Promoting young people's self-reliance and independence and facilitating their transition…

Justification for the Selection of the Objective

Adolescence is a crucial stage in the cycle of human life, a complex period of difficulty and tension, a period of “storm and stress”. It is precisely then that individuals are called to make their transition to adulthood, experiencing emotional changes they do not understand, to develop their personality and shape their identity. Among the challenges a young person faces during this phase is acquiring those skills that will help him manage his / her own life in an independent way by making positive and healthy choices.

At present, in the developed world, there is a variety of “transitions” from adolescence to adulthood, with procedures for acquiring personal and social autonomy being no longer linear. For example, while young people may have acquired legal autonomy, they may still remain financially dependent on their family. Even when they have left their family home, they may return to it after some time. In addition, transitions tend to follow unusual patterns. For example, young people may return to formal education after they have created their own family. Or they may remain dependent on their family for emotional or cultural reasons, even when they have gained economic independence. Thus, there is an “overlapping of the various stages of life: one can be a student, a family worker, a worker or an unemployed person, and live with his family, as the transition between these different stages is more and more frequent.” Finally, there are two general trends among young people. On the one hand, there is a category of young people remaining in education for a long time, resulting in a slower transition to adulthood and taking adult roles with considerable delay compared to other peer groups. On the other hand, there are young people leaving school early, entering the labor market sooner, and often starting a family at a younger age.

Young people need to be actively supported by the state in order to make their transition (or transitions) to adult life as smooth as possible and to obtain substantial autonomy (autonomous adulthood). Especially in cases where the “traditional transition” process is not followed, i.e. completion of studies, finding work, moving to one’s own house. At this point, it is necessary to clarify the meaning of autonomy, which is often confused with the notion of independence. Autonomy refers to the sense of “self-government”, accountability, independence and the ability to make self-reliant decisions on the part of young people. Independence refers to the means (usually financial) available to the young person, which allow him/her to be less reliant on family, friends and the wider social environment. Certainly, autonomy and independence interweave and interact with each other. Nevertheless, while economic independence contributes significantly to achieving autonomy, in some cases one can be independent without being autonomous and vice versa. In any case, because autonomy includes different dimensions, it needs to be considered in a comprehensive manner: (i) as the ability of young people to make the same choices for themselves; (ii) as a learning process; iii) as a condition related to citizenship.

Promoting the autonomy and independence of young people is directly linked to access to fundamental social and economic rights, the provision of which is a prerequisite for the full social inclusion of young people. Because of this interconnection with social and economic rights, the objective of achieving youth autonomy pervades different policy axes, while it is also intertwined with other objectives.

Sub-objective 1.1: Reinforce critical thinking and willingness of young people to think, feel and make decisions in their own way.
Sub-objective 1.2: Ensure equal, free and free of charge access to quality education and training, as well as opportunities for lifelong learning.
Sub-objective 1.3: Ensure access to affordable mobility.
Sub-objective 1.4: Ensure access to Arts and Culture.
Sub-objective 1.5: Ensure access to decent and adequate housing.
Sub-objective 1.6: Ensure free and free of charge access to health services.
Sub-objective 1.7: Ensure access to decent and stable (sustainable) work.

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