Over two days, 120 representatives from regional, national and European institutions as well as the private sector gathered in Amiens, Picardie (F), for the Assembly of European Regions’ (AER) Eurodyssey Forum 2009. Michèle Sabban, AER president and vice president of the Ile-de-France region (F), attended the event in which participants discussed that crucial issue: in the face of economic recession, how can a program such as Eurodyssey contribute to mobility and job-creation in the European regions?
“I am very conscious of the fact that millions of young people are currently looking for their way in life, to ensure a good life for themselves in the complex, globalised societies that have been hit by the economic crisis. It is for them that we have to persist,“ Ms Sabban said in her opening speech.
“Young people expect our help in their transition to the labour market, and more generally in their integration into work. Our responsibility towards them is even more important because to fail at this stage can be a life-long blemish. It is therefore our duty to invest ourselves into giving young people an opening through programs such as Eurodyssey,” Ms Sabban added.
Professional mobility in Europe is a major factor in the fight against unemployment. It also plays a huge role in facilitating learning from other cultures, exchanging experiences, and gaining work experience in a challenging environment. This is why AER has called on regions to contribute to the consultations for the European Commission’s Green Paper on youth mobility, which close on 15 December 2009.
AER’s Eurodyssey program will launch a new website at the beginning of October, at: www.eurodyssee.eu.
What the participants said:
Michèle Cahu, vice-president in charge of international relations and decentralised cooperation, Picardie:
In contrast to other European programs for youth mobility, Eurodyssey is meant for young people of all backgrounds and qualifications. The program opens a door to Europe which may not otherwise have been available to most young people.
Didier Cardon, vice-president in charge of employment and life long learning, Picardie:
Eurodyssey contributes to building a different Europe, a more human Europe, and for Picardie this means the entry of young “Picards” into the labour market.
Rui Bettencourt, general secretariat and presidency of Eurodysssey, Açores (P):
The effectiveness of a regional approach to employment issues is the strength of this program.
Ute Halle-Block, deputy head of unit of "Leonardo Da Vinci professional training", DG EAC:
A specialised working group is studying the role of the regions and comparing their programs to those of the EU. We want to know if we should focus more on developing complementary programs or on integrating the different programs.
Jean Vanoye, president of FREREF (Fondation des Régions Européennes pour la Recherche en Education et en Formation), vice-president of the Economic and Social Committee of the Rhône-Alpes region (F):
Since our last successful meeting in Barcelona, we are calling for an integration of basic schooling and lifelong learning. Our main goal is to help young people with the changes that have been caused by the economic crisis.
Eurodyssey, AER’s first program set up in 1985, facilitates the entry of young Europeans into the labour market by offering them work experience abroad, thanks to partnerships between regional authorities, young people and companies. The Açores region (P) is currently chairing the program.
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The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.