“Erasmus “,”Creative Europe “,”European Solidarity Corps” are likely to be the first European victims of the pandemic. Three important EU mobility programs have suffered a reduction in funding in the 2021/2027 proposal of Recovery Fund presented by President Ursula von der Leyen.
Today, as a matter of fact, the financing proposals of the three programs compared to the 2018 draft are:
- 4 billion euros less for “Erasmus” (foreseen funding 24.6 billion compared to 30 budgeted in 2018)
- 330 million euros less for “Creative Europe” (expected funding 1.52 billion compared to 1.85 in 2018)
- 365 million euros less for the “European Solidarity Corps” (expected funding 895 million compared to 1.26 billion in 2018).
In addition to the economic aspect, this approach conveys a “step back” message on various fronts: development of European citizenship; growth in solidarity between different cultures identification of values on a large scale, precisely on those actions for which, given the very high percentage of use of funds, many parties have urged the use of more resources.
Of course, today we live in a context of fear and travel restrictions, but the issue is also what type and what future dimension the European programming wants to build. However, there is not only the risk of fewer resources for big programs, but there’s also something deeper: support for the freedom of mobility of people, skills, companies and investment in human capital. And these are the two elements that 75 years ago brought different States to join the Union and that are still relevant in our being together.
Young people are the most affected by the pandemic crisis; “Erasmus”, “Creative Europe” and “European Solidarity Corps” are the right instruments to invest on people, allowing the European space to be among the most educated and wealthiest place on the planet: it is needed to strengthen their impact, not to decrease it. “Erasmus” program not only includes the well-known student mobility, but also activities aimed at workers, young people, associations and non-formal education; cutting funds would be a weak point of the Commission proposal which instead wants to speak to the future. President von der Leyen referred to the importance of the new generations: this does not match with this choice. #NextGenerationEU is a positive and ambitious plan: why should we limit the investment of a significant part of our future? “Engage, Connect, Empower”, why betray the three keywords of the European Youth Strategy 2019/2027?
By signing this petition, we ask:
– the European Parliament to bring the overall budget of the three EU programs back to the 2018 proposal
– the European Commission and the European Council to accept the proposal, contributing to an agreement on the new EU 2021/2027 programming
– to have the funds restored on the three programs to be destined to special projects to develop useful initiatives to face possible new moments of social crisis
– the European institutions to support public programs and policies that promote free mobility for people, goods, skills as a qualifying element of the EU
– the European institutions to support all public and private initiatives aimed at training and valorising human capital, especially youth capital.