Investing in young Europeans: new EU budget for 2014-2020 aims to boost youth growth
Following the European Parliament’s (EP) consent, the Council of the European Union adopted the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014 until 2020 on the 2nd December and the Erasmus+ programme for education, training, youth and sport on the 3rd. The landmark decision to invest in spending programmes up to a trillion euros, or roughly one per cent of the EU’s gross national income (GNI), arrives after two and a half years of intense negotiations.
Erasmus+ includes a youth chapter and a separate budget allocation of up to 10 per cent, a leap forward from the European Commission’s initial proposal and a great victory for youth organisations across Europe. The programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion, “more than 40% higher than current levels in real terms,” according to a Commission press release announcing the EP’s approval of the MFF.
Although the new regulation includes initiatives to tackle youth unemployment for the next seven years, the overall investment in education and youth-related issues remains timid. The European Youth Forum regrets that the MFF Regulation does not mention youth mainstreaming in financial terms but looks forward to the prompt and smooth implementation of the new EU youth programme in 2014.