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A step towards more free movement for young people?

February 25, 2014

Today (25th of February) the report on the Conditions of Entry Directive for third country nationals has been adopted the European Parliament by a substantial majority. The Forum has campaigned in this report for more free movement for young people and welcomes the fact that the European Parliament adopted nearly all of the Forum’s demands.

This European Parliament report set out rules for how the EU should regulate visas and residence permits for periods of between 3-12 months or for studies/research. The European Youth Forum is convinced that mobility of young people is a vital contribution to intercultural understanding both in Europe and internationally. For many years we have been campaigning for free movement within the EU for young people from third countries (non EU countries).

We welcome the Parliament’s adoption of the Youth Forum’s key demands, including the setting of a maximum period for when an appeal against a refusal must be heard; that the free movement for visa-holders within the EU is ensured; that legal barriers of residence are reduced; and that an accreditation system for organisations hosting visa holders is proposed.

We also note the Parliament’s moves toward reasonable visa fees. However, we firmly believe that the next steps to take are a general abolition of fees and of the overly bureaucratic procedures for obtaining visas, which greatly hinder the mobility of non-EU nationals.

The Youth Forum firmly believes that the freedom to move from one European country to another is a fundamental precondition for ensuring that young people can contribute to European integration and growth. At a time of global change, young people from outside the European Union have a key role in creating social, cultural and economic links between their countries/regions and the EU. The links that many of the young Ukrainian protesters had to Europe, proves the benefits that these links can bring.

The Youth Forum now calls on the Council to immediately engage constructively with the Parliament on this report to ensure that the EU takes a step forward to ensure the freedom of movement of young people.

Picture: courtesy of Joel Müller


European Youth Forum AISBL

Rue de l’Industrie 10, 1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 793 75 20
Fax : +32 2 893 25 80
youthforum@youthforum.org

With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe