' in the strategy will better enable an examination as to whether the overall objectives are being met. A dashboard of youth indicators will also enable non-experts in the youth field to get a quick yet comprehensive overview of the situation of young people in the EU. In this way it will increase the visibility and recognition of the youth policy field and highlight its particular characteristic as a cross-sectoral policy domain.
The dashboard includes indicators for all the fields of action in the EU Youth Strategy. In some of these policy domains, the indicators identified are those that have already been adopted by relevant Council formations or working groups in other EU policy fields, although they may not necessarily have had a clear youth dimension. In other fields of action, however, indicators do not yet exist. For these areas, the expert group has drafted appropriate indicators in line with the request made by the Council.
1 The EU Youth Strategy was endorsed by the Council through the Council Resolution of 27 November
2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018). This followed the release of the Commission Communication "An EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering.", COM(2009) 200 final, 27 April 2009.
2 Norway and Iceland were invited as EFTA EEA countries.
3 The European Youth Forum, 4 National Youth Councils and the AER Youth Network.
4 According to Article 6 (2) of Decision 1719/2006, the Youth in Action programme "is intended for young people aged between 15 and 28, although certain actions are open to young people aged as young as 13 up to the age of 30".
6 Commission Communication on Youth on the Move, 15 September 2010, COM(2010) 477 final.