From Youth in Action to Erasmus
“Erasmus for all”, the new EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Culture, which should be launched in 2014, after the approval from the Council of EU and the European Parliament, will surely increase mobility opportunities for young people. Since the overall budget of the previous programmes (LLP and YiA) will increase up to 19 billion euro, from which two thirds will be dedicated to mobilty, it will create the opportunity for 5 million young people to experience studying, teaching or training abroad.
Apart from increasing the budget and combining the previous programmes into one (which still raises some questions especially concerning the importance of non-formal education), there will be few other changes. The interesting fact for youth organizations is that the programme aims to “increase institutional cooperation between educational institutions, youth organisations, businesses, local and regional authorities and NGOs to encourage the development and implementation of innovative practices in education, training and youth activities, and to promote employability, creativity and entrepreneurship” – as we can read in the official statement. This is supposed to be achieved by sector skills alliances between education and training providers to promote employability by forming new sector-specific curricula and innovative forms of vocational teaching and training. However, more specific details on how it will work are not yet available.
As it was mentioned above, closure of the “Youth in Action” programme is still welcome by the youth sector as a thread to the sustainability of youth work and the importance of non-formal education. As we can read in YFJ press releases, for as little as 28 cents per year (for each European citizen) “Youth in Action” will have provided between 2007-2013 around 1,000,000 young Europeans with valuable Non-Formal Education experiences and mobility possibilities that enhance their social, civic and political engagement as well as their sense of responsibility and improve their skills. Therefore, youth organizations demand a strong independent programme for youth. Whether the new initiative “Erasmus for All” will fulfill these hopes, is something we will have the opportunity to see soon.
Newsmail Journalist and Editor