EU 2020 without Youth?

, von  Merete Tschokert, Mitko Kalchev, translated by Nelly Tsekova

EU 2020 without Youth?

If you are young and read the new EU 2020 strategy you will be surprised. Not in a good way. And the question you will think about is: Where? Where is the youth mentioned?

The EU 2020 sets out to improve performance of higher education institutions and to raise the quality of education by promoting student mobility and providing easier entry for students to the labour market. That is the definition given by the Commission for the basics of the initiative, which is also implemented in its title – ‘Youth on the Move”. Well, it isn’t the ‘move’ which is missing in current initiatives like Erasmus and Youth in Action. Hopefully the goals of the new programme will not diminish, but spread the success of the good (though controversial) practices preceding it.

At the first sight Youth on the Move sounds very nice, but if you are going deeper you discover not so nice things. Not only that the name is already taken, it will be probably just another exclusive programme for high-educated youth. But are you expecting from a commissioner of youth, whose priorities doesn’t mention youth, something else? For Androulla Vassiliou (Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) everything is right. [”I’m pleased to say that education and youth figure prominently in ‘Europe 2020’ […] When I read this the first thing what came to my mind was: she has certainly a total different EU 2020 strategy.

But what do young people, the target of this initiative, think about it? The European Youth Forum (YFJ) has pointed out that the draft is incomplete and needs further developing. Which, shadowed by supposedly more urgent issues like the economical crisis in Greece, wasn’t in the agenda on the March summit. Other criticism stems from the fact that the initiative is exclusively about higher education and not education in general. There is a widespread concern that the focus is on creating cheap workforce rather than on cultivating individuals. Also, there seems to be a lack of will of the Member States for setting common goals in the field of education.

It is a question of recognizing. Who is recognizing the youth of Europe? For example: who knows the “EU Strategy for Youth – Investing and Empowering”You know it? If yes, you are probably in a youth organisation. If not, you are in the majority. But that we have to change. It is THE paper which tackles with youth issues and it’s valid from 2010 to 2018. Nine years and nobody knows it.

In order to succeed and really make a difference, the Commission’s YOTM initiative should set more ambitious but measurable goals that take in account the current situation as well as the point of view of youth organizations. While it has tried to address thoroughly an important issue the YOTM initiative is far from being the perfect plan. We have to change Europe and make it aware of the youth and its needs. We the Youth of Europe are not willing to stay quiet anymore. We have to be recognised. NOW! For more information, see:

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  • Am 16. April 2010 um 13:18, von  Alvaro Millan, Spain Als Antwort EU 2020 without Youth?

    I absolutely agree, word for word, which is expressed in this post, and I’m glad there are young people who think like me!

    Unfortunately young people participating in youth associations at European level and we know deeply the subject, we know that youth, at least for the moment and it seems manifest, is not a gamble really key and important as it should be.

    We must not forget (and neither should forget our political leaders) that youth, that young people are the future of the world, we are the leaders of tomorrow, and therefore we should have much more into account in decisions that tomorrow. Not only youth policy (that of course, but now it seems the opposite), but in many more issues: health, environment, employment, education (this latter very important), cooperation, inter cultural dialogue , media ... in any of this is virtually ignores us.

    There should be some system of direct and reciprocal cooperation of young people with the EU, youth delegates in many of the DG of the Commission, a real Group (and not an Intergroup) in the EP .. and why not, a Commissioner of Youth policies (yes, only Youth Affairs).

    I’m pretty optimistic about the work done by the Commissioner Vassiliou (not have to do a lot of merit to overcome the “special interest” in the youth of his predecessor Mr. Figél..), but I understand that education, culture, youth, and Multilingualism are too many tasks for one person, for one Commissioner. But the fault is not only the EU and its disastrous policies regarding youth, we too should accept our share of the blame. We should give more importance to local and regional policies on youth, because they are the most direct and reach younger members and whether or not known or not the various policies and strategies of the EU for young people.

    We have an amazing platform for representation and lobbying that is the YFJ (the European Youth Forum), but it only accepts as members of national youth councils and associations, but these associations must have the immense quantity of at least 5,000 members in 10 countries ... too much in my opinion.

    Still, if other associations that doesn’t meet those strong requirements, and are then represented by our National Youth Council, we find the same requirements or harder to be part of them, because to be part of, for example, the Spanish National Youth Council (CJE) your association must have at least 5000(!!!) members at least in 5 of the 17 regions that exist in Spain ... a form of representation somewhat curious.

    In short, the EU and the governments of individual Member States should pay much more attention and advocate a greater role for youth people and youth policies. And we, the young, perhaps we should rethink the ways of participation, sometimes too complex and inaccesible for medium or small associations in some european or international events or conferences, and in big platforms, and to demand greater participation in decisions of our governments, of our nationals and internationals platforms, greater involvement, a mutual and permanent contact and feedback with the youth associations, platforms, and representatives.

    The future of youth can not be decided without young people!

    Thank you very much and sorry for this loooong answer.

  • Am 20. April 2013 um 09:31, von  Research Essays Als Antwort EU 2020 without Youth?

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