The needs of young people became a significant policy concern in the second half of the 20th century when Western European countries realized they needed to develop a long-term strategy that would specifically respond to the needs of youth. This would attempt to not only deal with the issues facing young people as a social group, but also consider youth as a valuable resource that can contribute to the development of European society.
Young people need opportunities to raise their concerns with policy-makers and to discuss and develop youth policy that concerns them and their needs, at the local, national and European level. The needs and expectations of young people across Europe should be considered.
Though different actions have been encouraged at European and national levels, involving the European Commission, Member States, youth councils and the European Youth Forum, on the whole youngsters feel increasingly distanced from the policies which affect them most.