This Unit focuses on the EU programmes and initiatives to promote mobility
The daily involvement of the EU on issues which relate to youth policy is handled by the European Commission, particularly by the Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC). The DG EAC is responsible for the Youth in Action Programme and other youth policies. However, despite the responsibility of the European Commission, the EU’s youth policy is shaped by decisions taken by the European Council and the European Parliament.
The EU has always been focused on developing and promoting youth mobility. Encouraging the movement of young people between different Member States is an integral part of the European Commission’s work. In fact, the European Commission had started working on the very first youth mobility programmes in 1988. Throughout the years, the EU youth mobility programmes have increased the opportunities for young people to work abroad, volunteer, carry out exchanges and get funding for youth activities that involve participants from other EU Member States, other Programme Countries and other Partner Countries.
The European Union provides and supports various mobility opportunities for young people and youth workers to help them acquire competences and grow as individuals. As discussed in the previous units, the Erasmus+ Programme in the field of youth provides many mobility opportunities for young people through high-quality non-formal and informal learning.
Similarly, as discussed previously, EURES (European Employment Services) seeks to address the situation of youth employment and other difficulties which youths encounter when entering the labour market by employing a number of cross-border employment and mobility initiatives to tackle these challenges and increase youth employment. In a nutshell, EURES provides youths with the necessary recruitment services, information and support to employers and jobseekers who wish to take advantage of the fundamental freedom of movement. In addition, Your First EURES Job (‘YFEJ’), forming part of EURES, is a targeted mobility scheme aimed to support and assist young European workers to find a job, traineeship or apprenticeship in another country. The scheme also helps employers in small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’).
One of the most significant contemporary policy developments at a European level is the Youth on the Move (YOTM) initiative which seeks to realise the mobility promise by linking the mobility within training and educational frameworks to employability. In this manner, mobility and higher education are seen as the primary policy tools in ensuring EU economic competitiveness.