From â€œYouth in Actionâ€ to â€œEducation Europeâ€
The European Commission has just proposed a multiannual financial framework for 2014 – 2020. Is there something new for Education and Training? Yes, and actually a lot is going to change. First of all, the new program called “Education Europe” with a total budget of 15,2 billion euro will integrate all previous educational frameworks like Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action. The new program has three key priorities:
- supporting transnational learning mobility,
- fostering co-operation between educational institutions and the world of work in order to promote the modernization of education, innovation and entrepreneurship
- providing policy support to gather evidence on the effectiveness of education investments and help Member States to implement effective policies
Despite the fact that the total amount of money spent on education and trainings will increase, which should be considered as a positive shift in recognizing education as one of the crucial factors in achieving Europe 2020 aims, integrating formal and non-formal education programs (LLP and YiA) raises some concerns. Combining all programs into one framework was explained as a necessary step in order to avoid fragmentation, overlapping and/or proliferation of projects lacking the critical mass necessary to a lasting impact – as we can read in the official statement.
However, such huge construction focused mainly on formal education (students exchange etc) puts in question the previous efforts of many youth workers to increase recognition of non – formal education. It is too soon to prejudge how the new program will tackle these problems, because the detailed structure is not yet available. Since the first priority is increasing youth mobility, there will probably be opportunities to participate in similar programs such as the European Voluntary Service. Let’s hope the same applies also to other YiA actions, which for years have enabled thousands of young people to develop their skills and competences and have helped to shape a more colourful and peaceful Europe.
YEU Newsmail Journalist and Researcher