During the annual State of the European Union speech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the launch of ALMA – a new Erasmus-style placement scheme aimed at providing short-term work experience to young Europeans in other EU member states.
“(…)We must also caution against creating new divides. Because Europe needs all of its youth. We must step up our support to those who fall into the gaps – those not in any kind of employment, education or training. For them, we will put in place a new programme, ALMA. ALMA will help these young Europeans to find temporary work experience in another Member State. Because they too deserve an experience like Erasmus. To gain skills, to create bonds and help forge their own European identity.”
During the same speech, it was announced the proposal to make 2022 the “Year of European Youth”, using the momentum of the Conference on the Future of Europe to actively engage young people.
“(…) If we are to shape our Union in their mould, young people must be able to shape Europe’s future. Our Union needs a soul and a vision they can connect to. Or as Jacques Delors asked: “How can we ever build Europe if young people do not see it as a collective project and a vision of their own future?”
This is why we will propose to make 2022 the Year of European Youth. A year dedicated to empowering those who have dedicated so much to others. And it is why we will make sure that young people can help lead the debate in the Conference on the Future of Europe.
This is their future and this must be their Conference too.”