Do you want to know if there will be the space and opportunity for young people and youth organizations to develop in the EU?
On the 27th March, the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) organised a public hearing to discuss about the future Education and Youth programme and the proposal of “Erasmus for All”. The Members of the European Parliament of different countries gathered in Brussels, together with the representatives of the Civil Society organisations.
The public hearing was chaired by Doris Pack, Member of the European Parliament, and also the rapporteur in charge of making a report about the new proposal of the Commission and sending it to the Parliament.
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union will have the last say concerning the proposal of “Erasmus for all”.
The hearing counted with several speakers from different backgrounds:
1) Thomas Spielkamp (Deputy Director of PAD) talking about the importance of the COMENIUS programme.
2) Siegbert Wuttig (Director of DAAD) talking about the presence of Higher Education in the “Erasmus for all” proposal and their fears.
3) Pasi Sahlberg (Director General of CIMO) talking about the need of a Learning Europe from the Nordic perspective.
4) Peter Matjasic (President of the European Youth Forum) talking about the need to invest in youth participation and youth work to support young people’s autonomy.
Each speaker had the chance to expose their argument, and all of them agreed on the fact that the proposal of the European Commission was in many ways unsatisfactory.
Peter Matjasic, representing the European Youth Forum (YFJ), umbrella organisation where AEGEE is present, emphasized the importance of keeping the Youth in Action Programme independent in contrast with the European Commission’s proposal for a new Erasmus for All programme. Specifically, the European Youth Forum asked the Parliament and Member States for a strong and independent Youth in Action Programme for non-formal education, youth work and democratic organisations.
After the speakers’ intervention, the Members of the European Parliament had the chance to ask them questions about things they were not sure about. This was a vital moment, as they will be the ones voting for or against the proposal. For us as AEGEE, it is of great importance that it is not accepted, as currently the Youth in Action programme supports us a lot and provides half of our budget. If the new proposal is accepted, this support will disappear.
We as International Youth organisations were also present during the hearing. In this occasion AEGEE-Europe was represented by Alfredo Sellitti, and me, Luis Alvarado Martinez, as we are the ones who are very involved in the process of drafting AEGEE Europe’s reaction and contacting MEPs.
Finally the hearing ended with Doris Pack’s speech, sending out a message of hope to youth organisations, and stating very clearly to the representatives of the Commission in the hearing, that the “Erasmus for all” proposal does not reflect the needs and wants of the European Citizens, especially of the young people.
Let’s keep on fighting! We are almost there!
Our voice is being listened to!
Written by Luis Alvarado Martinez, on behalf of Comite Directeur