Monday 25. October 2021

What can the EU do?

- What can the EU do? -


Despite it being principally a part of national policy fields, the concept of “Youth“ is also included at European level. The EU defines its objective in the Youth strategy 2010-2018 as the promotion of active citizenship and social inclusion as well as solidarity and equal opportunities for young people.


In the area of education, the EU fulfills a supporting and coordinating role complementing the national policies. In particular, EU action in this field aims at fostering mutual recognition of diplomas and promoting cooperation between educational institutions. The EU Commission launched the new Erasmus+ programme in 2014. It aims to boost skills and employability, as well as modernising education, training, and youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion; a 40% increase compared to current spending levels.



Under the initiative Youth on the Move, the EU also operates various mobility programmes which provide funding for young people to study, train or work abroad. They are intended to enhance the quality and efficiency of education, fill the skills deficits in the labour market and thus improve young people´s employability. The Council recently adopted a Recommendation on establishing a Youth Guarantee which should ensure that young people receive a quality offer of employment, further education or training within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.


As regards the concept of “Family“, the EU has a limited role in family law matters and is only empowered to take measures with cross-border implications, such as mutual recognition of judicial decisions.


Nevertheless, a number of EU policy areas affect the family and family life. Employment legislation has to reconcile professional and family life and all the relevant EU policies have to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of the child. In August 2015, the Commission published a Roadmap for the initiative ‘A new start to address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working families’. One of the objectives is to improve the current EU legal and policy framework and adapt it to today's labour market to allow for working parents and people with dependent relatives to better balance family and work life.    


In addition, the Charter of Fundamental Rights provides for the family to be protected on legal, economic and social levels (Article 33) and it grants everyone the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications (Article 7).