Celebrating Thirty Years of Convergence: The AAAS S&T Congressional Fellowship Program

Youth on the Move - Moving Europe's Future?

bridges vol. 28, December 2010 / Letter from Brussels

By Florian Pecenka

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pecenka_florian_small.jpgFlorian Pecenka

One of the very pleasurable and rewarding tasks as Austrian Science Attaché in Brussels is educational outreach to the youngsters of the European Union, i.e., to introduce the workings of Brussels and its institutions to visiting school classes from Austria. During my first three months in Brussels, I have had the pleasure on two occasions of welcoming groups of students eager to learn more about the EU. Instead of using a PowerPoint presentation available for such occasions, I decided to use a more interactive format: having a conversation with the students. With the first class, a group of about 25 students from an Austrian school, we had a lively discussion about the European Qualification Framework and its national counterpart in Austria. With the second class, I raised the question of studying abroad and its benefits. When asked about plans to attend university after graduation from high school, almost all raised their hands. However, when asked about plans to study abroad, e.g., via an Erasmus semester, fewer hands were raised. This brought me to thinking about the new Youth on the Move initiative.

Youth on the Move is one of seven flagship initiatives, all of which are part of the EU 2020 strategy. The EU 2020 strategy succeeds the Lisbon strategy from 2000. This initiative is a result of the public consultation on learning mobility, conducted in 2009, and the Green Paper on promoting the learning mobility of young people, published in the same year by the Commission.

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