A year ago, I expressed my disappointment over the new EU agenda Youth on the Move that was mainly focused on employment issues than on values such as active youth participation, citizenship, and inclusion. At one point I was making a radical proposal to change the name of YEU into Youth for Exchange and Understanding International for Employment, which was funny for some colleagues, of course with reasons.
Following Youth on the Move, a new integral EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport, Erasmus for all (2014-2020), proposed by the European Commission, just went a step further, cutting the available Youth in Action Programme, the main instrument for International Youth Networks to motivate their membership and maintain their structure and staff. It confirmed my fear that the European Commission does not (or doesnt want) to understand our ROLE or/and that we did not invest enough resources to explain them the case and advocate more efficiently. In some of the Brussels official sessions where I was present, the authors of the programme and officials showed a completely absence of understanding why we need an independent Youth in Action Programme, what the role of youth organisations is and why we need Nonformal Education! The budget of the new programme increased significantly but we have been completely cut off from the support for administrative grants and projects supporting youth exchanges, European Voluntary services and similar projects.
With reasons, youth activists and workers are asking for whom the programme is designed and how it will reach young people outside the formal education curricula and how many International Networks, such as YEU, will be able to continue serving their members around Europe increasing the capacity of youth to lead organisations and advocate for young matters.
Besides the important and necessary employment that young people need to be fully independent, dont you think that they should also feel a responsibility to volunteer, be inclusive, appreciate diversity, feel Europeans, or do we just want to employ and make them adults, and then move on?
YEU Secretary General