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Reform Support
2023 Flagship Technical Support Project

Technical Support Instrument

YOUTH FIRST – supporting children and youth wellbeing, education, training, social protection and labour prospects


This Flagship Technical Support Project aims, in the context of 2022 being the Year of the Youth, at helping Member States to design policies that improve children and young people’ wellbeing, education, training/skills, social services, as well as access to finance and financial literacy. It aims to support reforms that give young people, in particular youth with fewer opportunities, from disadvantaged backgrounds, from rural or remote areas, or belonging to vulnerable groups, the education and opportunities to become active citizens and actors of positive change.

The proposed flagship targets five areas:

  1. Education and training
  2. Wellbeing and health, with a focus on promoting mental health issues, counselling and psycho-social support, and on healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyle
  3. Social and civic engagement of young people, youth work and volunteering, combatting fake news, discrimination and hate speech, and participation in policymaking
  4. Social protection and access to housing
  5. Access to finance and financial literacy


  • Increased quality of education systems and increased cross-border cooperation
  • Enhanced Member States’ ability to set actions on nutrition, wellbeing and mental health issues of youth and children
  • Enhanced Member States’ ability to design policies on fighting discrimination, render the education more inclusive, foster youth networks and encourage voluntary engagement of youth in society
  • Enhanced policies on providing access to housing and social security schemes
  • Improved framework that supports young entrepreneurs and researchers, and increased youth financial literacy


  • Support the concrete implementation of EU priorities on education and skills
  • Support policies that combat fake news, discrimination, hate speech
  • Improve healthy nutrition, healthy lifestyle and prevent mental health problems of children and young people
  • Provide social protection and better access to housing for vulnerable youth
  • Increase youth financial literacy and foster a better access to finance for young entrepreneurs
teenagers in line


This flagship project identifies five work packages, each with their own set of deliverables that will be tailored to each Member State. Member States can request support for one or more work packages.

FIT: healthcare and wellbeing

  • Enhancing mental health, including access to psycho-social counselling and support
  • Raising awareness of the impact of social media on mental health, and enhancing  digital wellbeing
  • Obesity prevention and nutrition

INSTRUCTED: education, training and information

  • Improving quality and equity of the education and training systems
  • Creating alliances of universities
  • Promoting the use of education policy evaluation for taking informed decisions
  • Enabling recognition of formal and non-formal learning, i.e., micro-credentials
  • Preparing youth for the digital and green transitions, i.e., upskilling and reskilling
  • Fair treatment and equal opportunities for all young people in order to end discrimination in the labour market
  • Modernising vocational education and training systems
  • Enabling young people to recognise and report misleading news, hate speech and discrimination online and offline

RESPECTED: inclusiveness and engagement

  • Rendering the education system more inclusive, fighting discrimination, segregation and bullying in school and society
  • Incentivizing youth engagement in democratic processes, fostering youth networks, voluntary engagement, learning mobility and solidarity
  • Creating the framework of youth participation in decision-making

STRONG SAFETY NET: social protection

  • Reviewing the system of social protection
  • Access to housing
  • Minimum income

THRIVING: access to finance, and boosting research and innovation

  • creating the conditions for young entrepreneurs to set up start-ups, for instance start-ups with a social impact or in the cultural sector
  • actions to increase financial literacy, i.e. with a focus on the use of e-money, online investment and banking
  • adapting the framework for young researchers to thrive through building pedagogical excellence and promoting attractive career structures


This flagship project is well aligned with and relevant for the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Across the approved Recovery and Resilience Plans, Member States included investments aimed at improving access to general, vocational, and higher education, as well as its quality and inclusiveness, focusing on digital education, early childhood education and care, and youth employment support.

TSI support to RRPs



13 MAY 2022
Supporting children and youth wellbeing, education, training, social protection and labour prospects
(587.89 KB - PDF)