Commissioner for EU Budget and Human Ressources, M. Günter Oettinger, presented last week the 2018 EU draft budget. With one of the two main priorities expected to be strategic investment and sustainable growth, to support economic cohesion, and create jobs, in particular for young people, YouthProAktiv’s expectations were high before opening the 560+ pages budget document.
After a first quick read, it is fair to say that youth really is on top of EU Commission’s agenda for 2018. The Erasmus+ programme, Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and European Solidarity Corps are the main priorities targeted by the Commission to offer better opportunities for young people.
Here is a breakdown of the announcement made today by Commissioner Oettinger concerning the youth :
- Erasmus+ : 9,5% increase of budget in 2018, compared to 2017, to reach €2,3 billion;
- Youth Employment Initiative: €233 million for 2018;
- European Solidarity Corps: €89 million in 2018, in a total of €342 million until 2020.
The 2018 draft budget is concrete gesture from the EU Commission to further recognize that the Youth is part of the solution to spur a sutainable economic growth in Europe. More than just political will, the budget is a major engagement towards providing the funding necessary for the progmmes to achieve their objectives.
Important challenges remain for young people in the years ahead and the commitments proposed in this draft budget won’t resolve all of them, but they will clearly help to offer more tools to empower young people in their fight against unemployment.
The budget is still in a draft status, which means that changes can still be brought before it is finally approved by the European parliament and the Council. YouthProAktiv can only support the actual commitments and approach regarding youth programs and encourage decision-makers to keep improving the opportunities for present and future generations to become part os Europe sustainable growth.