Skip the cappuccino. Invest in youth.
What if spending an additional €3 per month for every young person in the European Union could make a real difference in their lives?
Building on the EU 7 year budget proposal by the European Council, the European Youth Forum urges the Heads of the EU Member States to invest an extra €3 per month per young person living in the EU over the next 7 years, in addition to what is already on the table.
We often tell young people they should skip their cappuccinos to overcome their financial difficulties but if the EU invested half of the price of a burger or one cappuccino per young person every month, we could have a tremendous impact for youth in Europe. In fact, that would:
- Multiply the current Erasmus+ budget by three, reaching a €41.1 billion envelope for Erasmus+.(1)
- Raise funding earmarked under the European Social Fund + for youth employment (implementation of the Youth Guarantee) from €4.1 billion euro to €7.75 billion.(2)
Last week, the European Council put forward its new EU Budget Negotiation box. They offer:
- €21.208 billion for Erasmus+. While a slight improvement, it is less than 2 times the current budget.
- Earmarking for Youth Employment (including Youth Guarantee) will be part of the broader envelope for European Social Fund Plus budget that accounts for €86.65 billion. Based on our calculation, around €4.1 billion will be earmarked for Youth Employment.(3)
Is that enough?
We don’t think so. We lack at least €23.5 billion to do better, meaning, multiplying opportunities for the 86 million young people aged 15-29 in the EU.(4) Young people in Europe are still twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the average rate and remain a vulnerable demographic group that is the most at risk of social exclusion and poverty compared to other age groups.
Is it time for the EU to skip the cup of coffee and show young people that they are a priority?
(1) European Parliament, as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have supported tripling the current Erasmus+ budget in the next MFF.
(2) The Youth Forum's position brings the funding closer to the required amount needed for full implementation of the Youth Guarantee, estimated at EUR 45 - 50 billion by the International Labour Organisation and Eurofound.
(3) Based on the distribution/allocation method to the member states from the current programming period, taking into account the changes in the total financial envelope and new earmarking proposal.
(4) Eurostat, 86m Young people in the total EU population of 510m on 1 January 2016.