Marianthi Pelekanaki (17101)
Despite the economic and migration crisis of the previous decade in many member-states, the European Union has already perceived that its youth is the touchstone for its continuity and it minds for providing them with the necessary qualifications. That is, EU conduct special programs of briefing, supporting, boosting and training for the youth. However, many young people are not aware of the potentials that EU provides regarding both their rights and their educational and professional progress, so it would be good to inform you for some of them.
More specifically, the EU has started since 2010 in the framework of the strategic plan “Europe 2020”, the initiative « Youth on the Move» which consists essentially a young person’s “toolbox” for widening and promoting his qualifications in order to achieve his goals in his career. Certainly, you have heard about the “Erasmus+” and “Erasmus mundus” programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively. Particularly, the “Erasmus+” enhances not only the education and training of young people, but also it provides the opportunity for volunteering or internship. Similar opportunities are also given to postgraduates with “Erasmus mundus”, who can move to non-EU countries named “partner countries”. For all this staff, the interested can be informed further by the educational organizations and the higher-education institutions of their country.
Except the students exchange programs, there are also those which enhance the training, the research and the lifelong learning of youth with the aim to fulfilling the expectations of the future economy. Such programs are the Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Marie Curie. Especially, the “Leonardo Da Vinci” program operates in the field of vocational education and training with the view to increasing the quality and the performance of the current vocational training systems. On the other hand, the Comenius favors the improvement of the quality and strengthening of “europeanisation” of school educational process encouraging the international cooperation among schools. Last but not least, the “Marie Curie” program finances the evolvement the researchers’ career and training on all the academic fields promoting in this way the research in differ countries and sectors.
The European Union, beyond the youth vocational training, it has taken care of taking into consideration the opinion of the youth itself during the formation of European policies that are related to it. This is succeeded through the process of “Structured Dialogue”, where discussions are conducted about different issues among the appropriate ministers of each member state and the policy makers, while it is decided what questions are going to be addressed to young people all over Europe twice a year. These questions are used as the base of state consultations, in which many youth organizations and councils participate. Finally, the results of national consultations are discussed at Youth Conferences of EU, which are carried out twice a year in the country that has the presidency of EU and so, youth’s concerns and resolutions to problems come one more step before the European governance and institutions.
It is rational, then, that the variety of EU initiatives regarding educational, training and research issues occupies a significant part of the annual EU budget. Especially fore the education, only the “Youth employment Initiative” distracts 1.4 billion euros of the EU budget, while the “Erasmus” program 1.6 billion euros.
So, we understand that the aim of the Union is to combat the unemployment, the electronic illiteracy, to establish the education of young people in third countries and also the fellowship of its peoples with the continuous movement of students and the establishment of one common perception in the framework of common EU values. Thus, the young people have only one thing to do: to be continuously alert and aware of EU initiatives, something that is too easy anymore!
Leonardo da Vinci :