NO, mobility is not a luxury. That is what a hundred young people, youth workers, national agencies and institutional representatives have demonstrated during the last event under the Belgian Presidency Youth. This seminar aimed at exchanging good practices and reflecting on the positive role of different kinds of mobility projects for young people, and especially for young people in precarious situations or from difficult social and cultural backgrounds.
What do youngsters with fewer opportunities gain through mobility projects? What are the barriers to their mobility? How can we better support their participation in mobility programmes?
Mobility is a right for all young people, including those with fewer opportunities or living in disadvantaged situations. But mobility projects are often not very well suited to those youngsters. This seminar on youth mobility tried to bring change in this situation.
During this seminar, mobility was considered in all its diversity: from local to international mobility and from geographical to social and cultural mobility. Divided into five thematic workshops, young people and youth workers have drafted recommendations for different stakeholders on how to remove obstacles to mobility, on the role of youth workers in encouraging young people to “make the move” and on the relevance of building collective projects with young people based on peer-level education. They also stressed the need to reinforce practices helping to encourage personal development and active involvement in local community projects and the importance of facilitating access to international mobility programmes for youngsters with fewer opportunities.
On their side, institutional representatives have focused on the advantages of mobility experiences in terms of enhancing autonomy and employability of young people and on the importance of building bridges between public bodies in order to ease access to mobility for young people in difficulty.
As the Hungarian Presidency is knocking on the door, this last event of the Belgian EU Presidency Youth closes this period on a positive note, reflecting the success and dynamism of the past six months of active presidency in the field of youth.