EU Commission marks International Youth Day

Written by Martin Banks on 11 August 2017 in News

The European Commission has said the Erasmus education scheme is an example of how Europe can “pull together” in adversity.

The European Commission held events to mark International Youth Day on 11 August Photo credit: Fotolia

The message came as part of celebrations to mark this year's International Youth Day on Friday, 11 August.

The theme of the event is 'Youth building peace', focusing on young people’s contributions to conflict prevention as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.  The event will be marked by a series of celebrations across the EU.

On Friday, European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for education, culture, youth and sport, hailed the contribution young people can make to the future of Europe.

Speaking in Brussels, he said, "We can only achieve sustainable peace and build cohesive and resilient societies if we all work together.

“Young people have demonstrated, time and again, that they are willing to show solidarity and contribute to their communities. We need to harness this energy."

His comments were echoed by another Commissioner, Neven Mimica, responsible for international cooperation and development.

Speaking of the Youth Day event, he said, "Young people are at the heart of development. Our goal is to empower them to change the world for the better. Thanks to EU support, in the last decade, almost 14 million more boys and girls benefited from primary education.

“We will also continue supporting young people as champions of peace-building and countering violent extremism in their communities such as through the 'One Young World Peace Ambassadors' initiative launched today."

He went on, “International Youth Day is also an important moment to recall the many different ways in which the Commission is acting to support our young Europeans.

“With the European Solidarity Corps, for example, the Commission put in place a unique opportunity for young people between 18 and 30 to take part in a wide range of solidarity activities across the EU.”

Since its launch last December, over 34,000 young people have signed up, and hundreds have already started their projects.

A Commission source said, “This year, we also celebrate the 30th anniversary of Erasmus, one of the biggest success stories.

“To date, the current programme, Erasmus+, and its predecessors have given nine million people across Europe, the chance to study, train, volunteer or gain professional experience abroad, creating an open-minded generation aware of European and global challenges.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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