Tag Archives: Geographical mobility

Youth mobility

Youth mobility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth mobility

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Youth mobility

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 21 November 2008 on youth mobility [Official Journal C 320 of 16.12.2008].

Summary

The mobility of young people is essential in promoting a sense of belonging to Europe, enhancing social and occupational integration, and ensuring a competitive European economy. However, the mobility of young people is not widespread, regardless of the success of the Erasmus programme.

All young people in Europe should have opportunities for mobility. This should consist of physical mobility, whereby the young person will stay in another European country to study, do an internship, volunteer or carry out other training. In the educational context, “virtual mobility” may also contribute to the mobility of young people. Through mobility, young people may develop their skills and competences, thus improving their versatility and employability.

A European policy for mobility should be cross-cutting, provide for the arrangements with which opportunities for mobility are prepared and supported, and promote the recognition of learning outcomes from periods of mobility and the development of opportunities for mobility for teachers and trainers. Young people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds or having special needs must receive particular consideration.

In light of the above, Member States are encouraged to:

  • provide further opportunities for cross-border mobility within education, training and volunteering, thereby transforming mobility into a widespread phenomenon;
  • take steps to attain the objectives of the current European Union (EU) programmes for education, youth, culture, citizenship and research;
  • build on the work of the High Level Expert Forum in order to facilitate the participation of all young people in mobility schemes and enhance the mobility of all educational staff;
  • take action at various levels and in partnership with various stakeholders to increase opportunities for mobility.

The Member States and the Commission are invited to set out measures to remove possible barriers to mobility and to ensure the recognition of cross-border mobility periods. In particular, they should:

  • develop scope for mobility by promoting active coordination between stakeholders so that the management of public sector support is enhanced, taking advantage of relevant EU programmes, considering the needs of disadvantaged youth and encouraging the establishment of new opportunities for mobility;
  • inform about mobility programmes by disseminating information via various means to young people and their families, educational staff and youth workers, as well as by supporting the implementation of relevant EU programmes;
  • simplify procedures for implementing the EU programmes, for creating the financial incentive strategies and for enhancing the recognition of learning outcomes from periods of mobility;
  • provide funding sources for mobility through appropriate Community financial instruments such as the Structural Funds and by promoting funding from public and private sectors, with particular support given to disadvantaged youth and youth with special needs;
  • enhance the application of the European Quality Charter for Mobility principles in mobility schemes by promoting the exchange of best practices concerning reception conditions, the provision of proper living and working conditions as well as preparation for mobility, in particular from a linguistic and cultural point of view;
  • increase knowledge of youth mobility through comparable statistics and survey results, as well as by conducting impact assessments on the cultural, educational and professional benefits of mobility.

Furthermore, the Commission is invited to set up a work plan for the incorporation of cross-border mobility into other EU programmes. Information on these programmes should then be disseminated as widely as possible, in order to promote them among young people. To this end, national “one-stop-shops” and a European youth mobility portal should be created. In addition, the Commission must provide a mid-term report on the developments of youth mobility in Europe before the end of 2010, followed by regular reports. Finally, the Commission is requested to provide national authorities and other stakeholders with a guide on European policies that may be used to support mobility, as well as to investigate new financial support mechanisms.

Background

The European Council decided in March 2008 to establish a “fifth freedom” whereby barriers to the free movement of knowledge would be removed. This also entails improved cross-border mobility of students, researchers, scientists and educational staff.

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

This green paper launches a public consultation with the aim of boosting mobility opportunities for young people.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 8 July 2009 – Promoting the learning mobility of young people [COM(2009) 329 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Transnational mobility through which young people may acquire new knowledge and skills (learning mobility) enhances personal development and employability. Currently however, the learning mobility of young people is more an exception than a rule, and should therefore be promoted in all disciplines and contexts. As a result, the Commission is launching this public consultation to initiate discussions on how existing and new instruments, as well as public authorities and stakeholders can be mobilised to that end.

The green paper presents a number of issues where further efforts towards learning mobility are needed. The aim is to promote organised mobility that is carried out across borders as well as within and across sectors. While the value of virtual mobility is recognised, the focus is on physical mobility and the challenges arising before, during and after such periods.

Preparing for a period of learning mobility

Preparation is an essential element of any mobility project and needs to be well thought-out in order for the mobility period to be a success. Firstly, this consists of providing good quality and easily accessible information and guidance on mobility opportunities, including on funding, education and training programmes, as well as on any practical issues. Secondly, there is a need to promote and motivate young people to be mobile by informing them of the benefits and guaranteeing the recognition of such an experience. Thirdly, linguistic skills and intercultural competences facilitate mobility, and may be upgraded during mobility periods. However, as a lack of such skills may be a barrier to participation, ways to address these obstacles must be explored.

Other challenges to take into consideration during the preparatory phase include the legal status of the young people in the host countries. A secure framework for the mobility of minors and a European Trainee Statute for the mobility of trainees could help to overcome such legal obstacles. Similarly, the obstacles to the portability of grants and loans as well as to the access to benefits, which often contravene Community law, should be overcome to promote mobility. To this end, the Commission is suggesting the publication of guides for Member State authorities and stakeholders.

There is also a need to assure that the mobility period is of a high quality, to which both the sending and receiving institutions should commit. Appropriate mechanisms should be set up for selecting participants in a fair and transparent manner, as well as for matching participants and receiving institutions. A number of charters, such as the European Quality Charter for Mobility, could be used to guide this work, as could learning/training agreements drawn up by the sending and hosting institutions together with the participants. Finally, measures should be taken to reach disadvantaged groups, so that they may also benefit from the opportunities of learning mobility.

The stay abroad and follow-up

Proper arrangements should be in place to receive young people during their mobility periods abroad. It is particularly essential that the hosting institutions provide mentoring support to young people in order to help them integrate better into the host environment. Concerning the follow-up, mobility periods must be appropriately recognised and validated in terms of both formal and non-formal learning. To this end, a number of European instruments are already available (such as ECVET, EQF, Europass), but greater use should be made of them at the regional and sectoral levels.

A new partnership for mobility

In order to overcome the continuing obstacles to mobility, it is imperative to mobilise actors and resources at all levels. A new partnership should be established between public authorities, civil society and partners from the business world. At the same time, the funding base needs to be enlarged to provide mobility opportunities to all groups of young people.

Virtual mobility can provide an added value by acting as a catalyst for physical mobility, as well as by providing an international dimension to learning for those who cannot or do not want to go abroad. “Multipliers”, such as teachers and trainers at all levels, youth workers, as well as people who have been mobile are important in motivating young people to embark on a period of mobility. Any obstacles to their involvement in promoting mobility should be removed and opportunities for their mobility encouraged.

At the moment, mobility has wide backing. However, it is essential to turn this support into concrete targets, based on which Member States, regional authorities, institutions and organisations may define their mobility strategies. Strategic benchmarks should also be established to complement those developed at European and national levels.

Background

The Commission invites stakeholders and the wider public to respond to the issues raised in this green paper before 15 December 2009. The Commission will propose follow-up actions on the basis of these responses.

Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth > Growth and jobs

Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

This Communication draws up a mid-term review of European transport strategy, set out in the 2001 White Paper. The Commission reaffirms the main principles that guide its policy. It draws attention to the changes in the context since 2001 and the need to find new solutions to problems encountered within this new framework. Enlargement, the acceleration of globalisation, international commitments on global warming, the geopolitical context of the growth in oil prices and security fears have influenced the sector and resulted in calls for new solutions

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 22 June 2006 on the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper, “Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent, published in 2001. Mid-term review of the Transport White Paper, published in 2001 by the European Commission” [COM(2006) 314 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The 2001 White Paper proposed almost 60 measures designed to implement a transport system capable of restoring the balance between different modes, revitalising the railways, promoting sea and waterway transport and controlling the increase in air transport. The White Paper was providing a response to the sustainable development strategy adopted by the Göteborg European Council in June 2001.

This communication reaffirms the principles of 2001, which guide European transport policy by responding to the economic, social and environmental needs of society. This sector provides 7% of GDP in the EU and 5% of jobs. The mobility of goods and citizens, apart from being a right, also creates cohesion and is an essential element of the competitiveness of European industry and services.

Transport policy objectives

This communication provides an opportunity for an overview of the different sectors, in order to identify new solutions in a changing context.

Transport policy is at the heart of the Lisbon agenda for growth and jobs. The policy therefore has long term objectives which seek to balance economic growth, social welfare and environmental protection in all policy choices. It is therefore necessary to:

  • divorce mobility from its side effects, which are congestion, accidents and pollution;
  • optimise the potential of each mode of transport. Some modes, including waterborne transport, do not reach their full capacity;
  • promote green propulsion and encourage the use of more environmentally friendly, energy efficient and safer transport;
  • promote co-modality, i.e. the efficient use of different modes of transport on their own and in combinations, resulting in an optimal use of resources.

The Commission also wishes to adapt rail and waterborne transport in line with the principles of the internal market. Efficiency gains supported by EU policies should therefore make these modes of transport more competitive, particularly with regard to road transport.

In order to succeed in meeting these objectives, this communication identifies four pillars for transport policy, namely:

  • the mobility of people and businesses throughout the Union;
  • environmental protection, the security of energy supply, promoting minimum labour standards and protecting passengers and citizens;
  • innovation, which supports the implementation of the two previous objectives by making sector activity more efficient and sustainable;
  • action on the world stage so that other countries can share in these objectives.

The changing context

The text does, however, emphasise that the political context of transport in the EU has changed:

  • enlargement has given the EU a continental dimension. Europe is more diverse and each Member State finds itself in different and sometimes even contrasting situations, which include congestion in the West and accessibility problems in the East. This diversity requires differentiated solutions;
  • the transport industry has changed. Consolidation is taking place at the European level, especially in the aviation and maritime sectors. In addition, globalisation has led to the creation of large logistics companies with worldwide operations. European transport policy must take this new situation into account;
  • transport is fast becoming a high-technology industry. Research and innovation have a fundamental role to play. Some of the most pressing and promising areas include: intelligent transport systems involving communication, navigation and automation, engine technology with increased fuel efficiency and the promotion of alternative fuels;
  • international environmental commitments, including those under the Kyoto Protocol, must be integrated into transport policy;
  • transport policy must continue to attain the objectives of theEuropean energy policy: transport accounts for 30% of total energy consumption in the EU, with oil dependency reaching 98%. High oil prices influence the sector and promote improved energy efficiency;
  • the international context has changed. The threat of terrorism has impacted on the transport sector. At the same time, economic globalisation has affected trade flows and increased demand, particularly in emerging economies;
  • European governance is evolving. The basic legal framework of the internal market has largely been established, and much now rests on its effective implementation in the field. The Commission is also seeking to simplify the rules.

A new challenge

Therefore, while the most pressing challenges identified in 2001 were the imbalance between different modes of transport and congestion, the situation has developed subsequently. Road congestion has escalated and is now costing the EU 1% of GDP. There has also been a sustained increase in air traffic and its impact on the environment. Greenhouse gases and global warming are now prominent issues. Overall, domestic transport accounts for 21% of greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions have risen by around 23% since 1990, threatening the achievement of Kyoto targets.

The measures envisaged by the Commission in 2001 will therefore be inadequate for achieving the objectives established at the outset, hence the need for a broader, more flexible instrument for action. In order to devise and evaluate future policies, the Commission wants to promote a debate on transport scenarios with a 20 to 40-year timescale, in order to develop a universal approach to sustainable transport.

First Pillar: Mobility

Road transport

Although international road transport has been liberalised, at national level it is still largely protected. The Commission wishes to establish common rules relating to professional qualifications and working conditions, which vary greatly by Member State. Moreover, the impact on competition regarding differences in fuel-tax levels between Member States are important factors that will influence future development. Therefore, the Commission wishes to narrow the excessive differences in fuel-tax levels.

Rail transport

After the liberalisation of freight transport, whose legal framework is due for completion in 2007, the third package has to open up international passenger transport. The Commission wishes to:

  • propose measures on access to the market and the profession;
  • address the issue of excessive differences in excise duty levels;
  • implement the acquis with the support of regulatory bodies in Member States;
  • step up efforts to remove technical and operational barriers to international traffic;
  • establish a network dedicated to rail freight within the political framework of transport logistics;
  • organise rail-market monitoring using a scoreboard mechanism.

Air transport

The restructuring and integration of the air industry’s internal market are at a very advanced stage and customers benefit from the internal market’s development. The Commission nonetheless wishes to:

  • enlarge the internal market and extend its positive contributions to external aviation relations;
  • complete the creation of the single European sky in order to increase the efficiency of EU air transport;
  • invest to increase airport capacity, whilst clarifying regulations relating to charges;
  • reduce environmental effects caused by the rapid rise in traffic.

Maritime transport

The Commission identifies the maritime sector as an alternative to overland transport, particularly because it has considerable potential over short distances, as illustrated by the concept of ” motorways of the sea “. The development of maritime transport should, however, face up to two key challenges:

  • the creation of an internal shipping space. Due to international regulations, sea journeys from one Member State to another are considered as external. Therefore, the Commission wishes to organise a consultation to draw up a strategy for the creation of a “common European maritime space”;
  • the expansion of port capacity. In order to deal with the estimated growth in maritime transport, investment in ports should increased, in order to improve and extend services, with the help of competition and the introduction of clear rules for public sector contributions.

Transport by waterway

The Commission emphasises river transport’s potential, which could be enhanced through its integration into co-modal logistics chains. The NAIADES programme sets out an action plan that promotes the sector, which the Commission wishes to implement.

Second Pillar: Protection

Employment and working conditions

Transport is a major employer, providing more than 10 million jobs in the Union. However, in some sectors, such as rail and road transport, shortages of qualified personnel have come to light. The Commission therefore wishes to focus on training and encouraging more young people to choose jobs in the transport profession.

The Commission proposes to examine rules on working conditions due to significant variations in labour costs. The Commission also wishes to establish talks with a view to applying the International Labour Organization Convention in the maritime sector.

The Commission divides the concept of protection into the following categories:

  • passenger rights: The Commission notes that passenger rights have been consolidated in recent years, but considers that national authorities have to improve their follow-up of complaints. It therefore hopes to examine ways of promoting an improved quality of service and the assurance of basic passenger rights in all modes of transport, particularly for passengers with reduced mobility;
  • safety: the Commission also emphasises the progress that has been made in this area, especially with the creation of a blacklist of dangerous airlines. The Commission wishes to finalise safety rules with the third maritime legislative package as well as road rules with the CARS 21 initiative and eSafety forum;
  • security: the Commission wishes to refine the acquis of measures established in the wake of 11 September 2001 attacks, which revealed that transport is both a target and an instrument of terrorism. It will, therefore, propose amendments and broaden the scope of safety rules to include land and intermodal transport as well as critical infrastructures;
  • urban transport is confronted with a specific problem; city dwellers suffer the consequences of their own mobility more than anyone else. The Commission announces the publication of a Green Paper on this issue.

Third Pillar: Innovation

The Commission wishes to assimilate innovation across the board in transport policy in order to hasten the development of relevant solutions. Intelligent safety features, new means of communication and traffic management could all aid the mobility and integration of European networks. EU companies could also win new markets owing to their excellence in the field of transport technologies.

Energy

The transport sector uses a great deal of energy, accounting for 71% of EU oil consumption: 60% by road transport and approximately 9% by air transport. The remaining 2% is used by rail and inland navigation. Rail transport uses 75% electricity and 25% fossil fuels. The text recommends the promotion of improved energy efficiency on a European scale as well as supporting research, demonstration and market introduction of promising new technology.

Infrastructure

Some areas in the “mid-West” of the EU are affected by congestion and pollution. By 2020, 60 big airports are expected to be over congested and a similar trend is observed in ports. It will therefore be necessary to build new infrastructures or to improve existing ones. The implementation of co-modal logistics chains is another solution.

Mobilising sources of financing

The total cost of the 30 priority trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects, recorded in 2004, is estimated at around 250 billion. However, the public financing capacities of the Member States remain constrained. Similarly, the financial perspective for the period 2007-13 provide only a limited increase in the budget available for the TENs. The EU should therefore focus its co-financing on the critical border-crossing sections and the main bottlenecks. New types of financial engineering should also be developed.

Intelligent mobility

It is becoming increasingly common to charge for the use of transport infrastructure, as demonstrated in London or on specific motorways. The EU has adopted a Directive establishing a framework for toll motorways. These tariff systems aim to finance infrastructure, whilst helping to optimise traffic. The Commission has to propose, no later than 2008, a universal, transparent and comprehensible model for the assessment of all external costs, which must serve as the basis for calculations of infrastructure charges. The Commission also calls for a process of reflection, which encompasses the other modes of transport, in order to identify how intelligent charging can help improve the functioning of the sector.

Logistics is another issue that the Commission wishes to focus on, by drawing up a strategic framework, followed by a consultation leading to an action plan.

Furthermore, the Commission states that all modes of transport must have sophisticated means of communication, navigation and automation, relying in particular on the Galileo system. In this respect, the Intelligent Car and SESAR programmes are used for air transport, ERTMS for the rail industry and RIS for waterborne transport. In addition, the Commission wishes to develop similar initiatives in the maritime sector (e-maritime programme).

Fourth Pillar: Relations With Third Countries

The Commission would like its policy to be part of a broader relationship with non-member countries, as the transport sector is inherently connected to international issues. Furthermore, the convergence of EU and international standards opens export markets for European technology. EU transport companies are often hampered by the maintenance of import or investment barriers in non-member countries. The Commission therefore envisages developing cooperation policies and industrial dialogue with its main trading partners and regional groupings, in particular by concluding agreements. It also wishes to draw up a strategic framework for extending the main axes of the internal transport market and creating a network with neighbouring countries that so desire.

Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy

Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 12 May 2010 – Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy [COM(2010) 207 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication takes stock of progress made since the launch of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This analysis is intended to guide developments in the policy in the years to come.

All of the ENP partners have taken advantage of the cooperation established. However, not all of them have implemented the necessary policies and legislation. Progress remains to be made in many sectors, including democratic governance.

Strengthening of bilateral relations from 2004 to 2009

Most Mediterranean partners have concluded Association Agreements (AAs) to strengthen their relations with the EU. Similarly, the AAs are gradually replacing the old partnership and cooperation agreements concluded with the eastern neighbours.

Progress in the area of good governance remains insufficient. Delays have also been reported in relation to human rights and the operation of judicial and electoral systems.

The Treaty of Lisbon should help the EU to contribute better to the resolution of protracted conflicts. The EU conducts civilian peace-making missions, relying in particular on the increase in cultural exchanges and trade.

Legal and regular mobility of persons should be encouraged while ensuring tighter control on those who could exploit mobility for criminal purposes. In this context, the EU has taken steps to simplify visa procedures with a view to the total liberalisation of short stay visa regimes.

The progressive establishment of Free Trade Areas (FTAs) involves continuing the alignment of the partners’ legislation with that of the EU, facilitating the trading of goods and services, and encouraging the establishment of companies and direct foreign investment. The setting up of FTAs should also be accompanied by a strengthening of social, consumer and environmental protection.

The EU and its partners should strengthen their cooperation in order to face the common challenges in the field of the environment. Improved environmental governance, higher resource efficiency and appropriate use of ecosystem services are the elements of long-term sustainable development.

Climate change should be taken into account in all of the policies concerned. Efforts should be made to increase energy efficiency, to promote sustainable transport, and to adapt certain sectors to changes in climate conditions (agriculture, water, natural hazards, etc.).

The EU intends to ensure energy efficiency and stable supplies to its territory. To this end, it encourages the use of renewable energies and, in particular, has signed Energy Memoranda of Understanding with a number of eastern countries. In the Mediterranean region, the priorities concern the development of regional interconnections and the use of solar energy.

Reorientation of financial instruments

The financing of the ENP is based on the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Since the mid-term review of the programming documents, country allocations have been better adapted to the needs, the levels of ambition and progress and the absorption capacity of partners.

The external mandate of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been the subject of a mid-term review for the period 2007-2013. The Commission has also proposed to allocate an additional EUR 2 billion to support investments related to climate change, of which up to EUR 1 billion could be used in neighbouring countries.

Progress in multilateral relations

The Union for the Mediterranean is a new political framework which aims to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. Progress has already been made, despite a political context rendered more complex by the Gaza conflict. Northern African countries have also benefited from the cooperation activities carried out in the context of the Africa-EU Partnership.

The Eastern Partnership was launched in May 2009, to establish a political association and to further economic integration between the EU and its eastern partners. This partnership is based mainly on bilateral relations between the EU and each of its partners. It also comprises a multilateral track aiming to promote cooperation, political dialogue and the exchange of experience and best practice.

Finally, the
Black Sea Synergy
has also helped to encourage regional cooperation. A first sectoral partnership has been launched in the area of the environment.