Social, professional and civic inclusion of young people along with protection and educational development of youth have long been key themes of French public policies. Although there is no definitive or permanent model for political strategy on youth, as its form very much depends on successive governments, youth policies are nonetheless a constant in public action, whether they are promoted by a ministry responsible for youth affairs or by the Ministry of National Education, all the more so as youth policies are not only decided at national and territorial (regional) level but are also implemented at local level by the authorities concerned (Regions, Départements and municipalities).
Local authorities act in complementarity and interdependence with State policies in the implementation of youth policies that relies on overlapping the various levels of public action and upon interministerial, intersectoral and multi-partner operation.
Youth polices have been the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education, youth and sports, which, in particular through its Department for Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organisation (DJEPVA – Direction de la Jeunesse, de l’ Education Populaire et de la Vie Associative), focuses on the design and implementation of youth policies.
Combating youth unemployment (26.2% of under 25 y/o in 2016 according to Eurostat) and the precarity that affects some of France’s young people is one of the public authorities’ major concerns. It should be emphasised, however, that such phenomena do not affect all young people and do not have the same consequences on their individual life paths. Continued inequalities between young people themselves and the resulting fragmentation of French youth is another challenge to be taken into account in youth policies.
Ratio (%) of young people in the total population (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_020 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].
Absolute number of young people on 1 January for the age group 15-29 (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_010 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].
Ratio (%) of men and women in the youth population (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_020 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].
Young immigrants from non-EU countries (2016): Eurostat, yth_demo_070 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].