YFJ celebrates 20 Years of fighting for Youth Rights
The European Youth Forum (YFJ) started the celebration of the 20th Anniversary with a major high-level event calling on the EU to invest in its future by investing in the future of young people, held at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences on 14 April 2016, as a kick off for the YFJ Council of Members.
The event counted several representatives of Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. “In order to build open and tolerant societies we should not see young people as a problem”.
Aida Hadzialic, the Swedish Minister for Upper Secondary School, Adult Education and Training, also present at the event, wowed the audience with her speech about the refugee crisis and explaining why Europe should accept and integrate refugees, referring to her personal story of being a refugee from the war in the Balkans. She stated that “it’s possible to turn challenging times into opportunities”.
You can follow EFIL Tweets during the event here.
Advocacy towards more investment on youth and improved Erasmus+ programme
The first meeting of the Erasmus+ coalition took place on 26 April 2016 in Brussels, co-organised by the Lifelong Learning Platform and the European Youth Forum. The aim of the coalition is to contribute to policy debates related to the Erasmus+ programme, and to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the next EU programmes.
This was a good opportunity to raise concerns regarding the importance of the civil society in building a fairer and more democratic Europe and in realizing the objectives of the Erasmus+ programme.
More than 20 European NGOs working in education, training and youth were at the meeting and the group also focused on a joint proposal to solve the “Brussels case” – a problematic situation for Brussels-based European NGOs who have to apply in Belgium to get support for their strategic partnerships (KA2) (Read the latest LLLPLatform position “Implementing Erasmus+ better”.)
The YFJ calls for the EU to invest in programmes including: Erasmus+, Youth Employment Initiative and Europe for Citizens. Most importantly, the YFJ calls for young people to participate in the negotiations ahead of the review of the MFF.
According to the European Youth Forum, in the current Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 (MFF), €28 is spent per young person per year, and the budget for education, training and youth accounts only for 0.8% of the EU budget. Meanwhile, at the national level many youth organisations have seen cuts in government funding and face increasing difficulties in carrying out their work. At the same time the work carried out by these organisations is more and more needed as young people face huge difficulties in accessing the jobs market and as inequalities continue to rise (You can read the full article from the YFJ here).
UN and UNESCO fostering Education
In 2013 the UN General Assembly recognised the importance of creating an ‘education and academic’ stakeholder group. A group of organisations like the European Students’ Union (ESU), the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), Education International (EI) and the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) came together to propose them as Organising Partners to the UN.
On 1 January 2016, the new, universal Sustainable Development (SDG) Agenda came into force. Education has its own agenda, whereby SDG 4 and the Education 2030 Framework for Action share the same vision and targets. For the promotion of the SDG 4, see also the Youth Education Ambassadors Programme (YEA) for 2016.
On the same framework, Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General, and Mr Stanley Mutumba Simataa, The President of UNESCO’s General Conference, signed in Paris on 4 April the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education and Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training, as response to a request of the Member States to adapt the key international instruments, reflecting educational, social, economical, cultural and political trends (see The revision of these key international instruments), insuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Mobility Scoreboard for Initial Vocational Education and Training (VET)
The Cedefop event ‘Moving to Learn’ in June, in Greece, will present the Mobility Scoreboard for Initial VET and the current policy background for mobility.
Erasmus+ agencies, IVET institutions, companies involved in mobility projects, mobility staff (teachers and trainers, guidance personnel), students’ associations, and EU level stakeholders will discuss on how Scoreboard can support the mission of stakeholders involved in fostering IVET mobility across Europe.
In the EP report ‘Erasmus+ and other tools to foster mobility in vocational education and training’ is possible to read some points that recognise the importance of Non-Formal Education, as well on disadvantaged groups’ access to vocational education and training.
EP report ‘Learning EU at school’
The new EP report on “Learning EU at School” mentions non-formal education, youth work and youth organisations as providers in the context of Citizenship Education and recognizes them as promoters and facilitators in the involvement of youth in the democratic processes.
The European Parliament report “urges the Member States to acknowledge and support social partners and civil society organisations, in particular youth organisations, in bridging the gap between the EU institutions and the European citizens in a structural and sustainable way, promoting and strengthening participatory and direct-democracy tools”.
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