AEGEE (European Students’ Forum), ESN (Erasmus Student Network) and ESU (European Student Union), Europe’s biggest student organisations, representing more than 11 million students and 30.000 volunteers from 47 countries, call upon the European Union decision-makers for adequate support to education and youth programmes in the budget negotiations under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2010.
As representative student organisations, we fully support the European Commission proposal to increase funding for education, training, youth and sport programmes to 19 billion EUR over 7 years. We believe that it is the minimum amount required to achieve the objective of sustainable growth and jobs, as agreed in the EU2020 Strategy.
Mobility, through voluntary activities for young people (under support of Youth in Action) and students (under support of Erasmus and other programmes) benefits individuals and society at large. Young Europeans, who have an opportunity to be mobile, are:
- More advanced in their personal and professional development: Education as a whole and mobility in particular enable personal growth and help individuals to develop their intercultural communication, language skills and team work ability;
- More supportive for European Integration: European integration can only be achieved through personal ties, which have to be experienced first-hand. Living, studying, working and volunteering abroad are the best way to achieve this.
- More skilled: Especially in the context of the current economic crisis and its consequences, including high youth unemployment and a lack of perspective for young people, we are convinced that education as a long term investment, including mobility, is a key factor in tackling the financial crisis. Learning mobility, despite being highly beneficial for individuals, has also a very positive impact on higher education providers, including teaching and administrative staff.
We stress the importance of maintaining a sufficient level of funding in the form of operational grants or administrative support for organisations active in both the youth and education sector in order to ensure the quality and resources for these organisations.
AEGEE, ESN and ESU strongly believe that the success of the current Lifelong Learning programme in the area of youth and learning mobility clearly show the benefits of allocating resources on the European level. While stressing the continued need of investment in higher education and youth also on a national, regional and local level, we strongly endorse the proposed budget increase for the European programme in education, training, youth and sport.
To download this joint statement, visit this link.