Press Release

Bigger and better youth programmes? European Commission, you can do more!

30. 05. 2018

Today the European Commission released its proposals for the post-2020 Erasmus programme, the European Social Fund Plus including the Youth Employment Initiative, as well as the Justice, Rights and Values Fund.

The European Youth Forum welcomes the increase in funding for the post-2020 Erasmus programme, with the proposal that it will double to €30bn.

President of the European Youth Forum, Luis Alvarado, comments:

A bigger focus on a global perspective as well as reaching out to more young people from all backgrounds are both signs of an Erasmus that is adapting to global changes.

He continues:

However, Erasmus can do even more with an even bigger budget. In the next stage of negotiations we call on the Member States to further increase the Erasmus budget, and to multiply the budget not by two, but by ten.

The prioritisation of employment, education and social inclusion in the European Social Fund will be key to ensuring a Social Europe and to furthering the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Anna Widegren, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum states:

The long-standing high levels of youth unemployment in Europe cannot continue. Tackling this issue, according to our calculations, would require €23bn in funding. We urge the Member States to consider this very carefully in their deliberations.

She adds:

While the earmarking of 10% for youth employment in certain countries is welcome, we need actual numbers to know how this will have a real impact on the lives of young people.

The allocation of €233 million on the Justice, Rights and Values programme is a step in the right direction, but still far away from the Youth Forum’s call for €500 million, just €1 per citizen. If we really want to foster a feeling of European identity and citizenship, this requires funding. We urge the Member States to increase this at the next stage of negotiation.