STATEMENT: Negotiations on the revision of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework and Erasmus+

17. 11. 2016

The European Youth Forum calls for EU leaders to live up to their rhetoric and for youth to be prioritised in the current negotiations on the revision of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF). The Youth Forum requests that EU leaders and the Slovak Presidency retain the funding increase for the Erasmus+ programme of 200 million euros, as proposed by the European Commission. The Youth Forum is very disappointed at the current Slovak Presidency proposal that would halve this proposed increase.

Erasmus+ is one of the EU’s most popular and successful programmes. It is often oversubscribed, meaning that young people cannot access the vital support. On average only 20% of projects in the youth sector end up being funded, despite scoring high in evaluations. Organisations across Europe are producing thousands of good projects, receiving excellent evaluations, but they cannot be funded because there are not enough resources available.

Erasmus+ funding should not be sacrificed at the expense of other youth programmes, such as the Youth Employment Initiative – which is a proposal of the Slovak Presidency. While increasing investment to tackle youth unemployment is urgent and essential, Erasmus+ enables youth organisations to contribute to the personal, social, political and economic development of youth and their communities. This helps tackle the key challenges facing Europe, such as youth unemployment, the erosion of social cohesion and political disengagement.

The youth section of Erasmus+ is performing particularly well. It mobilises 25% of all Erasmus+ mobility opportunities with only 10% of the Programme’s budget. Strengthening the support to the youth chapter would increase the overall outreach of the Programme.

The revision of the MFF is the opportunity to redress this imbalance and give more young people the opportunity for mobility, studying, volunteering and working aboard.

The next European Council in December is devoted to young people and their place in Europe. If EU leaders want to ensure true youth engagement, then more recognition and support should be given to young people and youth organisations through Erasmus+.

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