The Polish Presidency wants to develop youth mobility in the Eastern Partnership

The Polish Presidency organized a seminar in the region of Lower Silesia on the mobility of young people under the Eastern Partnership, a topic that Poland is attached to.

The Polish region of Lower Silesia was host for today’s high-level seminar on Eastern Partnership, one of the main priorities of the European Polish Presidency. Organised by the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and its Youth Regional Network (YRN), the event aimed at showcasing inclusive youth mobility programmes in regions spanning the Eastern Partnership and the other European countries.

Włodzimierz CHIBOSZ, Member of the Lower Silesia Regional Board, reiterated that the region is pleased to host members of the AER Youth Regional Network (YRN) for the second time. The Eastern Partnership brings a positive added value to relations between the EU as well as Eastern Europe and the Caucasus countries. Only a gradual and progressive cooperation will enable these societies to become a full-fledged and integrated part of the EU in the future. He stressed that there are no doubts the cooperation within the Assembly of European Regions has helped to fulfill this goal.

Regional, European and educational representatives presented their good practices in interregional and academic exchanges as well as financial tools provided by the European Commission in the Eastern dimension:

Piotr BORYS, Member of the European Parliament, welcomed young participants from the EU and EaP countries by answering a crucial question: why is the EU heading East? He answered that today’s discussion about Eastern Partnership is not coincidental. It means over 70 million citizens, which corresponds to nearly 20% of EU population. The ongoing activities by the EU to achieve a greater integration with Eastern Europe stem from the strong will to share our good practices, with our Eastern neighbours, to which nearly 2 billion euros were allocated.

All young Europeans have the right to be informed about the opportunities stemming from the Eastern Partnership initiative according to Hande ÖZSAN BOZATLI, President of AER Committee on Culture, Education, Youth and International Cooperation. She added that duty as politicians, is to ensure that they are aware of these opportunities, that they make use of these chances and that their efforts to exchange experiences with the other side of Europe, are not hampered by bureaucracy or lack of information.

Ms Maria PODLASEK from the European Commission’s DG on Culture and Education said that in 2012 the European Commission”s Youth in Action program will receive 31,5 million Euros to finance exchanges with Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEAC) countries. This is an unprecedented amount of money, which will be allocated from the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI). The increase is a response to interest of young Europeans in establishing more contacts with this part of Europe: 27.630 young people participated in the projects in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEAC) countries financed through the European Commission’s Youth in Action programme between 2007 and 2010.

YRN declaration
All these aspects were highlighted in the Wroclaw Declaration adopted by YRN members during their Plenary session, where they pledged to increase awareness about and accessibility to existing youth mobility opportunities in wider Europe for all young people, including disadvantaged youth.

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