The Eurodyssey Annual Forum of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) took place for the first time in Romania, organised by the Hunedoara County Council.
A special focus of this year's Forum was placed on how to further expand and develop the programme to provide even better opportunities for young people from all over Europe. While regions with long experience on the programme were happy to report the further expansion of the number of participants and adopted measure to make the programme even more effective, there was renewed interest in the programme from countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey and an increase in membership rising by more than 10% compared to 2006.
Set up in 1985, Eurodyssey offers young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to spend a period of between 3 and 7 months abroad, gathering work experience and acquiring foreign language skills. More than 500 young people will have benefited from this programme in 2007. This year, Eurodyssey is experiencing an increased success among the AER members; with 41 participating regions (as full members and in 'parrainage'), the Açores (P) Presidency of the Eurodyssey programme expects that the number of offered traineeships will rise significantly and more and more young people will be granted the opportunity to live and work abroad.
Eurodyssey - a win-win partnership - is based on the co-operation between the regions of Europe and collaboration with companies and regional training bodies. The vocational, cultural - and often also linguistic - training the youngsters receive, helps them gain more independence. The companies have an opportunity to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility, while benefiting from intercultural dialogue. The advantages for the regions cannot be underestimated: they provide traineeships abroad for their own young people and profit from the external knowledge and working models the youngsters bring back to their economies and businesses.
More about the AER Eurodyssey Programme: www.eurodyssee.net/
The Assembly of European Regions/AER-www.aer.eu is the political organisation of the regions of Europe and their spokesperson at European and international level. Its vocation is to defend the regions' interests in the political process and develop interregional cooperation. The AER brings together more than 255 Regions from 33 countries and 14 interregional organisations.
Francine Huhardeaux, Press & Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org - Tel. +33 3 88 22 74 49
Martin Mühleck, Senior Policy Co-ordinator to the 'Culture and Education' Committee, email@example.com - Tel: +33 3 88 22 74 47