European leftist forces have passed a new, far-reaching position paper to support the youth of Europe. It aims to improve the mobility of young people and enhance their access to work, culture and education. The parliamentarians have developed several concrete suggestions, such as the “European Mobility Pass”, as a part of this initiative.
At the Paris Conference for European Social Democrats and Socialists, the chairman of the party group presented a position paper which puts European youth at the forefront of future policy. Topics discussed at the conference include recent problematic developments in Europe, such as the high youth unemployment rate of 20% and the desperation of the younger generation which could lead to involvement with nationalistic movements. Meanwhile, the party groups of Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Latvia and Luxembourg passed the “Youth Declaration”, which formulates a far-reaching plan to support the youth.
In their youth plan, the parliamentarians demand a progressive policy to assure that young people have better access to jobs, culture and education. The plan emphasises the fact that the children and young people of today are the future leaders of the European Union. The Union simply cannot afford to risk losing an entire generation to the current crisis.
We are facing the risk of creating a lost generation. If the youth loses confidence in the European project, it is the Union as a whole which will be in danger.
Besides promoting children’s rights to healthcare, education and decent living conditions, parliamentarians also used the conference to demand a “European Passport for Mobility”. This passport would increase the mobility of the young generation, which would lead to an improved European identity as a result of cultural exchange. Under this framework, each young person would be able to receive a European passport upon entering into secondary education or when turning 15 years old. The young people of Europe would have unlimited mobility on the continent, which would increase the possibility of travelling and access to education and civic engagement Europe-wide.
We, the Chairs of the socialist and social democrat parliamentary groups of the national parliaments of the EU, affirm that the reinforcement of European integration can only proceed through a major project dedicated to youth, be them students, employees, people in apprenticeship or looking for a job. We have to make the youth a genuine priority of European politics.
The parliamentarians are calling upon the other party groups and the European Commission to commit to these suggestions so that it can be launched shortly.