EU- CHINA: Youth Leaders Statement
BEIJING, 24 OCTOBER 2011
Recalling the significance of the 2011 EU-China Year of Youth, initiated by European Union
and Chinese leaders on 12th China-EU Summit, as an unprecedented people-to-people
exchange in EU-China partnership;
Acknowledging the achievements of the 2011 EU-China Year of Youth through the
implementation of over 100 programs with large-scale participation and broad reach-out,
having strengthened intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, and friendship between
European and Chinese youth and promoting consensus and cooperation among young
people and youth organisations.
Appreciating the role played by the European Commission, the All China Youth Federation
and the European Youth Forum in the implementation of the Year, the strengthening of their
cooperation in field of youth and the enhancement of the youth dimension in EU-China
partnership as well as the participation and contribution of Chinese and European young
people and youth organisations in this policy dialogue.
Celebrating the European Year of Volunteering and the International Year of Volunteers +10
we stress the importance of volunteering activities and volunteer contributions to the Year.
Highlighting the positive aspects of the Year, especially the launch of new initiatives between
Chinese and European youth we want to hereby present the following points aimed at further
improving future cooperation between the EU and China.
Chinese and European youth organisations should be effectively involved in the formulation,
implementation and monitoring of the EU-China strategic partnership and provided with the
adequate support to their meaningful participation in the process and contribution to the
further development of the partnership and the youth policy dialogue.
Set up a mechanism for a structured dialogue between youth stakeholders, academia, the
private sector, civil society and decision-makers from China and the EU, to follow policy
discussions and monitor their implementation, ensure an ongoing dialogue and raise
awareness on common global challneges. This should be accompanied by an easy
accessible and multi-lingual online tool.
In order to support the activities aimed at empowering Chinese and European youth to
facilitate networking, information sharing and exchange of best practices, we should continue
using mechanisms such as the Youth in Action programme of the EU, the international youth
exchange programme of the ACYF and other existing exchange programmes and make
them more accessible.
A network should be created as an inclusive and participatory platform for European and
Chinese young people interested in EU-China relations to build contacts, exchange views
and personal experiences as well as face-to-face meetings on a regular basis to foster
In this respect social networks should be made available for communication between
European and Chinese youth. This communication should be open to introduce contents that
reflect everyday culture of both regions to understand each others backgrounds.
Student and youth exchanges among European and Chinese young people should be
strengthened in order to promote a better understanding of cultural diversity and language,
also reaching out to local communities and civil society in the hosting countries.
Long-term study exchanges between the EU and China should be provided by increasing the
number of bilateral university agreements, promoting mobility opportunities, ensuring diploma
recognition and providing support programmes, such as the Erasmus programme.
Visa for participants of youth and academic exchanges should be free of cost and obtainable
with low administrative burden.
A coherent and coordinated strategy on youth in the frame of this partnership should also be
developed in order to implement the World Programme of Action for Youth and aimed at the
full achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
To foster the development of entrepreneurial spirit and mindset among young people through
education, which needs to be dynamic to meet the learning needs of a diverse population,
and through which we could have more internships, working experience and practical
Nurturing success through accessing the experience of role-models and encouraging a wider
responsibility across society to promote the principles of social entrepeneruship. The creation
of avenues including web based platforms and networks are recommended to inspire young
people to share the knowledge created through experience and success.
To sustain and promote the outcomes of the EU-China Year of Youth beyond 2011 we
encourage the media from both the EU Member States and China to have broader coverage
of youth exchanges, to achieve an extensive and positive impact in their respective societies.
We, the participants of the EU-China Youth Leaders Summit, urge the Chinese Government,
the European Commission and EU Member States to take full account of the outcomes of
the Year and the following key issues and recommendations corresponding to the four topics
discussed at this Summit:
Young people in an ageing society
Young people from EU and China face the reality of an ageing society and shifting generation
balances. To address these challenges we propose the following:
• tailor employment policies and modernize social security systems to reduce the
pressure on young people sustaining an increasing number of older people as well as
strengthen support mechanisms for education and training, youth entrepreneurship
and young families;
• develop strategic cross-border and domestic migration policies by giving migrants
access to social security systems;
• promote intergenerational dialogue to ensure a fair and sustainable distribution of
resources and mutual learning as well as modernize institutional structures to ensure
active participation of young people in decision-making, and recognize the positive
role social media plays in this process;
• support projects and volunteering activities from local to international level that
improve the collaboration between generations and ensure all people have access to
World multi-polarity and the role of regional organisations
In the current global situation the EU and China face many common challenges that still lack
common solutions, amongst others climate change, the debt crisis, limited resources and a
strong imbalance of wealth in both societies, therefore:
• a more coordinated approach towards their common interests is needed;
• the EU needs to become a more relevant actor by speaking with one strong voice;
• the EU and China should make use of the economic momentum to grow closer and
foster mutual understanding and enhance their exchange capabilities;
• the partners should reflect the interests of young people in their cooperation to make
a sustainable connection in the common strategy.
Climate change and sustainabile development
In order to promote global responsibility and raise awareness on sustainable development
issues we believe education and international cooperation are key and should focus on the
• enable change in consumption behaviour in key areas such as food, waste and
• incorporate in each level of education the principles of global citizenship, cooperation,
equality, solidarity, responsibility and sustainable development;
• use the method of role models within local communities;
• promote international cooperation and partnerships between different educational
institutions and civil society;
• encourage young people to use their creativity and innovation to create green
In order to resolve the issues of climate change and sustainable development the
Governments and Institutions need to:
• implement initiatives aimed at fostering green policies and engage young people and
youth organisations in the process;
• become the world pioneers of carbon pricing;
• support market-based win-win sustainable schemes in the areas of waste
management, transportation and renewable energy;
• promote local and low-carbon food consumption;
• foster inter-governmental cooperation on carbon reduction targets;
• exchange technology, research and expertise, provide practical information and
manage accountability of natural resources.
Youth entrepreneurship / Business leaders of the future
In order to create conditions to stimulate enterprise and value based business and youth
entrepreneurship between the EU and China we call for:
• removal of barriers to the creation of companies through the simplification of
administration and regulations;
• cheap registration, restricted to one form; tax free incubation period; a low minimum
capital requirement, and tax incentives reducing national insurance when you hire a
long term unemployed person;
• a creation of an advisory council or trade organisation to represent the perspective of
entrepreneurs in order to ensure future support for entrepreneurship.
To inspire young and future entrepreneurs from across society there should be a progressive
change of the concept of success through media by:
• encouraging media to promote social entrepreneurs as role-models for society and to
facilitate greater understanding of enterprise in general;
• encouraging media organisations to devote more time coverage to entrepreneurship.