Editor of TNF, Co-Chair of JEF’s Task Force on Small & New sections.
Twitter : @chris2powers
Twitter : @JeunesEuropeens
L’équipe de rédaction francophone du magazine Le Taurillon.
Twitter : @Taurillon
- Mobility should not stop at EU borders
- What mobility in EU’s mobility year?
- The Curious Case of European Youth Unemployment – An Inconvenient Truth
- The EU’s £8bn Youth Unemployment Fund: Can it work?
- The Youth Guarantee: Can it make an impact on youth unemployment?
- EU summit: how the focus on austerity alone is fuelling youth unemployment
That every European can sample a mobility experience before they turn 25 somewhere in the European Union. It is this that JEF France wish for. Essentially, the Young Europeans, in their “Youth call for Europe”, are calling to make a mobility experience – whether in or out of school – obligatory for everyone under 25. This obligation is exacted upon the structures of the youth framework and the Young Europeans thus ask for an increase in the budget allotted to European mobility.
This proposal was not born from nothing. Indeed, our mobility budgets are not below the targets set by the European institutions in terms of the number of departures made by university students, school pupils, apprentices, or youth in general. Thus, the Commission is unable to meet its objectives. Proposing a mobility experience for everybody is to reaffirm the political will to allocate funds so that it can meet its aims.
Mobility, a privilege only for some:
The learning of languages in this day and age is an undeniable asset when you enter the world of work. Visiting new countries and integrating into new cultures serves to build an adaptable youth, able to compete in the international workforce. We must not return to the under-exploitation of this great European advantage.
However, access to an experience of mobility is currently restricted by financial, social, language, and cultural barriers; which are all the easier to overcome for those of wealth. Information but also coaching must be provided and strengthened, right from the point of departure, while the requirement to go on an exchange must apply to all youth regardless of the type of training they go into.
Getting to grips with European citizenship
In calling for a mobility experience for everybody is to offer everybody the means to be able to get to grips with their European citizenship and thus to help build a European public sphere, all the while stimulating curiosity about languages and other European cultures. These experiences would have the educational benefit of fostering openmindedness, which is essential for developing as a person, as well as making the individual part of a common European political and social space.
It is for these reasons that JEF France calls to make it an obligation for all under 25s to partake in a mobility experience. Whether in or out of school, it could take any number of forms, and be carried out over differing lengths of time, ranging from a language-learning trip, to a school exchange, to the Erasmus+ programme for university students and apprentices wishing to do some European Voluntary Service.