The crucial question to get right to the point is the question whether we will have an independent youth programme in the European Union after 2013.
The current programme YOUTH IN ACTION will expire by the end of 2013. From 2014 onwards we’ll have the next generation of European programmes and the new financial framework which will last for a couple of years. The European Commission is going to publish its very own financial proposal for the time discussed here by the end of June. Then we’ll have some clarification about the amount of money which will be spend for different programmes and policies. After that date the EC will develop the new programme structure during the fall of 2011.
It is not clear yet whether we will have a sequel of the current programme. Many voice are very sceptical even top level representatives. Why is there a discussion at all whether to continue with this very successful programme which has a clear and sustainable output over years?
You might wonder but its the EC itself which is not entirely aware of the success of its very own programme. Having set up the strategy Europe 2020 the EC is stressing with all their power the political goal of bringing youngster to work and strengthen employability. Economic matters are top priority at the moment the financial meltdown and the depts crisis in Europe still in mind. Non-formal European education and promoting European citizenship are not on the agenda, well, maybe they are on the agenda but you have to scroll down very far to find them.
You can fall into despair. Wherever you go in Europe and ask young people, NGOs, National Agencies of the EU youth programme and citizens involved in the different actions of the programme you just get one answer: it is an outstanding success! The projects developed and realised under the roof of YOUTH IN ACTION produced this: intercultural competencies, broad European sensitization, individual development in all European key competencies, EMPLOYABILITY, friendships, a close European network of civil society, a truly closer Europe and so on and so on.
This investment to put it economically is the best thing Europe can do to prepare young citizens for the globalised job market. I really cannot understand why people in Brussels don’t see or do not want to see these facts. Even YOUTH IN ACTION is a non formal educational youth programme the output is exactly what the EC wants: self-confident, open-minded, intercultural sensitized and mobile young citizens. What else do the employers look for? Or is it the goal of President Barroso to teach mathematics via a European programme?
From my point of view you can turn it on every side and you won’t find a good reason not to continue with the fabulous work!
One question is not answered. Why an independent programme? What is the problem with including the YOUTH IN ACTION programme in another family of programmes under one roof? If you understand politics you know that from the point you loose independence and share money and other things with other programmes you are going to die. Another aspect is about political symbolism. An independend youth programme would underline the importance of the young people we have in Europe. For those who argue economically I just want remind you on the fact of having few commodities but people in Europe!
Just don’t hesitate to comment and to give approval to this story. We need to raise our voice to make it clear to the EC that it is inevitable to have an independent EU youth programme after 2014. I’m going to publish this post from time to time in the near future to raise as much attention as possible. Join in – it’s worth it!