European Youth Plan up and running
The European Youth Plan, our strategy to ensure better future for the young generations was officially launched. Building a hospital with kid’s building blocks, voting where you would spend a European Culture Check, taking selfie in front of the skyline of the city of your dreams. All of this was happening at the Brussels Aviators club (Maison des Ailes) on 16 June. Photos of the event
Why the European Youth Plan need such an exciting event? Because the plan itself is exciting. The plan is about fighting disenchantment, Euroscepticism and cynicism. It is about regaining the young for the cause of Europe, for the cause of progressive ideas and diversity against the reactionary, nationalist backlash. The plan is focused on 4 main pillars – JOBS, EDUCATION, CULTURE and CHILDREN RIGHTS (check www.youthplan.eu)
The first thing we need is jobs: youth unemployment has reached one in five Europeans under the age of 25. This painful reality must be addressed, and the way we are going to is by reinforcing one of the successful initiatives launched by our political family: The European Youth Guarantee.
You didn’t know it?
It’s the guarantee that young people will be offered a career path – either a job offer, or a training opportunity or be recommended further education – within 4 months of finishing their previous employment or education. It is a good idea, not only on paper, it’s delivering and, in Finland, 83.5% of the applicants received successful offers. We are now campaigning for an additional funding of 20 BN euros and for the age limit to be raised to 30.
You didn’t know the Youth Guarantee was our idea?
We also want to extend the iconic Erasmus + programme of student exchange, by opening it to high school and vocational training students. We were concerned that the current Erasmus programme, as good as it is, is not as socially fair as it could be. Anyone who may have heard Italian PM Matteo Renzi speak about the ‘Easy Jet Set’ knows where we are going with this.
We want a European Culture Cheque, a cheque you could spend in books, concerts, museums, art exhibitions or other kind of performances. How about that?
And we definitely want to tackle child poverty. Because there is such thing in Europe, “a shame in the richest region in the world”, in the words of our President Sergei Stanishev. We plead for a minimum European standard of free health care and education, affordable childcare and at least one meal at school.
It is now time for us – you too – to join and campaign for these values and this project. For the EU to listen to our voices.
“The conservatives have never had a huge amount of ideas with social content”, John Crombez, the President of the Belgian sp.a party said at our event. And he went on: “Everything we’ve ever proposed was supposed to hurt the economy, they’ve been like that for the last 150 years. And it never has, it has helped society and it has helped the economy as a result”