budget – AEGEE-Europe | European Students' Forum AEGEE (Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum) is a student organisation that promotes cooperation, communication and integration amongst young people in Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines – today it counts 13 000 members, active in close to 200 university cities in 40 European countries, making it the biggest interdisciplinary student association in Europe. Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:02:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.10 The Youth Guarantee momentum /youth-guarantee-momentum-jobs-europe-ep/ Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:18:34 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=358 AEGEE-Europe is pleased to hear that the European Parliament voted yesterday a resolution which should encourage the Members States to implement the Youth Guarantee in their country. More exactly, the Resolution calls on Member States to introduce their own youth guarantee scheme and advocates for 25% of the European Social Fund to be used to finance the mechanism.

This resolution synergies the efforts of the European Commission to tackle the thorny issue of youth unemployment, which has raised to 25 millions of youth unemployed in Europe. AEGEE-Europe hopes Member States’ ministers for employment and social affairs will reach an agreement during the  Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) Council in February 2013 and issue a recommendation to convince the Member States that the Youth Guarantee scheme should be adopted all over the EU as one of the main tools to fight Youth Unemployment. AEGEE-Europe urges Members States to use the tools which are put at their disposal by the European Union, and to become proactive in dealing with the unemployment of young people and implement the Youth Guarantee in the short term, without dropping any other national initiatives that may have been put in place.

MEP Pervenche Berès mentioned at the introduction of the EP Resolution that Youth is not an homogenous group; therefore a needs analysis will have to be conducted in order to be able to propose tailored and efficient solutions. AEGEE would like to improve the Youth Guarantee scheme, making it sure that it is extended beyond the age of 25, since the studying period nowadays can extend well beyond this age depending on the different paths offered to students. Limiting the youth guarantee to young people up to 25 years old would only partially address the problem.
We also want to raise our voice to communicate our concerns: special effort has to be taken to make sure that the companies join the Youth Guarantee scheme, because their collaboration is necessary to make it happen. A common dialogue has to be established among governments (national, regional and local), all sectors of economy and the young people, in order to develop the scheme, and to have it adapted to the reality of each country. The role of National Youth Councils (NYCs) and Youth organizations in the drafting, implementation and evaluation phases of the Youth Guarantee scheme is crucial to achieve the aimed objectives.
AEGEE calls finally for the inclusion of strict control mechanisms to prevent that this solution for Youth Unemployment is misused and perverted into a way to obtain cheap labour force through precarious job offers, unpaid internships or low quality education opportunities.

Written by the Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe

 

 

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Welcoming the European Youth Guarantee /welcoming-the-european-youth-guarantee/ Wed, 12 Dec 2012 17:36:41 +0000 /?p=2477 One week ago, on Wednesday Dec 5th, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, presented a new package of measures against unemployment. The job market is severely affected by the crisis, and the situation gets worse every month. We stand now at alarmingly high youth unemployment rates in Europe: an average 23% in the European Union, and in some countries like Spain and Greece, over 50%. It is true that youth unemployment was an endemic problem in many regions in Europe but the situation is derailed now, and this has moved the European Commission (EC) to finally include in the proposed measures the idea that has been advocated for by the European Youth Forum and other youth NGOs in Brussels for more than a year: to adapt to the European scale, the youth guarantee scheme that has worked quite well in some countries like Austria, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.

But what is exactly the European Youth Guarantee? It is the compromise to offer to young Europeans under 25 a traineeship or an opportunity to continue in education, within four months after they get unemployed. This tackles specifically the problem of social exclusion that long term unemployment can bring to people. The aim is to reverse the current trend of rising numbers of NEETs (stands for Not in Education, Employment or Training). The low rates of unemployment in the countries that already have set up this scheme are promising.

However, we in AEGEE see that this scheme raises some concerns that have to be taken into account, as it came up during the online discussion that Commissioner Mr. Andor held with young citizens on Friday. For instance: how can the European Commission enforce such a measure when they have no decision power on education policies? One of the possibilities is through the budget control systems put in place recently, especially for countries which have received economical support from EU.

Talking about money, the big question will be where to get all that money from (estimated costs around 4.000 – 6.000 euros per person, depending on the country). Ideally the Member States would be funding the scheme, but the European Commission pointed at the European Social Fund as an opportunity to get support. This Fund contains 76.000 million Euros for the period 2007-13. As the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework is still not agreed upon, the final number for the next seven years is still on air, and we can just hope it is not reduced.

Another concern for AEGEE is the risk that these employments and internships will end up being a source of cheap labour force for companies, affecting salaries and having a backfire effect. The implementation of the Youth Guarantee will require a brave collaboration from companies, and it should be monitored to prevent the misuse of the scheme and the proliferation of unstable or low-waged jobs, unpaid traineeships, and other forms ways to undervalue the work of young people.

What we want the EU Member States to take into account: the cost of implementing the Youth Guarantee (estimated by the ILO – International Labour Organization – in 0.2% of European combined GDP) will be small compared with the costs of not tackling the problem once and for all. A recent study by the European Policy Centre estimated that achieving the EU’s 75% employment rate target by 2020 would generate up to €1.2 trillion in extra revenues for EU Member States (7% of GDP). We hope this are strong enough numbers to convince the European Council to adopt the EC Recommendation as soon as possible. Ideally it should be approved in the Council of Feb 28th, 2013 and should start to work in 2014. And it is already late.

There were other measures included in the package presented by the European Commission, like advances in the Quality Assurance for Internships, or the setting up of a European Alliance for Apprenticeships. But none of them can compare with the potential impact of the Youth Guarantee. This is what the youth sector had been demanding: strong, brave decisions. Now AEGEE calls for the Member States to accept the challenge and approve in the Council its implementation.

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Welcoming the European Youth Guarantee /youth-guarantee-unemployment-solution/ Wed, 12 Dec 2012 07:35:02 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=311 One week ago, on Wednesday Dec 5th, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, presented a new package of measures against unemployment. The job market is severely affected by the crisis, and the situation gets worse every month. We stand now at alarmingly high youth unemployment rates in Europe: an average 23% in the European Union, and in some countries like Spain and Greece, over 50%. It is true that youth unemployment was an endemic problem in many regions in Europe but the situation is derailed now, and this has moved the European Commission (EC) to finally include in the proposed measures the idea that has been advocated for by the European Youth Forum and other youth NGOs in Brussels for more than a year: to adapt to the European scale, the youth guarantee scheme that has worked quite well in some countries like Austria, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.

But what is exactly the European Youth Guarantee? It is the compromise to offer to young Europeans under 25 a traineeship or an opportunity to continue in education, within four months after they get unemployed. This tackles specifically the problem of social exclusion that long term unemployment can bring to people. The aim is to reverse the current trend of rising numbers of NEETs (stands for Not in Education, Employment or Training). The low rates of unemployment in the countries that already have set up this scheme are promising.

However, we in AEGEE see that this scheme raises some concerns that have to be taken into account, as it came up during the online discussion that Commissioner Mr. Andor held with young citizens on Friday. For instance: how can the European Commission enforce such a measure when they have no decision power on education policies? One of the possibilities is through the budget control systems put in place recently, especially for countries which have received economical support from EU.

Talking about money, the big question will be where to get all that money from (estimated costs around 4.000 – 6.000 euros per person, depending on the country). Ideally the Member States would be funding the scheme, but the European Commission pointed at the European Social Fund as an opportunity to get support. This Fund contains 76.000 million Euros for the period 2007-13. As the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework is still not agreed upon, the final number for the next seven years is still on air, and we can just hope it is not reduced.

Another concern for AEGEE is the risk that these employments and internships will end up being a source of cheap labour force for companies, affecting salaries and having a backfire effect. The implementation of the Youth Guarantee will require a brave collaboration from companies, and it should be monitored to prevent the misuse of the scheme and the proliferation of unstable or low-waged jobs, unpaid traineeships, and other forms ways to undervalue the work of young people.

What we want the EU Member States to take into account: the cost of implementing the Youth Guarantee (estimated by the ILO – International Labour Organization – in 0.2% of European combined GDP) will be small compared with the costs of not tackling the problem once and for all. A recent study by the European Policy Centre estimated that achieving the EU’s 75% employment rate target by 2020 would generate up to €1.2 trillion in extra revenues for EU Member States (7% of GDP). We hope this are strong enough numbers to convince the European Council to adopt the EC Recommendation as soon as possible. Ideally it should be approved in the Council of Feb 28th, 2013 and should start to work in 2014. And it is already late.

There were other measures included in the package presented by the European Commission, like advances in the Quality Assurance for Internships, or the setting up of a European Alliance for Apprenticeships. But none of them can compare with the potential impact of the Youth Guarantee. This is what the youth sector had been demanding: strong, brave decisions. Now AEGEE calls for the Member States to accept the challenge and approve in the Council its implementation.

Written by the Comité Directeur of AEGEE-Europe

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I love you(th) but I don’t say it! /i-love-youth-but-i-dont-say-it/ /i-love-youth-but-i-dont-say-it/#comments Fri, 19 Oct 2012 14:14:48 +0000 http://aegee.blogactiv.eu/?p=227 We are now more than used to hearing politicians and representatives claiming high and clear that youth should be a priority. The alarming figures are not so much of a surprise anymore: the youth unemployment rate in Europe is more than 22,6%, there has been a drastic drop in the interest of young people for the democratic processes, still only 30% young Europeans end up with a University degree… Young people are our future and they do deserve support and attention. Unfortunately, despite the good intentions, we cannot help but notice that the European Union’s budget allocated to youth is still around 0,1% of the total budget, and that on a national level, education and youth is rarely a priority, when it comes to investing money.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and now AEGEE is calling for a real investment in youth and youth organisations, in order to provide young people with real opportunities, and the recognition of the importance of youth organisations in terms of empowering young people, of giving them tools, skills and knowledge which are the bulding blocks for their future success. The work carried out by youth organisations such as AEGEE – and many others, active on a local, national or European level – is crucial, as with very little resources, we are developing young people, training and educating them, so that they will later on invest in their communities. Through non-formal activities, we also contribute to empowering young people and increasing their chances, not only on the job market, but also to become active citizens.

Therefore, in a period when the EU budget for youth is drafted for the next 7 years, we consider it  necessary to remind decision makers that actions speak louder than words, and that if they want to invest in youth, it now is the time to take action. On the morning of 16th October, AEGEE took part in the stakeholders meeting organised by European Youth Forum (YFJ) to discuss the latest news regarding the negotiation concerning the youth budget planning of the next multi-financial framework, and it is with pleasure that we heard that the European Youth Forum represents the needs of young people and youth organizations.


With Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth

On this occasion, AEGEE wants join the European Youth Forum, and raise its voice, not only as a European based youth structure, but also on behalf of the 15 000 young individuals who are part of our network. We believe that it is high time to give young people the means to develop themselves as active citizens, to find their place in society and in the job market. AEGEE hopes that on both the national and the European level, our representatives will take action in order to unlock the necessary resources for those young people and youth organisations who are willing to be active, who have projects, who have ideas, who take part in democratic processes, and therefore invest in the future of these young people.

Visit the  website of the new campaign of the European Youth Forum: LoveYouthFuture

Written by Lucille Rieux

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