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Investing in young people. If not now, when?

Lara Comi

We believe in young people and their potential. Our mission is to offer them better prospects by building a more dynamic economy, which is innovative and competitive. By bringing tangible results, the EPP Group wants to help restore young peoples’ trust in the European Union and its policies.

First of all, we need to improve the quality of education, make it more accessible and invest in lifelong learning.

How can we do that? For example through Erasmus+, the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. More than 4 million Europeans will have the opportunity to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad through it. For 2016, we have increased the budget of Erasmus+ by €6.6 million. 

 Moreover, we believe in the importance of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of young people. We have obtained that the teaching plans will, from 2015 onwards, include also entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs can take advantage of the “Erasmus for young entrepreneurs” programme.

And then, how to enter the labour market for the first time? To reduce the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training, the EU and the Member States have put in place the Youth Guarantee, offering young people under 25 a job, an apprenticeship or professional training courses in the first four months since they leave school or lose their jobs. Following the proposal of Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, supported by the EPP Group, the European Parliament approved higher pre-financing for the Youth Employment Initiative, making it easier for Member States to finance youth employment programmes. 

In the EPP Group we know well that it is the businesses that create jobs. Therefore, we fought for SMEs, start-ups and young entrepreneurs to have more economic incentives through the EU research programme Horizon 2020 and SME programme Cosme. We want to improve the access to finance of start-ups, also through microcredits and simplifying bureaucratic procedures that hamper business and competitiveness.

We believe in improving education, investing in innovation and making entrepreneurship a viable choice for European youth. 

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