Federal Minister Bogner-Strauß: Taking young people seriously, understanding them and actively involving them
Informal meeting of youth ministers and EU Youth Conference in the framework of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
On the occasion of the informal meeting of youth ministers, Federal Minister Juliane Bogner-Strauß pointed out the three dossiers where the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union would like to make progress:
- Erasmus+, which runs until the end of 2020 and needs to be renewed
- a successor programme to the European Solidarity Corps for 2021-2027
- the new EU Youth Strategy integrating the Youth Goals
“At the informal meeting of youth ministers it was an undisputed fact that Erasmus+ is one of the most successful and prominent European Union projects. We therefore would like the area of youth, in this panoply of programmes, to continue to be considered a chapter of its own with a budget of its own”,
declared Federal Minister Bogner-Strauß. The programme, which runs until 2020, offers young people strong personal and cultural prospects and is planned to be continued under the title "Erasmus". The possibilities this engenders contribute to a European awareness. Currently, it is planned that 3.1 billion euros, out of a total budget of 30 billion euros, will be earmarked for the youth area. Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner responsible for youth policy, emphasised that
“it is decisive that we invest in young people and give them more possibilities to work with us to build a better Europe for the future. Therefore, the European Commission has proposed to substantially promote the EU programmes that support young people – Erasmus and the European Solidarity Corps – after 2020. I am happy to see the ambition that the EU youth ministers have shown today during our discussions on the necessary investments in the young generation. Now I am counting on their unrestricted support in the negotiations on the next multi-annual financial framework of the European Union. I am convinced that together we can make Erasmus and the European Solidarity Corps not only bigger but also more open and accessible and will thereby be able to offer new opportunities to young people from all kinds of social backgrounds.”
The future EU Youth Strategy, and in particular the "European Youth Dialogue, also led to discussions during the meeting in the Austria Center Vienna. After 9 years, the current EU Youth Strategy is now coming to an end and needs to be renewed. The European Commission has made a proposal that will be discussed at the Youth Conference. Participants will discuss a possible integration of the Youth Goals, which should, if possible, be further extended.
In the run-up to the Youth Dialogue that will take place in the afternoon of 3 September 2018 and bring together more than 240 youth delegates and youth politicians from 35 European countries, the Federal Minister detailed the goals of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the area of youth:
“For me, as youth minister, it is especially important that we enter into a dialogue with young people, that we take them seriously, understand them and actively involve them. Therefore, the Youth Conference has been set up in a way that policies are made actively together with young people.”
This is a unique format that we have never tried before, where youth delegates and young people enter into an interactive dialogue on youth policy and the Youth Goals. Content, prospects, challenges and recommendations for the implementation are debated together with the ministers. “Our young people are the experts when it comes to their lives. That is how we have to perceive them”, said Youth Minister Juliane Bogner‑Strauß.
In the framework of the presidency of the Council of the European Union, Austria will make efforts to reach an agreement on the successor programme to the European Solidarity Corps. After having initiated the first phase in December 2016, Parliament and Council agreed upon a programme until the end of 2020 which corresponds to an expansion of the European Volunteer Service. Young people in Europe should have the possibility to volunteer for a charitable organisation. Since 11 June 2018 there has been a Commission proposal for a successor programme to the European Solidarity Corps for 2021-2027. Approximately 350 000 young people should be able to participate in this programme.
On 4 September 2018, the minister will take part, together with Tibor Navracsics and Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, in the closing event of the EU Youth Conference. In an interactive “market place setting” the most important results of the last days will be discussed.
More information on the 11 European Youth Goals can be found under www.youthgoals.eu.
Official photos of these events will be published on the official Flickr channel.