Aosta, Val d’Aosta (I), 9th September 2011
On the occasion of Eurodyssey’s annual Forum (8 and 9 September), 120 representatives from 30 member regions of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) met in Aosta, in the autonomous province of Val d’Aosta in Italy. The crisis and the worrying increase in unemployment among young people were at the heart of the debates. As Michèle SABBAN, AER President, reaffirmed during the opening of the discussions, “when one in five young European is unemployed, there is urgency; when young people have to emigrate to find a job, there is urgency”. Today, more than ever, regions must mobilise themselves for youth employment. In a difficult budgetary context for the regions, the Eurodyssey programme, which has proved its effectiveness for 25 years, remains an efficient tool to ensure the inclusion of young people in the labour market.
Michel LAINE, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s DG for Employment and Social Affairs, recognised the efficiency of Eurodyssey and promised to give his support for the extension of the programme. “Eurodyssey develops professional mobility by proposing an internship to 600 youngsters each year. 80% of them find a perennial job within six months following their internship. It is an efficient model which could be enlarged to 6 000 or 60 000 young people”. The European Social Fund (ESF) could be mobilised to help financing it, just like the policies implemented in Val d’Aosta, the exemplarity of which has been recognised by the European Commission and AER. The President of the autonomous region of Val d’Aosta, Augusto ROLLANDIN, reiterated that “regions will continue to pay close attention to the work market in order to ensure a stable future for the new generations, who are also our future to all”.
Based on the Eurodyssey model, AER made a commitment to welcome young people seeking employment to support the transition in Tunisia. At the Forum, some regions, among which Ile-de-France (F), Açores (P) and Franche Comté (F), have expressed their interest in being part of this pilot project.
In Europe, building on this success, Rui BETTENCOURT, Eurodyssey’s Secretary General, called upon regions that have not yet done it, to join the programme. He welcomed the regions of Karlovac (HR), Guria (GE), Carinthia (A) and said he was confident that regions of Asturias (E), Lower Silesia (PL), Centre (F), Donegal (IRL), Istanbul (TR), Lombardia (I), and Tuscany (I) would join Eurodyssey as well.
Eurodyssey is an exchange programme of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) which allows young job seekers aged between 18 and 30 to benefit from a traineeship placement abroad for a period between three to seven months. The objective is to allow young people to gain professional experience at the same time as they get an opportunity to improve their knowledge of a foreign language.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together 270 regions from 34 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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