During the European Conference on "Promoting vocational training and youth mobility - an investment in Europe's future", organised today by the Assembly of European Regions (AER), Pierre Moscovici, Vice-President of the European Parliament, stated:
"The EU Member states must absolutely promote youth employment, in order to reduce unemployment among young people. They have to set up adequate paths towards youth employment and provide an appropriate assistance in job seeking. Most of the young people, who voted no' in the referenda on the European Constitutional Treaty in France, in Netherlands and in Luxembourg, wanted to express their worries: Europe is more a threat to them than a protection", he added. "If we wish to involve them in the achievement of the Lisbon goals, we should help them to acquire knowledge and news skills through vocational training, to find jobs and to reconcile professional and family lives. In order to give an appropriate support to this new priority for Europe, the EU budget 2007-2013 for the European Youth programmes and initiatives should be higher than currently planned" stressed Mr Moscovici at the AER conference in front of 250 participants from 70 European regions
Nearly 20% of the young Europeans are jobless. "The indicators are extremely worrying in many European regions, both in the new Member states and the EU 15" said Raymond Forni, President of the Franche-Comté Region, initiator of this conference, which was aimed at mobilising regional authorities from across Europe and involving them in the AER Eurodyssey programme for the development of youth vocational training and international mobility.
"We wish to involve more regions in this programme which provides our young people a first work experience abroad. It is of major importance at this time of globalisation of our economy. We would be delighted if regions from the new EU Member states, the accession countries and from Ukraine and the Balkan states were to join us. A youth exchange scheme like Eurodyssey also encourages the development of interregional and transborder co-operation in other fields and fosters European integration' stressed Riccardo Illy, President of the AER.
The AER campaign for the development of youth vocational training and international mobility will continue in 2006, declared the European Year of workers' mobility, to which the European Commission has allocated a budget of 6 millions Euros and which is also open to local and regional initiatives.
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