European Youth Media Days 2014

There will not be a single educational model in Europe

Article by Thomas Dechamps, Journalist, Belgium
Photos by Petya Barzilska, Journalist, Bulgaria

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A panel of six experts discussed this Friday in the EP of Strasbourg about the effectiveness of mobility inside the European Union to tackle youth unemployment. The participants were university teachers, unionists, representatives of transnational institutions, etc. but they all agreed about one thing: there won’t be a single educational model in the EU.

They actually reacted about a comment of a young boy in the audience. He stated: “I doubt that we could just copy a system from one country to another” after the panel of experts has discusses about the good practices of Germany or Austria that could be exported in the other European Countries.

“We learn from each other but we are not copying each other” agreed Marlyce Breun, from Pôle Emploi Alsace. “We have to admit that it is completely different”. She also explained the doubts of some Greek colleagues she met in an international meeting. She wanted to convince them to follow the example of Germany that promotes professional internships in companies for its youth. They answered that in Greece 80% of the companies are familial entities with less than 3 employees! In this case, sending all the young Greeks to a professional internship won’t be as effective as in Germany.

Ronja Endres, from the German Trade Unions Federation, mentioned also the fact that this kind of system requires a lot of professional trainers and a huge administration. So, it costs also a lot of money. This has to be kept in mind before imposing this system to countries who already struggle with their national finances. It also requires companies who are ready to welcome this sort of internships and a motivation from the population to support the kids in this experience. For the moment, these conditions are not met in most of the European countries. Once again, the so-called “German model” has something to teach us, but it doesn’t mean we have to copy it everywhere.

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