One of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020
strategy, Youth on the Move aims to respond to the
challenges faced by young people and to help them succeed in the
knowledge economy. Launched on 15 September 2010, this strategy is
focused on supporting young people, bringing together both
education and training, and employment. The initiative focuses on
four main lines of action:
- Contribute to building and modernising lifelong learning
systems so as to develop the key skills, competencies, and learning
outcomes of individuals, in line with labour market needs. This
includes supporting learning through non-formal and informal
- Promote the performance and attractiveness of Europe's higher
education to ensure it is competitive and well-placed
internationally. This includes fostering innovation and encouraging
student and researcher mobility.
- Encourage the transnational mobility of young people for
learning, employability, and social and personal development, so as
to support the aspiration that by 2020 all young people in Europe
should have the possibility to spend a part of their educational
- Improve the employment situation of young people by launching a
Youth employment framework outlining policies priorities for action
at national and EU level.
Part of the wider 'Europe 2020' strategy
The impetus behind these action lines is the Europe 2020 strategy,
whose headline targets include the following goals:
- the share of early school leavers should be reduced to under
10% by 2020;
- at least 40% of the population aged 30-34 should have completed
tertiary or equivalent education by 2020; and
- 75% of the population aged 20-64 should be employed by
Youth on the Move embodies the recognition that Europe's future
prosperity depends on its young people, and acknowledges that
quality education and training, successful labour market
integration and more mobility of young people are fundamental to
achieving the Europe 2020 objectives.
An employment strategy
In today's climate, with youth unemployment at almost 21%, and 5
million people under the age of 25 looking for a job, the EU has
realised that something needs to be done. On average across Europe,
too many young people leave school early and too few enter higher
education, which continues to jeopardise Europe's future skills
base. With this in mind, Youth on the Move aims to help young
people "gain the knowledge, skills and experience needed to make
their first job a reality".
An umbrella strategy
Being one of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives, this is a
framework agenda that announces new key actions and reinforces
existing activities at the EU and national levels. It aims to bring
all initiatives and actions related to youth, for both education
and training, and employment, under the same umbrella. In doing
this, it also brings together the related EU funding programmes on
education, youth, and learning mobility, as well as the Structural Funds. The
Commission intends to support Member States in designing policies,
while respecting the subsidiary principle.
Specifically, Youth on the Move proposes 28 key actions aimed at
making education and training more relevant to young people's needs
and encouraging more of them to take advantage of EU grants to
study or train in another country. These are all aimed at
increasing young people's employability and access to the labour
market. The initiative includes the following targeted actions:
- The launch of the Youth on the Move website, which
provides a single point of access to information about
opportunities to study or gain work experience abroad, including
advice about EU grants and individual rights.
- The implementation of a mobility scoreboard to benchmark and
measure Member State progress in dismantling legal and technical
barriers to learning mobility.
- The creation, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank
(EIB), of a European student lending facility to support student
- The publication of a feasibility study for a multi-dimensional
global university ranking system, to provide a more complete and
realistic picture of higher education performance than existing
- The development of a Youth on the Move card, to facilitate
mobility by providing benefits and discounts for young people
across Europe in line with other student cards.
- Support for a new pilot project 'Your first EURES job', managed by the network of European
Public Employment Services, to provide advice and support to young
jobseekers who want to work abroad and to companies, particularly
- The launch of a new European Vacancy Monitor to improve
transparency and information on available jobs across Europe.
- A proposal for a European Skills Passport, based on Europass,
to increase transparency of competence acquired through both formal
and non-formal learning.
- Use of the Commission's new European Progress micro-finance
facility, which aims to provide financial support for young
- Encouragement for Member States to invest 2% of GDP in higher
education and step up efforts to modernise higher education systems
in the areas of curricula, governance, and funding.
- The publication in one document of the relevant European Court
of Justice (ECJ) rulings to improve understanding of the rights of
students studying abroad, such as recognition of diplomas and
access to universities.
- Strengthen bilateral and regional policy dialogue on youth
employment, within the EU, with the European Neighbourhood, as well
as with organisations like the ILO, OECD, and G20.