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This special issue will focus on the challenges associated with European rural youth socio-economic inclusion. The transition from childhood to adulthood is both complex and fascinating, fraught with risks of marginalisation and precarity. Young Europeans in rural settings, particularly between the ages of 15 to 25, are especially vulnerable and depend on a wide range of supports and special services. The impact of recent economic crises and austerity policies are having sustained negative effects on the provision of such social services and, consequently, the availability of sustainable programmes and opportunities that target young people and those already experiencing marginalisation. At a national level, across Europe, various public policies have been implemented to empower rural youth, develop educational opportunities and increase the employment inclusion policies for vulnerable young people residing in rural communities. However, these initiatives and programmes remain relatively disparate and under-disseminated at a European level. This special issue aims to enhance our understanding of European rural youth and the challenges associated with their socio-economic inclusion by encouraging submissions that address empowerment, education and employment specific to this demographic.