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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.1 Target population of youth policy

Last update: 28 November 2023

There is no single administrative definition of 'youth' in France.


Without having strictly defined limits, youth policies generally concern those under 30 years of age. Child protection measures apply up to the age of 18, the age of majority.


This period of life is marked both historically by the end of a legal obligation, that of the end of compulsory education (being 'at school') at the age of 16. Training (the acquisition of new skills in formal and non-formal learning environments) remains compulsory until the age of 18 from September 2020.


It is also marked by new responsibilities:

The age of criminal majority is, in France, set at 18. A young person can incur criminal responsibility from the age of 13, but by becoming a criminal adult, the young person can no longer reduce his or her sentence by benefiting from the excuse of minority, being considered an adult.


Finally, it provides access to new rights or social benefits (non-exhaustive list):

- The majority and the right to vote at the age of 18,

- The obligation of training from 16 to 18 years (effective from the beginning of the school year 2020)

- The possibility of benefiting from certain social benefits, such as the active solidarity income (of which there is a "young" version before the age of 25).

Source : article L422-1 du Code de la justice pénale des mineurs