Another important step for the freedom of movement of young people
The Freedom of Movement breakfast meeting, hosted and organised by the European Youth Forum in cooperation with Lifelong Learning Week 2013, took place in Brussels on the 4th December. The event aimed to give diverse institutional and civil society stakeholders an informal space to exchange positions and approaches on free movement issues, especially those relevant to youth.
During the meeting, young people shared personal experiences of their migration abroad in the context of learning mobility and volunteering. Representatives that included the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Home Affairs (DG HOME), the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and a shadow rapporteur from the European Parliament’s (EP) Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee took an active part in the discussions as well.
This dialogue was important for three reasons. It first followed up on the LIBE Committee’s vote on the report about the conditions of entry of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, training, volunteering and au pairing. Additionally, the Forum’s “LoveYouthFuture” EP election campaign lists freedom of movement of young people as one of 11 “Pledges to Youth” that MEPs can make. Finally, youth mobility and visas are integral issues in Erasmus+ to be implemented in January 2014.
The Forum stresses that freedom of movement between European countries is a fundamental precondition to ensuring that young people can contribute to European integration and growth. International mobility helps increase their skills and competences, which in turn improve their chances to contribute to their home countries’ labour markets.