Procedure : 2004/0152(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0263/2005

Texts tabled :

A6-0263/2005

Debates :

PV 24/10/2005 - 15

Votes :

PV 25/10/2005 - 5.7

Texts adopted :


REPORT     ***I
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29 September 2005
PE 357.752v02-00 A6-0263/2005

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on creating the ‘YOUTH IN ACTION’ programme for the period 2007–2013

(COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

Committee on Culture and Education

Rapporteur: Lissy Gröner

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 JUSTIFICATION
 OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on creating the ‘YOUTH IN ACTION’ programme for the period 2007–2013

(COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2004)0471)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 149(4) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0096/2004),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Budgets, Committee on Budgetary Control, Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0263/2005),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission

 

Amendments by Parliament

Amendment 1

Recital 2

(2) The Treaty on European Union is based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

(2) The European Union is founded on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, equality between men and women and anti-discrimination, and the promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

Justification

Equality between the sexes and anti-discrimination are two of the European Union’s fundamental principles of which young people in Europe must be made aware. In Article 2 of the Decision it is stated that the Youth in Action programme must ‘contribute to the development of the Union’s policies, in particular with regard to (...) combating all discrimination (...)’.

Amendment 2

Recital 10

(10) The Community’s action includes a contribution to high quality education and training and must seek to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between men and women, pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty.

(10) The Community’s action includes a contribution to high quality education and training and must seek to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between women and men, pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty.

Justification

Inverting the word order for women is justified in the light of current social practice.

Amendment 3

Recital 12

(12) There is a need to promote active citizenship and to step up the fight against exclusion in all its forms, including racism and xenophobia.

(12) There is a need to promote active citizenship and, when implementing the action lines, step up the fight against exclusion and discrimination in all their forms, including those on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, in accordance with Article 13 of the Treaty.

Justification

We need to ensure that disadvantaged young people can also participate in the programme. Discrimination of any kind should be eliminated.

Amendment 4

Recital 16

(16) The Barcelona Declaration adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean conference in 1995 states that youth exchanges should be the means to prepare future generations for closer cooperation between the Euro-Mediterranean partners.

(16) The Barcelona Declaration adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean conference in 1995 states that youth exchanges should be the means to prepare future generations for closer cooperation between the Euro-Mediterranean partners on the basis also of universal human values.

Justification

Universal human values, as included in the UN Charter, today constitute the broadest possible basis for ensuring youth cooperation.

Amendment 5

Recital 21

(21) It is necessary to provide for specific arrangements for the application of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 and its implementing measures, as well as for the derogations from these texts necessitated by the features of the beneficiaries and the nature of the actions.

(21) It is necessary to provide for specific arrangements for the application of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 and its implementing measures, as well as for the derogations from these texts necessitated by the features of the participants and the nature of the actions.

Justification

Legislation should not ascribe the nature of the persons involved, especially where the aim is to promote cooperation, engagement and dynamic solutions.

Amendment 6

Article 2, paragraph 1, point (b)

(b) to develop solidarity among young people, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union;

 

(b) to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people in response to diversity, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union;

Justification

The European Union is highly diverse in cultural, religious, social and other terms. Social cohesion cannot be promoted unless young people are taught a number of principles - in particular solidarity and tolerance towards other people - as a way of helping attitudes to develop.

Amendment 7

Article 2, paragraph 3

3. The general objectives of the programme shall contribute to the development of the Union’s policies, in particular with regard to the recognition of cultural and multicultural diversity in Europe, to combating all discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and with regard to sustainable development.

3. The general objectives of the programme shall contribute to the development of the Union’s policies, in particular with regard to the recognition of cultural, multicultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, to combating all discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and with regard to sustainable development.

Justification

The importance of linguistic diversity in the European Union is a sign of its cultural riches. So the Youth in Action programme should also support the promotion of language-learning by explicitly mentioning this as part of both the general and specific aims of the programme.

Amendment 8

Article 3, paragraph, 1, point b a) (new)

 

ba) encouraging the participation of young people in the democratic life of Europe;

Justification

The specific aims of the programme should be extended to include the involvement of young people in the democratic life of Europe, so as to take account of the draft treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, Article III-282(1)(e).

Amendment 9

Article 3, paragraph 1, point d)

d) developing intercultural learning within the youth field;

d) developing intercultural learning and language-learning within the youth field;;

Justification

Language-learning encourages the multicultural exchange of differing views, attitudes and values and thus forms a basis for better mutual understanding between young people and for international cooperation.

Amendment 10

Article 3, paragraph 1, point e)

e) promoting the fundamental values of the Union to young people;

e) promoting the fundamental values of the Union to young people, in particular, respect for human dignity, equality, respect for human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination;

Justification

These are values generally recognised as fundamental of the EU.

Amendment 11

Article 3, paragraph 1, point g)

g) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the least opportunities;

g) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the least opportunities, including young people with disabilities;

Justification

Young people with disabilities face different problems from those with few opportunities and should therefore be expressly mentioned and encouraged to participate in the youth programme.

Amendment 12

Article 3, paragraph 1, point h a) (new)

ha) providing informal educational opportunities with a European dimension and opening up innovative opportunities in connection with the exercise of active citizenship.

Justification

Young people should be encouraged to involve themselves in European political processes and develop new opportunities for active participation.

Amendment 13

Article 3, paragraph 2, introductory part

2. In the context of the general objective to develop solidarity among young people, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the Union:

2. In the context of the general objective to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people in response to diversity, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the Union:

Justification

The European Union is highly diverse in cultural, religious, social and other terms. Social cohesion cannot be promoted unless young people are taught a number of principles - in particular solidarity and tolerance towards other people - as a way of helping attitudes to develop.

Amendment 14

Article 3, paragraph 3, introduction

In the context of the general objective to foster mutual understanding between peoples through young people:

In the context of the general objective to foster mutual understanding between young people from different countries:

Amendment 15

Article 3, paragraph 4, point b)

b) developing the training of and collaboration between youth workers;

b) developing the training of and collaboration between qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations;

Justification

There would seem to be problems in using the term ‘youth worker/Sozialpädagogischer Betreuer’ as it means different things in different countries, hence the proposal here for more suitable terminology.

Amendment 16

Article 3, paragraph 4, point d)

d) contributing to the improvement of information for young people;

d) contributing to the improvement of information for young people, including special attention to the access of young people with disabilities to better information;

Justification

Young people with disabilities sometimes have other needs or requirements as regards the provision of and access to information, and these must be borne in mind so as to safeguard equal access to such information for all young people throughout Europe.

Amendment 17

Article 3, paragraph 5, introductory wording

5. In the context of the general objective to promote European cooperation in youth policies:

5. In the context of the general objective to promote European cooperation in youth policies, taking due account of local and regional aspects:

Justification

To take account of the fact that exemplary practices to promote active citizenship among young people occur at the local authority level, because it is there that young people’s participation in the public life of the community, the system of representative democracy and methods of learning such involvement are encouraged.

Amendment 18

Article 4, paragraph 1

1) Youth for Europe

1) Youth for Europe

The aim of this action is to support exchanges of young people in order to increase their mobility, to support youth initiatives and projects and activities concerning participation in democratic life, in order to develop young people’s citizenship and mutual understanding.

The aim of this action is to support exchanges of young people in order to increase their mobility, to support the holding of youth seminars on social and political issues in which young people are interested, and to support youth initiatives and projects and activities concerning participation in democratic life, in order to develop young people’s citizenship and mutual understanding.

Justification

To add, as well as supporting youth exchange and associated other initiatives, activities and projects, the provision of support for interactive and innovative youth seminars as long as they have some connection with local, national and European issues, concerning European citizenship and social and political commitment. The aim of promoting youth seminars is to encourage discussion of Europe as a community with political, government and cultural dimensions.

Amendment 19

Article 4, point 3, title

3) Youth of the World

3) Youth in the World

Justification

Linguistic improvement. The English version reads 'Youth of the World', whereas the Dutch version has 'Jeugd voor de wereld' [Youth for the World]. Replacing them with 'Youth in the World' in all language versions would give a clearer impression of what Action 3 involves.

Amendment 20

Article 4, point (1)

The aim of this action is to support projects with the partner countries mentioned in Article 5 below, in particular exchanges of young people and youth workers, and to support initiatives that reinforce young people’s mutual understanding, sense of solidarity and the development of cooperation in the field of youth and civil society in these countries.

The aim of this action is to support projects with the partner countries mentioned in Article 5 below, in particular exchanges of young people and youth workers, and to support initiatives that reinforce young people’s mutual understanding and sense of solidarity and tolerance and the development of cooperation in the field of youth and civil society in these countries.

Justification

The European Union is highly diverse in cultural, religious, social and other terms. Social cohesion cannot be promoted unless young people are taught a number of principles - in particular solidarity and tolerance towards other people - as a way of helping attitudes to develop.

Amendment 21

Article 4, point 4

4) Youth workers and support systems

 

The aim of this action is to support bodies active at European level in the field of youth, in particular the operation of youth NGOs, their networking, the exchange, training and networking of youth workers, encouraging innovation and quality, providing young people with information and developing the structures and activities needed for the programme to meet these goals.

 

4) Youth workers and support systems

 

The aim of this action is to support bodies active at European level in the field of youth, in particular the operation of youth NGOs, their networking, support for those who propose projects to help them organise European youth projects and ensure quality by means of the exchange, training and networking of youth workers, encouraging innovation and quality, providing young people with information and developing the structures and activities needed for the programme to meet these goals and encouraging partnerships with local and regional authorities..

Justification

As in the present youth programme, youth workers should receive support to help them in the processes leading to qualitative projects under Action 1, 2 or 3. This will help to create equal opportunities between voluntary and paid youth workers.

The text of the decision should also stress the aim of promoting partnerships with local and regional authorities, as this is mentioned in the introduction and the annexes in connection with Action 4.

Amendment 22

Article 4, point 5

5) Support for policy cooperation

The aim of this action is to organise dialogue between the various actors in the field of youth, in particular the young people themselves, youth workers and policymakers, to contribute to the development of policy cooperation in the youth field and to take the necessary steps and establish the networks necessary to better understand youth.

5) Support for policy cooperation

The aim of this action is to organise dialogue between the various actors in the field of youth, in particular the young people themselves, youth workers and policymakers, to support the holding of youth seminars on social, cultural and political issues in which young people are interested, to contribute to the development of policy cooperation in the youth field and to take the necessary steps and establish the networks necessary to better understand youth.

Justification

The 'youth seminars' proposed by the rapporteur certainly deserve support, but the place for them is rather Action 5, 'Support for policy cooperation'.

Amendment 23

Article 6, paragraph 2

2. Without prejudice to the arrangements in the Annex for the implementation of actions, the programme is intended for young people aged between 13 and 30.

2. Without prejudice to the arrangements in the Annex for the implementation of actions, the programme is intended for young people aged between 13 and 30. However, the main target group should be young people aged 15-28.

Justification

The scope of the programme (previously confined to the 15-25 age group) should be extended, in the interests of greater flexibility and so as to adapt it to the changing characteristics of youth. Nonetheless, account should be taken for exceptional circumstances and actions of the maximum limit of 30 and the minimum threshold of 13.

Amendment 24

Article 6, paragraph 5

5. The participating countries shall take appropriate measures to remove obstacles to the mobility of participants, so that the latter have access to health care, retain their social protection and are able to travel and reside in the host country. This applies in particular to the rights of entry, residence and free movement. Countries participating in the programme shall, if necessary, take appropriate measures to ensure that beneficiaries from third countries are admitted to their territory.

5. The participating countries shall take appropriate measures to remove obstacles to the mobility of participants, so that the latter have access to health care, retain their social protection and are able to travel and reside in the host country. This applies in particular to the rights of entry, residence and free movement. Countries participating in the programme shall, if necessary, take appropriate measures to ensure that beneficiaries from third countries are admitted to their territory, so as to prevent any form of discrimination and provide assistance for people with disabilities.

Justification

Young people with disabilities are more often and extensively affected by mobility problems, so any discrimination should be prevented so as to enable all participants to have equal access to the programme activities.

Amendment 25

Article 6, paragraph 5

5. The participating countries shall take appropriate measures to remove obstacles to the mobility of participants, so that the latter have access to health care, retain their social protection and are able to travel and reside in the host country. This applies in particular to the rights of entry, residence and free movement. Countries participating in the programme shall, if necessary, take appropriate measures to ensure that beneficiaries from third countries are admitted to their territory.

5. The participating countries shall take appropriate measures to remove obstacles to the mobility of participants, so that the latter have access to health care, retain their social protection and are able to travel and reside in the host country. This applies in particular to the rights of entry, residence and free movement. Countries participating in the programme shall, if necessary, take appropriate measures to ensure that participants from third countries are admitted to their territory.

Justification

To do justice to the action programme’s aims of encouraging participation by young people and further development by them, the term ‘participants’ should be used in place of the present ‘beneficiaries’.

Amendment 26

Article 8, paragraph 3

3. The Commission and the participating countries shall take appropriate measures in order to promote the recognition of non-formal and informal education for young people, in particular via the issue of a national or European-level document or certificate recognising, in particular, the experience gained by the beneficiaries and attesting to the direct participation of the young people or youth workers in an action under the programme.

3. The Commission and the participating countries shall take appropriate measures in order to promote the recognition of non-formal and informal education for young people, in particular via the issue of a national or European-level document or certificate recognising, in particular, the experience gained by the beneficiaries and attesting to the direct participation of the young people or youth workers in an action under the programme. This aim may be reinforced by complementing other Community actions as provided for in Article 11.

Justification

To fulfil the aim of recognising non-formal and informal qualifications obtained by participation in voluntary activities, solidarity action, participation and exchange, forms of complementarity should be set up with – as provided for in Article 11 – other Community actions in the fields of education, training and culture and – as provided for in Article 12 – national policies and schemes.

Amendment 27

Article 8, paragraph 3 a (new)

3a. The Commission and participating countries shall consult the European Parliament, young people, youth organisations and other organisations entrusted with project implementation with a view to defining the programme’s aims and its evaluation.

Justification

As an additional measure when implementing the programme, the aim is to allow for increased involvement by young people in its evaluation and, by consulting Parliament and the other organisations concerned, secure a running review of the programme’s aims.

Amendment 28

Article 8, paragraph 6, point b), number (iii)

iii) it must have an appropriate infrastructure available, in particular with regard to ICT equipment and means of communication;

iii) it must have an appropriate infrastructure available, in particular with regard to ICT equipment and means of communication that are also compatible with the access requirements of people with disabilities;

Justification

To enable people with disabilities to have access to ICTs there often needs to be special provision to ensure that there is no discrimination as a result of restricted access.

Amendment 29

Article 8, paragraph 6, subparagraph (b) (iii) a (new)

(iii a) it must have staff who are sufficiently skilled in the field of youth work and youth policy and it must have the capacity to support the users of the programme;

Justification

The criteria for the national agencies should not be confined to technical and management capacities.

Amendment 30

Article 8, paragraph 6, point (b) (vi)

(vi) it must have sufficient financial guarantees (preferably from a public authority) and an administrative capacity in line with the volume of Community funds that it will have to manage.

(vi) it must have an administrative capacity in line with the volume of Community funds that it will have to manage.

Justification

The concept of ‘sufficient financial guarantees’ is too vague and will reduce the number of potential participants to the most powerful (large) bodies, bodies which will not necessarily prove most effective in achieving the desired political objective.

Amendment 31

Article 11, paragraph 3

3. The Commission and the Member States of the European Union shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture and sport.

 

3. The Commission and the Member States of the European Union shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture, sport, languages, social inclusion, gender equality and combating discrimination.

Justification

The programme actions which help to promote equality between the sexes and to combat discrimination are very important, in so far as they involve young people and may therefore help to bring about a change in attitudes. The Member States and the Commission must therefore make them as effective as possible.

These areas, already mentioned in paragraph 1 of the same Article, are of crucial importance and should be repeated in paragraph 3.

Amendment 32

Article 12, paragraph 1

1. The participating countries may be awarded a European label for national or regional actions similar to those in Article 4.

1. The participating countries may be awarded a European label for national, regional and local actions similar to those in Article 4.

Justification

Young people are particularly involved in democratic life and engaged in voluntary activities at the local authority level. It is precisely at the local level that forms of non-formal and informal learning occur.

Amendment 33

Article 13, paragraph 1

1. The budget for the implementation of this programme for the period referred to in Article 1 is hereby set at EUR 915 million.

1. The budget for the implementation of this programme for the period referred to in Article 1 is hereby set at EUR 1 128 million.

Justification

Europe’s young people have an active part to play. The rapporteur takes the view that the financial framework for implementing the programme in the context of the EU’s objectives for fulfilling the Lisbon Strategy and the European Youth Pact, while taking account of the EU’s enlargement phases, is inadequate. The positive outcome gained from the experience of the previous programme is likely to be curbed as a result.

Amendment 34

Article 14, paragraph 2

2. Pursuant to Article 176(2) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, the Commission may decide, depending on the characteristics of the beneficiaries and the nature of the actions, to exempt them from the verification of professional competences and qualifications for completing the action or work programme.

2. Pursuant to Article 176(2) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, the Commission may decide, depending on the characteristics of the beneficiaries and the nature of the actions, to exempt them from the verification of professional competences and qualifications for completing the action or work programme.. The Commission must respect the principle of proportionality in determining the requirements in relation to the amount of financial support, taking account of the characteristics of the recipients, their age, the nature of the action and the amount of financial support.

Justification

It is important that, rather than gearing the substance of the youth programme to the administrative requirements, the administrative requirements should be geared to the aim and target group of the programme.

Amendment 35

Article 14, paragraph 3 a (new)

3a. Funding approved for projects shall be paid by the Commission within two months as a rule, and at most three months, of granting approval.

Justification

To optimise procedures, speed up completion of projects supported and further reduce red tape for the programme, approved funding should be cleared and paid out as promptly as possible.

Amendment 36

Annex, Action 1, paragraph 1a

 

The indicative financial endowment for Action 1 should total not less than 30 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

Justification

We need to consider whether the weighting of budget funds for the various actions reflects the need. Here the opportunities for increasing the efficiency of some actions need taking into account. In the new Commission proposal Action 1 takes a 35 % share of total costs, and Action 2 takes 33 %. The rapporteur proposes in this context indicative values for minimum funding of Actions 1-5. Since Action 1 is likely to reach a larger number of young people and provides better support for disadvantaged young people, such as those with disabilities, this is also where the programme’s main focus should lie. Hence Action 1 should receive a larger share, of at least 30 % of total costs. For Action 2 in the new Youth programme a relatively small share is sufficient, especially as Action 3 is on the same lines. Moreover Action 5 should obtain a larger share (at least 4 %) for funding the European Youth Week initiative. Action 5 should receive at least 15 %, with 4 % for Action 3.

Amendment 37

ANNEX, ACTION 1, point 1.1, paragraph 4 a (new)

Preparatory and follow-up activities, particularly in the linguistic and intercultural fields, intended to increase the active participation of young people in projects, are supported under this action.

Justification

In order to create equal opportunities, it is important that the preparation of and follow-up to projects should also be supported so that not only the most privileged young people can take part.

Amendment 38

Annex, Action 1, point 1.2, paragraph 1

This measure supports projects where young people participate actively and directly in activities of their own devising in which they play the key roles, in order to develop their initiative, enterprise and creativity. In principle, it is for young people aged between 18 and 30, although certain initiatives may admit young people from the age of 16, as long as appropriate supervision is provided.

This measure supports projects where young people participate actively and directly in activities of their own devising in which they play the key roles, in order to develop their initiative, enterprise and creativity. In principle, it is for young people aged between 16 and 30.

Justification

The age range of 18-30 for youth initiatives seems to conflict with the aims and main target group for this Action. The restricted participation of 16-17-year-olds, possible only with supervision, should be dropped.

Amendment 39

Annex, Action 1, point 1.3, paragraph 1

This measure supports young people’s participation in democratic life. These projects and activities encourage the active participation of young people in the life of their local, regional or national community.

This measure supports young people’s participation in democratic life. These projects and activities encourage the active participation of young people in the life of their local, regional or national community and at the international level.

Justification

Participative democracy should also be supported at the European and international level.

Amendment 40

Annex, Action 2, paragraph 1 a (new)

 

The indicative financial endowment for Action 2 should total not less than 23 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

Justification

We need to consider whether the weighting of budget funds for the various actions reflects the need. Here the opportunities for increasing the efficiency of some actions need taking into account. In the new Commission proposal Action 1 takes a 35 % share of total costs, and Action 2 takes 33 %. The rapporteur proposes in this context indicative values for minimum funding of Actions 1-5. Since Action 1 is likely to reach a larger number of young people and provides better support for disadvantaged young people, such as those with disabilities, this is also where the programme’s main focus should lie. Hence Action 1 should receive a larger share, of at least 30 % of total costs. For Action 2 in the new Youth programme a relatively small share is sufficient, especially as Action 3 is on the same lines. Moreover Action 5 should obtain a larger share (at least 4 %) for funding the European Youth Week initiative. Action 5 should receive at least 15 %, with 4 % for Action 3.

Amendment 41

ANNEX, ACTION 2, point 2.2, paragraph 1

This measure supports volunteer projects with the same characteristics as those described in point 2.1 above which allow groups of young people to take part collectively in European-level or international-level activities in the fields of culture, sport, civil protection, the environment, development aid, etc.

This measure supports volunteer projects with the same characteristics as those described in point 2.1 above which allow groups of young people to take part collectively in activities organised at local, regional, national, European or international level.

Justification

The purpose of the Youth programme is informal learning and gaining instructive experience.

Amendment 42

ANNEX, ACTION 2, point 2.2, paragraph 3

Depending on the tasks to be implemented and the situation in which the volunteers are deployed, certain types of project may call for the selection of candidates with specific skills.

deleted

Justification

The possibility of selecting candidates with certain skills does not accord with the objective of the programme.

Amendment 43

ANNEX, ACTION 3, title

Action 3 - Youth of the world

Action 3 - Youth in the world

Justification

Linguistic improvement. The English version reads 'Youth of the World', whereas the Dutch version has 'Jeugd voor de wereld' [Youth for the World]. Replacing them with 'Youth in the World' in all language versions would give a clearer impression of what Action 3 involves.

Amendment 44

Annex, Action 3, paragraph 1 a (new)

 

The indicative financial endowment for Action 3 should total not less than 4 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

Justification

We need to consider whether the weighting of budget funds for the various actions reflects the need. Here the opportunities for increasing the efficiency of some actions need taking into account. In the new Commission proposal Action 1 takes a 35 % share of total costs, and Action 2 takes 33 %. The rapporteur proposes in this context indicative values for minimum funding of Actions 1-5. Since Action 1 is likely to reach a larger number of young people and provides better support for disadvantaged young people, such as those with disabilities, this is also where the programme’s main focus should lie. Hence Action 1 should receive a larger share, of at least 30 % of total costs. For Action 2 in the new Youth programme a relatively small share is sufficient, especially as Action 3 is on the same lines. Moreover Action 5 should obtain a larger share (at least 4 %) for funding the European Youth Week initiative. Action 5 should receive at least 15 %, with 4 % for Action 3.

Amendment 45

Annex, Action 3, point 3.1, paragraph 1

This measure supports projects with the programme partner countries adjacent to the countries of the enlarged Europe

This measure supports projects with the programme partner countries that are each considered neighbourhood countries under the provisions of the Union’s European neighbourhood policy pursuant to Article 5(2).1

___________

 

¹ Without prejudice to future developments, the neighbouring countries considered are Belarus, Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia.

______________

1 Without prejudice to future developments, the neighbouring countries considered are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia.

Justification

The rapporteur favours including the southern Caucasus countries in the action programme and recommends specifying the partner countries as those designated as neighbourhood countries under the European neighbourhood policy, to ensure topicality and flexibility.

There is a need to update the reference and the list in the footnote in order to include all European Neighbourhood Policy countries.

Amendment 46

Annex, Action 4, paragraph 1a

 

The indicative financial endowment for Action 4 should total not less than 15 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

Justification

We need to consider whether the weighting of budget funds for the various actions reflects the need. Here the opportunities for increasing the efficiency of some actions need taking into account. In the new Commission proposal Action 1 takes a 35 % share of total costs, and Action 2 takes 33 %. The rapporteur proposes in this context indicative values for minimum funding of Actions 1-5. Since Action 1 is likely to reach a larger number of young people and provides better support for disadvantaged young people, such as those with disabilities, this is also where the programme’s main focus should lie. Hence Action 1 should receive a larger share, of at least 30 % of total costs. For Action 2 in the new Youth programme a relatively small share is sufficient, especially as Action 3 is on the same lines. Moreover Action 5 should obtain a larger share (at least 4 %) for funding the European Youth Week initiative. Action 5 should receive at least 15 %, with 4 % for Action 3.

Amendment 47

ANNEX, ACTION 4, point 4.1, paragraph 6 a (new)

6a. A users guide explaining clearly the legal rights and obligations when accepting an awarded grant should be made available by the Commission.

Justification

It is very difficult for youth organisations with young people to grasp all the legal consequences of signing a granting contract and it has in the past lead to small mistakes with no intention of fraud but with serious consequences (such as withdrawal of the grants). The Commission should give a clear users guide to them in order to avoid these mistakes and ensure more security to the selected bodies.

Amendment 48

ANNEX, ACTION 4, point 4.1, paragraph 7 a (new)

In the interest of the sustainability and continuity of youth organisations founded in accordance with Decision No 790/2004/EC, the minimum annual allocation under Action 4.1 shall be EUR 2.6 million.

Justification

To increase the number of participants and safeguard the further establishment of the Youth in Action programme, facilities operating at European level in the youth area should be allocated the funding required for the purpose.

Amendment 49

Annex, Action 4, point 4.2, paragraph 2

The eligible expenditure of the European Youth Forum comprises operating costs and expenses for carrying out its actions. In view of the need to ensure the continuity of the European Youth Forum, the programme resources shall be allocated in accordance with the following guideline: the annual resources allocated to the European Youth Forum shall not be less than EUR 2 million.

The eligible expenditure of the European Youth Forum comprises operating costs and expenses for carrying out its actions. In view of the need to ensure the continuity of the European Youth Forum, the programme resources shall be allocated in accordance with the following guideline: the annual resources allocated to the European Youth Forum shall not be less than EUR 2.2 million.

Justification

The rapporteur takes the view that to safeguard the effective continuance of the European Youth Forum as the umbrella organisation for youth organisations in accordance with Parliament’s report A5-0358/2003, the minimum annual funding should be set at EUR 2.2 million.

Amendment 50

Annex, action 4, point 4.5, paragraph 2

This measure supports information and communication targeting young people by improving their access to relevant information and communication services in order to increase their participation in public life and facilitate the realisation of their potential as active, responsible citizens. To this end, support is given to activities at European and national level which improve young people’s access to information and communication services and increase the provision of quality information and the participation of young people in the preparation and dissemination of information.

 

This measure contributes in particular to the development of European, national, regional and local youth portals for the dissemination of specific information for young people through all kinds of information channels, particularly those most frequently used by young people. It can also support measures which promote the involvement by young people in the preparation and dissemination of understandable, user-friendly and targeted information products and advice, so as to improve the quality of the information and access for all young people.

This measure supports information and communication targeting young people by improving their access to relevant information and communication services in order to increase their participation in public life and facilitate the realisation of their potential as active, responsible citizens. To this end, support is given to activities at European and national level which improve young people’s access to information and communication services and increase the provision of quality information and the participation of young people in the preparation and dissemination of information.

 

This measure contributes in particular to the development of European, national, regional and local youth portals for the dissemination of specific information for young people through all kinds of information channels, particularly those most frequently used by young people. It can also support measures which promote the involvement by young people in the preparation and dissemination of understandable, user-friendly and targeted information products and advice, so as to improve the quality of the information and access for all young people. Gender equality and inclusive language must be included explicitly and clearly in all publications.

Justification

Essential to develop understanding about equality challenges.

Amendment 51

Annex, Action 5, paragraph 1 a

 

The indicative financial endowment for Action 5 should total not less than 4 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

Justification

We need to consider whether the weighting of budget funds for the various actions reflects the need. Here the opportunities for increasing the efficiency of some actions need taking into account. In the new Commission proposal Action 1 takes a 35 % share of total costs, and Action 2 takes 33 %. The rapporteur proposes in this context indicative values for minimum funding of Actions 1-5. Since Action 1 is likely to reach a larger number of young people and provides better support for disadvantaged young people, such as those with disabilities, this is also where the programme’s main focus should lie. Hence Action 1 should receive a larger share, of at least 30 % of total costs. For Action 2 in the new Youth programme a relatively small share is sufficient, especially as Action 3 is on the same lines. Moreover Action 5 should obtain a larger share (at least 4 %) for funding the European Youth Week initiative. Action 5 should receive at least 15 %, with 4 % for Action 3.

Amendment 52

Annex, Action 5, point 5.1 a (new)

 

5.1a. European Youth Week

 

In this context European Youth Week becomes a regular and permanent event as a set part of European youth policy. The following activities should take place on a centralised and decentralised basis as part of European Youth Week:

 

– information on the work of the European institutions;

 

– activities enabling young people to inform MEPs of their concerns;

 

a prize-giving for the best youth projects promoted by the Youth programme.

Justification

To make a success of European Youth Week the rapporteur suggests establishing this event as a regular fixture and a set part of European youth policy. To this end she proposes incorporating European Youth Week in the action programme under Action 5, and calls for an increased share of the programme’s total costs for this sector (at least 4 %).

Amendment 53

Annex, Action 6, point 1 a (new)

 

In order to present good practices and model projects, a database shall be established containing information about existing ideas concerning youth activities at European level.

Justification

The programme is based on the idea that successful model projects should be presented to inspire local initiatives, but no database concerning such successful projects exists.

(1)

Not yet published in OJ.


JUSTIFICATION

Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on creating the Youth In Action programme for the period 2007-2013

The successor to the current action programme for youth, entitled ‘Youth in Action’, covers the period 2007-2013.

The Commission proposal provides for a simpler and more flexible programme than its predecessor, open to young people between 13 and 30 in the Member States and third countries.

The programme’s aims are described as follows:

· promoting young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular,

· developing young people’s solidarity, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union,

· fostering mutual understanding between peoples through young people,

· contributing to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field,

· promoting European cooperation in youth policy.

The programme proposal comprises the following five actions, with a total appropriation of EUR 915 million:

Action

Commission proposal

1 ‘Youth for Europe’

EUR 310 million

2 ‘European Voluntary Service’

EUR 291.5 million

3 ‘Youth of the World’

EUR 60 million

4 ‘Youth workers and support systems’

EUR 198.9 million

5 ‘Support for policy cooperation’

EUR 20.151 million

RAPPORTEUR’S COMMENTS AND AMENDMENTS

The rapporteur supports the Commission proposal as it will make an important contribution to the active citizenship of young people in society and thus enhance their feeling of being part of Europe, so that it is likely to deliver substantial European added value.

Compared to its predecessor the new Youth programme has been significantly simplified, such as in its more flexible approach and the reduction of red tape in the application for funding, reflecting one of Parliament’s demands. The programme will also now be funded by only one instead of the previous four budget lines.

A further positive aspect is the strengthening of informal education in the broadest sense, thus integrating it in the Lisbon Process. This is also emphasised by the initiative of heads of state and government to form a ‘European youth pact’ to fight youth unemployment and ageing in society in Europe, in order to give precedence to young citizens when implementing the Lisbon objectives.

The rapporteur welcomes the fact that the drafting of this proposal was preceded by an objective interim evaluation and widely ranging consultation process, in accordance with the common objectives in the White Paper on youth policy(1) (2001).

She also welcomes the fact that young people from a larger number of countries can take part in the measures for the new action programme as part of the target group. In particular, she welcomes the fact that the programme has been opened up to the new neighbourhood countries, and the ‘Youth of the World’ action, reflecting one of Parliament’s demands.

The rapporteur proposes the following amendments:

The rapporteur points out that the problematical term ‘youth worker’, or ‘Sozialpädagogischer Betreuer’ in German, should be replaced throughout the text of the action programme by the term ‘qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations’, as the present term means different things in different countries. She would also like to introduce other terminological changes, such as using gender-neutral terminology in the text of the legal basis, and replacing the term ‘beneficiaries’ throughout the text by ‘participants’.

The young people of Europe have an active role to play. The rapporteur takes the view that the financial framework for implementing the programme is inadequate, bearing in mind that the EU has set itself the aims of implementing the Lisbon strategy objectives and the European Youth Pact and extending the age range of the participants, and taking account of enlargement of the EU.

The rapporteur also proposes questioning whether the weighting of the budget funds for the individual actions reflects actual needs. At the same time, opportunities to increase the efficiency of individual actions need taking into account. In the new Commission proposal Action 1 takes 35 % of total costs and Action 2 takes 33 %.

In this context of the rapporteur is proposing indicative minimum values for funding Actions 1 to 5.

Since Action 1 is likely to reach a greater number of young people and provides better support for disadvantaged young people, such as people with disabilities, this should also be the programme’s main emphasis. So Action 1 should receive a higher share of at least 30 % of total costs. For Action 2 in the new youth programme a relatively small share is sufficient, particularly as Action 3 is on the same lines.

Again, Action 5 should receive a higher share (at least 4 %) for funding the ‘European Youth Week’ initiative. Action 4 should receive at least 15 %, with Action 3 taking 4 %.

The rapporteur takes the view that to secure the effective continuance of the European Youth Forum as the umbrella organisation for youth organisations, in accordance with Parliament’s report A5-0358/2003, the annual funding should be set at least EUR 2.2 million.

To increase the number of participants and further establish the Youth in Action programme, establishments operating at European level in the youth area should be allocated the necessary funding. The minimum annual allocation for this purpose under Action Programme 4.1 should be EUR 2.3 million.

The rapporteur is also proposing that in addition to continuing support for youth exchange, that also be support for interactive and innovative youth seminars, in so far as they have some relevance to local, national and European issues affecting European citizenship and social and political commitment.

With a view to the success of European Youth Week, the rapporteur suggests establishing this event as a regular and permanent fixture as a set part of European youth policy.

To this end the rapporteur proposes incorporating European Youth Week in the action programme under Action 5 and calls for an increased share of the total costs of the action programme for this action (minimum 4 %).

Accordingly the following activities should take place within the framework of European Youth Week on a centralised and decentralised basis:

· information on the work of European institutions;

· activities to enable young people to inform MEPs of their concerns;

· a prize-giving for the best youth projects promoted by the youth programme.

Some of the rapporteur’s amendments deal with the need to ensure that young people with disadvantages can participate in the programme on equal terms, and hence to exclude any kind of discrimination.

Furthermore the aims of the programme should be extended to include support for linguistic diversity and promote the participation of young people in the democratic life of Europe, so as to take account of Article III-282(1)(e) of the draft treaty for a European Constitution.

The rapporteur recommends adding an extra point for the provision of informal education opportunities and the opening up of innovative possibilities for the exercise of active citizenship.

To increase the efficiency of the European Voluntary Service, the rapporteur proposes setting a minimum period of two months as the general rule. The Voluntary Service must not be extended to become an alternative to community service.

She welcomes the inclusion of the southern Caucasus states in the action programme and recommends defining the partner countries in accordance with the designated labour countries under the European Neighbourhood policy, to safeguard topicality and flexibility.

The rapporteur proposes that Parliament, young people, youth organisations and other organisations involved in the implementation of projects should in view of the definition of the programme’s aims be consulted on its evaluation.

She supports and accepts some recommendations made in the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 17 November 2004, pointing to a greater role for the local and regional level, since it is here that young people prove themselves as active citizens and participate in social and political life.

To optimise procedures for speeding up the timing of projects that are promoted, and make the programme still less bureaucratic, the rapporteur proposes ensuring that agreed funding is cleared for payment and paid out as speedily as possible.

(1)

Commission White Paper, COM(2001) 681.


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (1.9.2005)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme for the period 2007-2013

(COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

Draftsperson: Miguel Portas

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The draftsperson welcomes the Commission proposal for a new "Youth in Action" programme for the period 2007-2013.

The interim evaluation of the "Youth" programme by the Commission showed that it had not only been very popular but that it had also had a real impact. However, the evaluation pointed out a need to update the programme in order to take into account new trends in the youth and better meet the expectations of the target groups. Also, the need for simplification was highlighted. In February 2004, the European Parliament called on the Commission to develop an independent follow-up programme for the "Youth" action programme, with sufficient financial resources to meet the growing demands in the youth policy area.

The draftsperson particularly welcomes the Commission's proposal's aim to open the programme more to the Third countries, through the youth exchange in the framework of the European Voluntary Service and its action "Youth of the World", which seeks to contribute to the mutual understanding and active engagement of the young through promoting an open-minded approach to the world. These actions support projects with the Union's neighbouring countries(1) and co-operation with the Third countries in the youth field. The draftsperson wants to ensure that the programme would be opened to all countries that are covered by the Union's neighbourhood policy in addition to neighbour such as Russia. At present, the proposal does not include Libya and the Southern Caucasian countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia).

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission(2)  Amendments by Parliament

Amendment 1

Recital 15 a (new)

 

(15a) Steps should be taken to gradually open the programme to all countries included in the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Justification

The actions "Youth of the World" and the European Voluntary Service are at present open to some Third Countries (EFTA states, which are members of the EEA, accession countries benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, Western Balkans countries, the Russian Federation and the majority of the European Neighbourhood Policy countries), but it should be extended to cover all ENP countries, subject to the conclusion of the relevant agreements with these countries.

Amendment 2

Article 2, paragraph 1, point (e a) (new)

 

(ea) to develop non-formal learning and the EU lifelong learning strategy;

Amendment 3

Article 2, paragraph 1, point (e b) (new)

 

(eb) to reduce social exclusion amongst young people.

Amendment 4

Article 5, paragraph 2 a (new)

 

2a. The Commission shall gradually open the actions listed in points 2.1, 2.2 and 3 of the Annex to all countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, subject to the conclusion of the relevant agreements between the Community and the countries concerned.

Justification

The actions "Youth of the World" and the European Voluntary Service are at present open to some Third Countries (EFTA states, which are members of the EEA, accession countries benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, Western Balkans countries, the Russian Federation and the majority of the European Neighbourhood Policy countries), but it should be extended to cover all ENP countries, subject to the conclusion of the relevant agreements with these countries.

Amendment 5

Article 6, paragraph 4

4. All young people, without discrimination, must be able to have access to the activities of the programme, subject to the provisions of the Annex. The Commission and the partner countries will ensure that particular efforts are made with regard to young people who, for educational, social, physical, psychological, economic, cultural or geographical reasons, have particular difficulties taking part in the programme.

4. All young people, without discrimination and without prejudice to the legal status of the parents of children aged 18 or under, must be able to have access to the activities of the programme, subject to the provisions of the Annex. The Commission and the partner countries will ensure that particular efforts are made with regard to young people who, for educational, social, physical, psychological, economic, cultural or geographical reasons, have particular difficulties taking part in the programme.

Justification

The immigrants' children, or children of any other person without or in the process of getting a specific legal status, should not be discriminated or excluded because of their parents' legal status. Their exclusion from the programme would not only have personal negative consequences but would also hamper the combating of social and ethnic exclusion, marginalisation and put certain young people in particular risk.

Amendment 6

Article 7

The programme is also open to cooperation with international organisations with authority in the field of youth, in particular the Council of Europe.

The programme is also open to cooperation with international organisations with authority in the field of youth, in particular the Council of Europe, the United Nations or its specialised agencies.

Justification

Provision must be made for cooperation with the UN and its specialised agencies. Many states throughout the world hope the EU will be constructively engaged at international level alongside the UN.

Amendment 7

Article 8, paragraph 5

5. The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised.

5. The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised by means including the press, radio and public and private television.

Justification

Provision must be made for cooperation with the UN and its specialised agencies. Many states throughout the world hope the EU will be constructively engaged at international level alongside the UN.

Amendment 8

Article 8, paragraph 6, point (b), point (vi a) (new)

 

(vi a) it must have competence in the youth field and the capacity to develop a supportive approach.

Amendment 9

Article 11, paragraph 3

3. The Commission and the Member States of the European Union shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture and sport.

3. The Commission and the Member States of the European Union shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture, sport, languages, social inclusion, gender equality and combating discrimination.

Justification

These areas, already mentioned in paragraph 1 of the same Article, are of crucial importance and should be repeated in paragraph 3.

Amendment 10

Article 15, paragraph 4, point (c a) (new)

 

(ca) the results of random sampling of projects financed under each action to assess whether they accord with the objectives of the programme.

Justification

Too many projects receiving funding fail to achieve the expected results in the absence of ex post evaluation to examine not only the regularity of the accounts but, above all, the objectives achieved and, hence, whether the expenditure served a useful purpose.

Amendment 11

Annex, Action 1, point 1.3, paragraph 1

This measure supports young people’s participation in democratic life. These projects and activities encourage the active participation of young people in the life of their local, regional or national community.

This measure supports young people’s participation in democratic life. These projects and activities encourage the active participation of young people in the life of their local, regional or national community and at the international level.

Justification

Participative democracy should also be supported at the European and international level.

Amendment 12

Annex, Action 1, point 1.3, paragraph 2 a (new)

 

Funding for participative democracy projects may not be less than 25% of total funding under Action 1.

Justification

Action 1 - Youth for Europe - comprises youth exchanges, support for young people’s initiatives and participative democracy projects. Funding for the last of the three should be increased, as active experience of democracy lies at the heart of this action and should not attract only the token funding proposed by the Commission.

Amendment 13

Annex, Action 3, paragraph 1 a (new)

 

Funding for Action 3 may not be less than 15% of total funding.

Justification

Action 3 should receive a larger share of funding in relation to Actions 1 and 2. Ensuring this European action has a high profile in third countries strengthens and highlights the role of the European Union, which in turn enhances Europe's prestige and the confidence placed in its activities by the international community.

Amendment 14

Annex, Action 3, point 3.1, paragraph 1

This measure supports projects with the programme partner countries adjacent to the countries of the enlarged Europe¹.

This measure supports projects with the programme partner countries adjacent to the countries of the enlarged Europe1 pursuant to Article 5(2).

___________

¹ Without prejudice to future developments, the neighbouring countries considered are Belarus, Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia.

______________

1 Without prejudice to future developments, the neighbouring countries considered are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia.

Justification

There is a need to update the reference and the list in the footnote in order to include all European Neighbourhood Policy countries.

PROCEDURE

Title

Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme for the period 2007-2013

References

COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD)

Committee responsible

CULT

Committee asked for its opinion
  Date announced in plenary

AFET
15.9.2004

Enhanced cooperation

 

Draftsman
  Date appointed

Miguel Portas
13.9.2004

Discussed in committee

21.7.2005

29.8.2005

 

 

 

Date amendments adopted

30.8.2005

Result of final vote

for:

against:

abstentions:

56

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Angelika Beer, Panagiotis Beglitis, Monika Beňová, André Brie, Elmar Brok, Ryszard Czarnecki, Véronique De Keyser, Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos, Camiel Eurlings, Anna Elzbieta Fotyga, Ana Maria Gomes, Alfred Gomolka, Klaus Hänsch, Richard Howitt, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Jelko Kacin, Ioannis Kasoulides, Helmut Kuhne, Joost Lagendijk, Vytautas Landsbergis, Cecilia Malmström, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Francisco José Millán Mon, Pasqualina Napoletano, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Vural Öger, Cem Özdemir, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Alojz Peterle, Tobias Pflüger, João de Deus Pinheiro, Mirosław Mariusz Piotrowski, Paweł Bartłomiej Piskorski, Bernd Posselt, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Libor Rouček, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jacek Emil Saryusz-Wolski, Gitte Seeberg, Marek Maciej Siwiec, Hannes Swoboda, István Szent-Iványi, Geoffrey Van Orden, Ari Vatanen, Luis Yañez-Barnuevo García, Josef Zieleniec

Substitutes present for the final vote

Alexandra Dobolyi, Árpád Duka-Zólyomi, Carlo Fatuzzo, Giovanni Claudio Fava, Alexander Lambsdorff, Rihards Pīks, Aloyzas Sakalas, Inger Segelström, Alexander Stubb, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi

Substitutes under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

(1)

The proposal supports the opening of the programme to projects with the following partner countries: Belarus, Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia.

(2)

Not yet published in OJ.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (13.9.2005)

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision creating the ‘Youth in Action’ programme for the period 2007-2013

(COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

Draftswoman: Ingeborg Gräßle

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

CONTEXT

In its Communication on the Financial Perspective 2007-2013(1), the Commission proposes the inclusion of the new ‘Youth in Action’ programme under heading 3 (Citizenship), the heading in the Financial Perspective with the most modest level of funding (EUR 24 705 million). Youth measures form part of the policy area dealing with the promotion of culture and European citizenship, which accounts for only 15 % of the total budget for the heading referred to above.

The most recent European Council which dealt with the Lisbon Strategy acknowledged the importance of utilising more fully the human potential embodied by European youth and adopted a European Youth Pact covering employment, integration, social advancement, education, training and the family(2).

COMMISSION PROPOSAL

In July 2004, the Commission adopted a proposal for a decision seeking to introduce a new programme for youth, ‘Youth in Action’, which would cover the period 2007-2013 and be governed by the codecision procedure.

The main objectives of that proposal are as follows: promoting young people’s active citizenship; developing young people’s solidarity; fostering mutual understanding between peoples through young people; contributing to developing the quality of support systems and organisations for youth activities; and promoting European cooperation in youth policy.

With a view to achieving these general objectives, the Commission is proposing the following five measures:

(1) Youth for Europe: support for exchanges, mobility and initiatives for young people and their projects for participating in democratic life (EUR 310 million);

(2) European Voluntary Service: support for measures to develop young people’s solidarity and mutual understanding among young people (EUR 291.5 million);

(3) Youth of the world: an innovative measure designed to open up the programme to projects with the neighbouring countries of the enlarged Europe and to cooperation in the youth field with other third countries which are partners in the programme (EUR 60 million);

(4) Youth workers and support systems: support for youth organisations active at European level, in particular youth NGOs and the European Youth Forum. This measure takes over the existing arrangements, with a minimum level of cofinancing from non-Community resources of 20 % in both cases and a minimum annual allocation to the European Youth Forum of EUR 2 million (EUR 198.9 million);

(5) Support for policy cooperation: support for structured dialogue between young people and those responsible for youth policy (EUR 20 million).

According to the Commission proposal, the cost of the new programme totals EUR 915 million, broken down as follows (EUR 000):

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total

Commitment appropriations

111 000

126 000

128 000

131 000

133 000

141 000

145 000

915 000

Payment appropriations

103 997

109 079

119 159

124 242

124 328

129 417

204 778

915 000

Of the total amount of EUR 915 million, EUR 880.5 million will be earmarked for operating expenditure and EUR 34.4 million for administrative expenditure, of which EUR 27.135 million will be used to fund the executive agency.

The programme will mainly be managed on a decentralised basis, with the management of some measures delegated either to national agencies or an executive agency. Some measures will still be managed by the Commission.

With a view to facilitating management of the programme, the Commission is proposing derogations from the current Financial Regulation and its Implementing Provisions.

The new proposal simplifies the legal framework by combining the two existing legal bases(3).

REMARKS

Your draftswoman welcomes the Commission proposal, particularly as regards the simplification it brings about. With that in mind, she looks to the Commission to improve transparency and consistency in connection with the implementation of the programme, in particular at a decentralised level.

Despite the innovative measures put forward by the Commission, the proposal could be improved in a number of ways:

(1) - In view of the target group, simpler, more flexible procedures are needed in order to facilitate access to the programme. Accordingly, an amendment to Article 8.6(b) and a new paragraph 6(da) are being proposed.

(2) - A comprehensive database is needed with a view to cutting red tape, thereby speeding up the selection process and making it more effective. Accordingly, a new paragraph 7a in Article 8 is being proposed.

(3) - As regards comitology, if the procedure is to be effective the approach traditionally advocated by the Committee on Budgets, the advisory procedure, must be retained. Accordingly, an amendment to Article 10(2) is being proposed; it is a horizontal amendment which also affects Articles 9(1) and 16 and point 7 of the annex.

(4) - Your draftswoman regrets the modest budget proposed by the Commission, which will amount to no more than 3.7 % of the new heading 3, despite the acknowledged added value and the effective implementation of the programme. Attention should be drawn to the contradiction between the budget proposed and the Union’s political commitment to young people in the form of the Youth Pact. However, it should be stressed that the amount indicated in Article 13 must be regarded as purely indicative until such time as an agreement has been concluded on the Financial Perspective. Accordingly, amendments are being proposed to the motion for a resolution and to Article 13.

(5) - In the light of the extremely complicated and slow procedures laid down by the Financial Regulation, the Commission is proposing derogations designed to facilitate the implementation of the programme. Given that the procedure for the revision of the Financial Regulation is in its early stages, a revision whose objective is to establish more flexible procedures more readily accessible to the recipients of funding, amendments are being proposed to Recital 21 and Article 14 deleting those derogations pending the revision of the Financial Regulation.

(6) - Your draftswoman regards democratic scrutiny in the form of appropriate monitoring and assessment of the programme as important. Accordingly, amendments are being proposed to Article 9, Article 10 and Article 15.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Draft legislative resolution

Amendment 1

Paragraph 1 a (new)

1a.      Makes clear that the appropriations indicated in the proposal for a decision are purely indicative and will be determined by the decision on the next multiannual financial framework;

Justification

The financial reference amount cannot be laid down until an agreement has been concluded on the Financial Perspective. Once such a decision has been adopted, the Commission will be required to submit a legislative proposal with a view to establishing financial reference amounts consistent with the relevant ceiling which forms part of the financial framework concerned.

Amendment 2

Paragraph 1 b (new)

1b.      Calls on the Commission, once the next multiannual financial framework has been adopted, and if appropriate, to submit a proposal for an adjustment of the financial reference amounts;

Justification

The financial reference amount cannot be laid down until an agreement has been concluded on the Financial Perspective. Once such a decision has been adopted, the Commission will be required to submit a legislative proposal with a view to establishing financial reference amounts consistent with the relevant ceiling which forms part of the financial framework concerned.

Proposal for a decision

Text proposed by the Commission(4)  Amendments by Parliament

Amendment 3

Recital 21

(21) It is necessary to provide for specific arrangements for the application of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 and its implementing measures, as well as for the derogations from these texts necessitated by the features of the beneficiaries and the nature of the actions.

Deleted

Justification

All references to this type of derogation should be deleted, given that the procedure for the revision of the Financial Regulation, the main aim of which is to establish more flexible procedures more readily accessible to the recipients of funding, is in its early stages.

Amendment 4

Article 8, paragraph 6, point (b) (vi)

(vi) it must have sufficient financial guarantees (preferably from a public authority) and an administrative capacity in line with the volume of Community funds that it will have to manage.

(vi) it must have an administrative capacity in line with the volume of Community funds that it will have to manage.

Justification

The concept of ‘sufficient financial guarantees’ is too vague and will reduce the number of potential participants to the most powerful (large) bodies, bodies which will not necessarily prove most effective in achieving the desired political objective.

Amendment 5

Article 8, paragraph 6, point (d a) (new)

 

(da) The principle of proportionality must be complied with as regards the documents and additional information to be supplied, in particular in connection with the criteria laid down in paragraphs 6(b)(vi) and 6(d).

Justification

The procedures need to be simplified in order to make them more flexible and to facilitate access to the programme.

Amendment 6

Article 8, paragraph 7 a (new)

 

7a. The Commission must set up a database for the documents referred to in paragraph 6(d).

Justification

The establishment of a comprehensive database is essential with a view to reducing the workload and to speeding up and increasing the transparency of the selection process, thereby making the programme more effective.

Amendment 7

Article 9, paragraph 2 a (new)

 

2a. The Commission must keep the European Parliament regularly and properly informed, particularly concerning the measures listed in paragraph 1.

Justification

It is important to maintain democratic scrutiny in the form of proper monitoring of the programme.

Amendment 8

Article 10, paragraph 2

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.

The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at two months.

Deleted

(This amendment applies throughout the legislative text under consideration; its adoption will necessitate technical changes throughout the text, in particular in Article 9(1), Article 16 and point 7 of the annex).

Justification

The advisory procedure is the traditional approach advocated by the Committee on Budgets with a view to ensuring that procedures are effective. This is a horizontal amendment which also affects Article 9(1), Article 16 and point 7 of the annex.

Amendment 9

Article 10, paragraph 4 a (new)

 

4a. The Commission must keep the European Parliament regularly and properly informed, particularly concerning the measures listed Article 9(1).

Justification

It is important to maintain democratic scrutiny in the form of appropriate monitoring of the programme.

Amendment 10

Article 13, paragraph 1

1. The budget for the implementation of this programme for the period referred to in Article 1 is hereby set at EUR 915 million.

 

1. The indicative budget for the implementation of this programme for the period of seven years from 1 January 2007, referred to in Article 1, is hereby set at EUR 1 128 million.

Justification

The Commission must take into account the conversion of the European Parliament position expressed at 2004 prices in the negotiations on the Financial Perspective. The amount decided by the Committee on Budgets will be adjusted as required following this conversion.

Moreover, the reference amount for the financial framework remains indicative until a decision is reached on the Financial Perspective. Once a decision has been reached, the Commission will be required to present a legislative proposal to set the reference amount taking account of the Financial Perspective ceiling (see the amendment to the legislative resolution).

Amendment 11

Article 14

Article 14

Deleted

[Financial provisions concerning the beneficiaries]

1. Pursuant to Article 114(1) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, natural persons may receive grants under the programme.

2. Pursuant to Article 176(2) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, the Commission may decide, depending on the characteristics of the beneficiaries and the nature of the actions, to exempt them from the verification of professional competences and qualifications for completing the action or work programme.

3. Depending on the nature of the action, the financial support may take the form of subsidies or scholarships. The Commission may also award prizes for actions or projects implemented under the programme. Pursuant to Article 181 of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, and depending on the nature of the action, flat-rate financing and/or the application of scales of unit costs may be authorised.

4. Operating grants awarded under this programme to organisations active at European level, as defined in Article 162 of Commission Regulation No 2342/2002, are not automatically decreased in accordance with Article 113(2) of Council Regulation No 1605/2002 in the event of renewal.

5. Pursuant to Article 54(2)(c) of Regulation 1605/2002, the Commission may entrust tasks of public authority and, in particular, budget implementation tasks to the structures referred to in Article 8(2).

6. Pursuant to Article 38(1) of Regulation No 2342/2002, the option in paragraph 5 above also applies to structures in the participating countries that are not governed by the law of the Member States or States of the European Economic Area (EEA) or the candidate countries.

 

Justification

All references to this type of derogation should be deleted, given that the procedure for the revision of the Financial Regulation, the main aim of which is to establish more flexible procedures more readily accessible to the recipients of funding, is in its early stages.

Amendment 12

Article 15, paragraphs 3 and 4

3. Participating countries shall submit to the Commission a report on the implementation of the programme by 30 June 2010 at the latest and a report on the impact of the programme by 30 June 2015 at the latest.

3. Participating countries shall submit to the Commission, three years after the adoption of the programme and three months after the end of the programme, a report on the impact of the programme and a report on the implementation of the programme.

4. The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

(a) an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme no later than 31 March 2011;

(b) a Communication on the continuation of this programme no later than 31 December 2011;

(c) an ex post evaluation report no later than 31 March 2016.

4. The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

(a) an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme three years after the adoption of the programme;

(b) a Communication on the continuation of this programme four years after the adoption of the programme;

(c) an ex post evaluation report on the implementation and outcome of the programme once the implementation of the programme has been completed.

Justification

Democratic scrutiny in the form of appropriate monitoring and assessment of the programme is essential.

PROCEDURE

Title

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision creating the ‘Youth in Action’ programme for the period 2007-2013

References

COM(2004)0471– C6-0096/2004– 2004/0152(COD)

Committee responsible

CULT

Committee asked for its opinion
  Date announced in plenary

BUDG
15.9.2004

Enhanced cooperation

 

Draftsman
  Date appointed

Ingeborg Gräßle
31.1.2005

Discussed in committee

13.7.2005

14.7.2005

 

 

 

Date amendments adopted

14.7.2005

Result of final vote

for:

against:

abstentions:

12

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Hynek Fajmon, Ingeborg Gräßle, Louis Grech, Catherine Guy-Quint, Jutta D. Haug, Anne E. Jensen, Sergej Kozlík, Wiesław Stefan Kuc, Vladimír Maňka, Wojciech Roszkowski, Helga Trüpel, Kyösti Tapio Virrankoski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg

Substitutes under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

 

14.7.2005

OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme for the period 2007-2013

(COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

Draftsman: Luis Francisco Herrero-Tejedor

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

General Objectives of the Programme:

The Draftsman generally welcomes the “Youth in Action” programme which gives opportunities to develop solidarity amongst young people and promotes an active citizenship. The current Youth programme included among its four general aims encouraging “young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity so that they may take an active role in society and, at the same time, to stimulate recognition of the value of informal education acquired within a European context”. The proposal presented by the Commission does not include this aim amongst its general aims (Article 2) but within the specific one of promoting the active citizenship of young people (Article 3.1.f).

In real terms this disappearance is observed in the disappearance from the proposal for a new programme of previous action 3.2 Future Capital, which encouraged the realisation of projects by ex-volunteers of the European Voluntary Service. This permitted the transferral of what had been learnt during the Voluntary Service to the local community through the planning of a personal project, including professional or business start up projects thereby promoting professional and entrepreneurial spirit. It is not clear to the Draftsman why this action is now not included in the new proposal.

Article 4(2) European Voluntary Service

'The aim of this action is to step up young people's participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the European Union.'

The annex contains a breakdown of the measures coming under this item that is not sufficiently clear and is not duly motivated in the proposal for a decision, despite the fact that the measures account for one third of the total resources set out in the Commission proposal. Specifically, the annex refers to:

'2.2. European voluntary service (groups)

This measure supports volunteer projects with the same characteristics as those described in point 2.1 above which allow groups of young people to take part collectively in European-level or international-level activities in the fields of culture, sport, civil protection, the environment, development aid, etc.

In principle, it is open to young people aged between 18 and 30.

Depending on the tasks to be implemented and the situation in which the volunteers are deployed, certain types of project may call for the selection of candidates with specific skills.'

It should be pointed out first of all that, contrary to the Commission's claims, the projects do not have the same characteristics. Given that they follow on from the current group EVS measures, the projects will be headed by a large coordinating organisation (which will not be conducive to participation by and partnership with local organisations), they are of short duration (and therefore will not have the educational impact of long EVS projects in terms of cultural adjustment, personal development, etc.), and they are expensive (around € 4 000 for a project lasting two months or so, as against € 4 500 for a six-month project).

The other possibility is for this action to cover the arrangement referred to in Article III-321 of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe(5); however, in view of the deadlines and pre-requisites for the establishment of the corps, it is unlikely to be operational in 2007.

The Commission should be asked for a more detailed explanation of why such a large amount of money has been allocated to this sub-action and to supply the findings of any studies (assessments of the impact of completed group EVS projects) that support its proposal.

Action 2 (European Voluntary Service) has been allocated a budget (€ 291 500) similar to that of Action 1 (Youth for Europe, € 310 000). Since Action 1 is not only able to reach a far greater number of young people, but is also more accessible for less-advantaged young people, the draftsman proposes that the indicative breakdown budget reflect this situation. A part of the budget for Action 2 should therefore be transferred to Action 1.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission(6)

 

Amendments by Parliament

Amendment by Maria Carlshamre

Amendment 1

Recital 2

The Treaty on European Union is based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

(2) The European Union is founded on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and equality between men and women, and the promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

Amendment 2 and 3

Article 3, paragraph 1, point (g)

g) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the least opportunities;

g) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the fewest opportunities, including young people with disabilities;

 

(This amendment applies throughout the text. Adopting it will necessitate corresponding changes throughout.)

Amendment 4

Article 6, paragraph 5

5. The participating countries shall take appropriate measures to remove obstacles to the mobility of participants, so that the latter have access to health care, retain their social protection and are able to travel and reside in the host country. This applies in particular to the rights of entry, residence and free movement. Countries participating in the programme shall, if necessary, take appropriate measures to ensure that beneficiaries from third countries are admitted to their territory.

5. The participating countries shall endeavour to take appropriate measures so that participants in the programme may have access to health care in accordance with the provisions of Community law. The Member State of origin shall endeavour to take appropriate measures so that participants in the European Voluntary Service may retain their social protection. The participating countries shall also endeavour as far as possible to adopt such measures as they deem necessary and desirable to remove legal and administrative obstacles to access to this programme.

Justification

The Commission's proposed wording implies that Member States would have to change systems, which can only be changed under other treaties and not under Article 149.

Amendment 5

Article 8, paragraph 5

5. The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised.

5. The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised. They will take appropriate measures to disseminate information through the use of the most appropriate tools and, with the aid of the National Agencies, target information about the programme towards smaller organisations, especially at regional and local level.

Justification

To enable greater participation, the draftsman asks that the visibility of the programme be increased through improving the quality of information available to young people and their access to it through the use of the most appropriate tools to disseminate information (in the case of young people this would be the TV, the Internet and mobile phones).

Asks also that the national agencies themselves take steps to ensure that information on the programme reaches those smaller organisations, particularly at regional and local level, in keeping with the spirit of increasing decentralisation.

PROCEDURE

Title

Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme for the period 2007-2013

References

COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD)

Committee responsible

CULT

Committee asked for its opinion
  Date announced in plenary

LIBE
15.9.2004

Enhanced cooperation

No

Draftsman
  Date appointed

Luis Francisco Herrero-Tejedor
5.10.2004

Discussed in committee

16.3.2005

13.6.2005

13.7.2005

 

 

Date amendments adopted

13.7.2005

Result of final vote

for:

against:

abstentions:

44

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Alexander Nuno Alvaro, Roberta Angelilli, Alfredo Antoniozzi, Edit Bauer, Kathalijne Maria Buitenweg, Giusto Catania, Charlotte Cederschiöld, Carlos Coelho, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Rosa Díez González, Antoine Duquesne, Kinga Gál, Lilli Gruber, Adeline Hazan, Lívia Járóka, Timothy Kirkhope, Magda Kósáné Kovács, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Stavros Lambrinidis, Henrik Lax, Sarah Ludford, Edith Mastenbroek, Jaime Mayor Oreja, Hartmut Nassauer, Bogdan Pęk, Lapo Pistelli, Martine Roure, Inger Segelström, Ioannis Varvitsiotis, Manfred Weber, Stefano Zappalà, Tatjana Ždanoka.

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Corbett, Panayiotis Demetriou, Gérard Deprez, Ignasi Guardans Cambó, Luis Francisco Herrero-Tejedor, Sophia in 't Veld, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Jean Lambert, Katalin Lévai, Antonio Masip Hidalgo, Herbert Reul, Marie-Line Reynaud, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides.

Substitutes under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Markus Pieper

23.6.2005

OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

for the Committee on Culture and Education

on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "Youth in action" programme for the period 2007-2013

(COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

Draftswoman: Piia-Noora Kauppi

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

1. Introduction

The proposal for the Youth in Action -programme for 2007-2013 has its legal basis in Article 149 of the EC Treaty, which states that Community action shall be aimed at "encouraging the development of youth exchanges and of exchanges of social-educational instructors."

The aim of the proposal is to promote solidarity and mobility among young Europeans in the EU and in the neighbouring areas. The objectives are detailed as:

- promoting young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular

- developing young people’s solidarity, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union

- fostering mutual understanding between peoples through young people

- contributing to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field

- promoting European cooperation in youth policy.

These objectives are to be pursued inside five programmes: "Youth for Europe" (exchanges and mobility), "European Voluntary Service" (active engagement), "Youth of the world" (neighbouring and third countries), "Youth workers and support systems" (support structures for young people), and "Support for policy cooperation" (cooperation on youth policy).

2. Summary of the proposal

The proposal carries forth the achievements of the current YOUTH-programme, which expires in 2006. It consolidates budgetary provisions and existing programmes in the field of youth, and simplifies the way projects are applied for, chosen and managed. It would thus create an increasingly visible and autonomous Youth-programme for the EU, with EUR 915 million earmarked for the period of the programme (2007-2013).

3. Assessment of the proposal

On the whole, the proposal builds on existing experience and seeks to strengthen the salience and efficiency of Community action in the important youth-domain. Its innovations are mainly in streamlining bureaucracy, and it can thereby enable EU programmes in this field to become more relevant and targeted for those actions in need of EU support.

However, a number of points deserve special attention. First, it is debatable whether the proposed sum of EUR 915 million is enough to support all the outlined objectives, especially for robust youth exchanges with other countries. Furthermore, the list of countries eligible to participate in the programmes, as listed in Article 5 paragraph 1, should be enlarged to include, for example, China and Russia.

What is more, the targets should not be prescribed in an overly a priori fashion: those that have a significant chance of contributing to important youth-aims (e.g. promoting youth exchanges and mobility for alleviating youth unemployment, or focusing on the disabled in order to support their employment-prospects) should emerge as priorities over some of the less operative target areas, such as increasing youth engagement in providing voluntary services. Local and cultural traditions should not be overlooked, and for example, predetermined age-limits and educational requirements should not dictate access to these measures (i.e. actions 2.2, 2.3, European Voluntary Service for groups and Cooperation between civil and volunteer services, respectively).

Likewise, projects under Action 4 (Youth workers and support systems), should not be overly directed from above. Instead, grassroots-level expertise in youth activities in Member States as well as established practitioners such as the European Youth Forum should be encouraged to take the lead in designating worthwhile and suitable projects.

Regarding the role of women in particular, it is to be hoped that projects financed under Youth in Action promote a thoroughly modern and empowering outlook. Young women are already more active than men in various voluntary projects; their greater participation in political life should now be a priority e.g. under Action 5 (Support for policy cooperation).

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls upon the Committee on Culture and Education, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission  Amendments by Parliament

Amendment 1

Article 2, paragraph 1, point (b)

(b) to develop solidarity among young people, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union;

 

(b) to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people in response to diversity, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union;

Justification

The European Union is highly diverse in cultural, religious, social and other terms. Social cohesion cannot be promoted unless young people are taught a number of principles - in particular solidarity and tolerance towards other people - as a way of helping attitudes to develop.

Amendment 2

Article 2, paragraph 1, point (d)

(d) to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field;

 

(d) to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and to improve the functioning and increase the capabilities of civil society organisations in order to enable the EU’s objectives in the youth field to be achieved;

Justification

A reference is required to the support afforded to the civil-society organisations which play a fundamental role in ensuring that the EU’s objectives in the youth field are achieved. According to Article 4(4) of the Decision, the purpose of actions relating to support systems and civil-society organisations is to ‘support bodies active at European level in the field of youth, in particular the operation of youth NGOs ....

Amendment 3

Article 2, paragraph 1, point (e a) (new)

 

(ea) to promote equality between women and men.

Amendment 4

Article 2, paragraph 2

2. The general objectives of the programme complement the objectives pursued in other areas of the European Union’s action, in particular in the field of education and vocational training in the context of a Europe of knowledge and of lifelong learning as well in in the fields of culture and sport.

 

 

2. The general objectives of the programme complement the objectives pursued in other areas of the European Union’s action, in particular in the field of education and vocational training in the context of a Europe of knowledge and of lifelong learning as well in in the fields of culture, sport, languages, social inclusion, gender equality, combating discrimination, research, enterprise and the Union’s external action.

Justification

This paragraph needs to be consistent with Article 11, which mentions areas of complementarity between the Youth in Action programme and other areas of Community action.

.

Amendment 5

Article 3, paragraph 1, point (g)

(g) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the least opportunities;

 

(g) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the least opportunities, in particular young people who are of immigrant origin or belong to a minority, and also young disabled people;

Justification

Young people who are of immigrant origin, who belong to an ethnic minority or who are disabled often have fewer opportunities for taking part in youth initiatives and programmes, for which reason particular attention should be devoted to them as a means of increasing the European Union’s social cohesion.

.

Amendment 6

Article 3, paragraph 1, point (h)

(h) ensuring that the principle of equality for men and women is respected in participation in the programme and that gender equality is fostered in the actions.

 

(h) ensuring that the principle of equality for men and women and action to combat all forms of discrimination are respected and promoted in participation in the programme.

 

Justification

Action to combat all forms of discrimination and the promotion of equality between men and women should be taken into account in the actions undertaken pursuant to the programme.

Amendment 7

Article 3, paragraph 2, introductory part

2. In the context of the general objective to develop solidarity among young people, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the Union:

2. In the context of the general objective to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people in response to diversity, in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the Union:

Justification

The European Union is highly diverse in cultural, religious, social and other terms. Social cohesion cannot be promoted unless young people are taught a number of principles - in particular solidarity and tolerance towards other people - as a way of helping attitudes to develop.

Amendment 8

Article 3, paragraph 2, point (c)

(c) contributing to the cooperation between the civil and voluntary services involving young people at national level.

deleted

Justification

The Youth in Action programme, and its objectives, should in no case be mixed with national civil service regimes. The former should not be allowed to develop into a substitute for the latter.

Amendment 9

Article 3, paragraph 4, introductory part

4. In the context of the general objective to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field:

4. In the context of the general objective to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and to improve the functioning and increase the capabilities of civil society organisations in order to enable the EU’s objectives in the youth field to be achieved:

Justification

A reference is required to the support afforded to the civil-society organisations which play a fundamental role in ensuring that the EU’s objectives in the youth field are achieved. According to Article 4(4) of the Decision, the purpose of actions relating to support systems and civil-society organisations is to ‘support bodies active at European level in the field of youth, in particular the operation of youth NGOs ...’

Amendment 10

Article 3, paragraph 4, point (d)

(d) contributing to the improvement of information for young people;

(d) contributing to the improvement of information for young people, in particular concerning the European Union and its policies, including those relating to young people, taking into account special challenges for young women in some Member States as well as the disabled;

Justification

The Youth in Action programme should help to improve young people’s knowledge of the European Union and of Community policies (including those relating to young people) with a view to promoting young people’s European citizenship, which is stated as an objective in Article 2.

Amendment 11

Article 4, point (3)

The aim of this action is to support projects with the partner countries mentioned in Article 5 below, in particular exchanges of young people and youth workers, and to support initiatives that reinforce young people’s mutual understanding, sense of solidarity and the development of cooperation in the field of youth and civil society in these countries.

 

The aim of this action is to support projects with the partner countries mentioned in Article 5 below, in particular exchanges of young people and youth workers, and to support initiatives that reinforce young people’s mutual understanding and sense of solidarity and tolerance and the development of cooperation in the field of youth and civil society in these countries.

Justification

The European Union is highly diverse in cultural, religious, social and other terms. Social cohesion cannot be promoted unless young people are taught a number of principles - in particular solidarity and tolerance towards other people - as a way of helping attitudes to develop.

.Amendment 12

Article 5, paragraph 1, point (e a) (new)

 

(ea) other EU partner countries

Justification

The list of countries eligible for the programmes should be as broad as possible. The formulation "partner countries" ensures both inclusiveness and flexible room for interpretation.

Amendment 13

Article 6, paragraph 4

4. All young people, without discrimination, must be able to have access to the activities of the programme, subject to the provisions of the Annex. The Commission and the partner countries will ensure that particular efforts are made with regard to young people who, for educational, social, physical, psychological, economic, cultural or geographical reasons, have particular difficulties taking part in the programme.

4. All young people, without discrimination, must be able to have access to the activities of the programme, subject to the provisions of the Annex. The Commission and the partner countries will ensure that particular efforts are made with regard to young people who, for educational, social, physical, psychological, economic, cultural, gender or geographical reasons, have particular difficulties taking part in the programme.

The Commission and countries participating in the programme shall also ensure balanced participation by women and men.

 

Justification

Efforts must also be made in order to ensure that girls are not prevented from participating for gender reasons.

Amendment 14

Article 8, paragraph 5

5. The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised.

 

5. The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised, in particular amongst the young people who have the fewest opportunities, including young people who are of immigrant origin or belong to a minority, and also young disabled people. They will take appropriate measures to disseminate information through the use of the most appropriate tools and, with the aid of the national agencies and existing youth information structures, target information about the programme towards those smaller organisations, especially at regional and local level.

Justification

Young people who are of immigrant origin, who belong to an ethnic minority or who are disabled often have fewer opportunities for taking part in youth initiatives and programmes, for which reason particular attention should be devoted to them as a means of increasing the European Union’s social cohesion.

To enable greater participation, the draftsman asks that the visibility of the programme be increased through improving the quality of information available to young people and their access to it through the use of the most appropriate tools to disseminate information (in the case of young people this would be the TV, the Internet and mobile phones).

Asks also that the national agencies themselves take steps to ensure that information on the programme reaches those smaller organisations, particularly at regional and local level, in keeping with the spirit of increasing decentralisation.

.

Amendment 15

Article 8, paragraph 6, point (b) (ii)

ii) it must have sufficient staff with the appropriate professional and linguistic skills to work in an international cooperation environment;

ii) it must have sufficient staff with equal participation between women and men, with the appropriate professional and linguistic skills to work in an international cooperation environment;

Justification

Essential to develop understanding about equality challenges.

.Amendment 16

Article 11, paragraph 2

2. The programme may share resources with other Community instruments in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of both this programme and these instruments.

2. The programme should strive to share resources with other Community instruments in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of both this programme and these instruments.

Justification

Just as it is worthwhile for Member States to act in concert on an EU-level, there should be maximum synergy, and minimum duplication, between the programmes the EU deploys.

Amendment 17

Article 11, paragraph 3

3. The Commission and the Member States of the European Union shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture and sport.

 

3. The Commission and the Member States of the European Union shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture, sport, gender equality and combating discrimination.

Justification

The programme actions which help to promote equality between the sexes and to combat discrimination are very important, in so far as they involve young people and may therefore help to bring about a change in attitudes. The Member States and the Commission must therefore make them as effective as possible.

.

Amendment 18

Article 15, paragraph 3

3. Participating countries shall submit to the Commission a report on the implementation of the programme by 30 June 2010 at the latest and a report on the impact of the programme by 30 June 2015 at the latest.

3. Participating countries shall submit to the Commission a report on the implementation of the programme by 30 June 2010 at the latest and a report on the impact of the programme by 30 June 2015 at the latest. In their reports on the implementation and impact of the programme, the countries participating in the programme shall in particular indicate how the goal of equality has been achieved and what has been done to ensure the participation of young people with fewer opportunities, including the disabled. The Commission shall give countries suitable assistance and practical guidance before the sections of the reports dealing with these aspects are drawn up.

Amendment 19

Annex, action 1, point 1.1, paragraph 2

These activities, based on transnational partnerships between the various actors in a project, involve the active participation of young people and are designed to allow them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities, to learn from each other and reinforce their feeling of being European citizens. The support focuses on multilateral group mobility activities.

These activities, based on transnational partnerships between the various actors in a project, involve equal active participation of girls and boys and are designed to allow them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities, to learn from each other and reinforce their feeling of being European citizens. The support focuses on multilateral group mobility activities.

Justification

Essential to develop understanding about equality challenges.

Amendment 20

Annex, Aaction 1, point 1.3, paragraph 3

These activities or projects are based on international partnerships, allowing the pooling, at European level, of ideas, experiences and good practices from projects or activities at local or regional level, in order to improve young people’s participation at different levels. They may include organising consultation projects with young people to find out their needs and wishes, with a view to developing new approaches to their active participation in a democratic Europe.

 

These activities or projects are based on international partnerships, allowing the pooling, at European level, of ideas, experiences and good practices from projects or activities at local or regional level, in order to improve young people’s participation at different levels and develop understanding of gender equality issues. They may include organising consultation projects with young people to find out their needs and wishes, with a view to developing new approaches to their active participation in a democratic Europe.

Justification

Essential to develop understanding about equality challenges.

Amendment 21

Annex, action 4, point 4.3

This measure supports the training of youth workers in this field, in particular youth workers, project leaders, youth advisers and supervisors in these projects. It also supports the exchange of experiences, expertise and good practices between these youth workers, as well as activities which may lead to the establishment of long-lasting, high quality projects and partnerships. Particular attention is to be paid to activities fostering the participation of those young people who find it most difficult to participate in Community actions.

 

This measure supports the training of youth workers in this field, in particular youth workers, project leaders, youth advisers and supervisors in these projects. It also supports the exchange of experiences, expertise and good practices between these youth workers, as well as activities which may lead to the establishment of long-lasting, high quality projects and partnerships. Particular attention is to be paid to activities fostering the prospects for equality and the participation of those young people, including the disabled, who find it most difficult to participate in Community actions.

Amendment 22

Annex, action 4, point 4.5, paragraph 2

This measure contributes in particular to the development of European, national, regional and local youth portals for the dissemination of specific information for young people through all kinds of information channels, particularly those most frequently used by young people. It can also support measures which promote the involvement by young people in the preparation and dissemination of understandable, user-friendly and targeted information products and advice, so as to improve the quality of the information and access for all young people.

This measure contributes in particular to the development of European, national, regional and local youth portals for the dissemination of specific information for young people through all kinds of information channels, particularly those most frequently used by young people. It can also support measures which promote the involvement by young people in the preparation and dissemination of understandable, user-friendly and targeted information products and advice, so as to improve the quality of the information and access for all young people. Gender equality and inclusive language must be included explicitly and clearly in all publications.

Justification

Essential to develop understanding about equality challenges.

Amendment 23

Annex, action 4, point 4.8

The Commission may organise seminars, colloquia or meetings to facilitate the implementation of the programme and undertake appropriate information, publication and dissemination actions as well as programme monitoring and evaluation. These activities may be financed by means of grants, purchased by means of procurement procedures or organised and funded directly by the Commission.

 

The Commission may organise seminars, colloquia or meetings to facilitate the implementation of the programme. The Commission shall also give suitable assistance and practical guidance to those countries participating in the programme which wish to establish special equality plans within the implementation programme. The Commission may in addition undertake appropriate information, publication and dissemination actions as well as programme monitoring and evaluation. These activities may be financed by means of grants, purchased by means of procurement procedures or organised and funded directly by the Commission.

Amendment 24

Recital 1

(1) The Treaty establishes citizenship of the Union and provides that Community action in the field of education, vocational training and youth shall be aimed, primarily, at encouraging the development of youth exchanges, exchanges of socio-educational instructors and quality education.

(1) The Treaty establishes citizenship of the Union and provides that Community action in the field of education, vocational training and youth shall be aimed, primarily, at encouraging the development of youth exchanges, exchanges of socio-educational instructors, the promotion of equality between women and men and quality education.

Justification

The promotion of equality between women and men must also be included.

.

Amendment 25

Recital 2

(2) The Treaty on European Union is based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

 

(2) The Treaty on European Union is based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, equality between women and men and anti-discrimination. The promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

Justification

Equality between the sexes and anti-discrimination are two of the European Union’s fundamental principles of which young people in Europe must be made aware. In Article 2 of the Decision it is stated that the Youth in Action programme must ‘contribute to the development of the Union’s policies, in particular with regard to (...) combating all discrimination (...)’.

Amendment 26

Recital 5

(5) The extraordinary European Council held in Lisbon on 23 and 24 March 2000 established a strategic objective for the Union including an active employment policy giving greater priority to lifelong learning, complemented by the sustainable development strategy of the Gothenburg European Council of 15 and 16 June 2001.

(5) The extraordinary European Council held in Lisbon on 23 and 24 March 2000 established a strategic objective for the Union including an active employment policy giving greater priority to lifelong learning and female employment, complemented by the sustainable development strategy of the Gothenburg European Council of 15 and 16 June 2001.

Justification

The promotion of equality between women and men must also be included.

Amendment 27

Recital 9 a (new)

 

(9a) The EU possesses a series of instruments and policy orientations which strive for equality between the sexes, such as the Communication from the Commission of 21 February 1996 on incorporating equal opportunities for women and men into all Community policies and activities,1 the Community initiative Equal concerning trans-national cooperation to promote new means of combating discrimination and inequalities in connection with the labour market,2the Communication from the Commission of 20 December 2002 on the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the Structural Funds programming documents 2000-2006,3 and the Council Recommendation of 2 December 1996 on the balanced participation of women and men in the decision-making process,4 which establish gender equality as a pivotal EU objective.

 

____________________________

1 COM(1996)0067 - not published in OJ.

2 OJ C 127, 5.5.2000, p. 2.

3 COM(2002)0748 - not published in OJ.

4 OJ L 319, 10.12.1996, p. 11.

Justification

Youth in Action projects should take due account of existing EU guidelines mainstreaming gender questions in its legislation and programmes.

Amendment 28

Recital 10

(10) The Community’s action includes a contribution to high quality education and training and must seek to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between men and women, pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty.

(10) The Community’s action includes a contribution to high quality education and training and must seek to combat discrimination, eliminate inequalities and promote equality between women and men, pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty.

Amendment 29

Recital 12

(12) There is a need to promote active citizenship and to step up the fight against exclusion in all its forms, including racism and xenophobia.

 

(12) There is a need to promote active citizenship and equality between women and men, and to step up the fight against exclusion in all its forms, including racism and xenophobia.

Amendment 30

Recital 21

(21) It is necessary to provide for specific arrangements for the application of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 and its implementing measures, as well as for the derogations from these texts necessitated by the features of the beneficiaries and the nature of the actions.

(21) It is necessary to provide for specific arrangements for the application of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 and its implementing measures, as well as for the derogations from these texts necessitated by the features of the participants and the nature of the actions.

Justification

Legislation should not ascribe the nature of the persons involved, especially where the aim is to promote cooperation, engagement and dynamic solutions.

PROCEDURE

Title

Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "Youth in action" programme for the period 2007-2013

References

COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

Committee responsible

CULT

Committee asked for its opinion
  Date announced in plenary

FEMM

15.9.2004

Enhanced cooperation

No

Draftswoman
  Date appointed

Piia-Noora Kauppi
17.3.2005

Discussed in committee

21.6.2005

 

 

 

 

Date amendments adopted

21.6.2005

Result of final vote

for:

against:

abstentions:

23

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Emine Bozkurt, Maria Carlshamre, Edite Estrela, Věra Flasarová, Claire Gibault, Lissy Gröner, Zita Gurmai, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Lívia Járóka, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Urszula Krupa, Angelika Niebler, Siiri Oviir, Doris Pack, Christa Prets, Teresa Riera Madurell, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Amalia Sartori, Eva-Britt Svensson, Britta Thomsen, Wortmann-Kool, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Anna Hedh

Substitutes under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

María del Pilar Ayuso González

PROCEDURE

Title

Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on creating the ‘YOUTH IN ACTION’ programme for the period 2007–2013

References

COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD)

Legal basis

Articles 251(2) and 149(4)] EC

Basis in Rules of Procedure

Rule 51

Date submitted to Parliament

15.7.2004

Committee responsible
  Date announced in plenary

CULT
15.9.2004

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)
  Date announced in plenary

FEMM
17.3.2005

LIBE
15.9.2004

BUDG
15.9.2004

AFET
15.9.2004

EMPL

15.9.2004

CONT

15.9.2004

Not delivering opinion(s)
  Date of decision

EMPL
20.9.2004

CONT
23.5.2005

 

 

 

 

Enhanced cooperation
  Date announced in plenary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rapporteur(s)
  Date appointed

Lissy Gröner
22.9.2004

 

 

Discussed in committee

4.10.2004

25.11.2004

20.4.2005

15.6.2005

11.7.2005  

30.8.2005

Date adopted

13.9.2005

Result of final vote

for:

against:

abstentions:

28

0

0

Members present for the final vote

María Badía i Cutchet, Christopher Beazley, Guy Bono, Marielle De Sarnez, Marie-Hélène Descamps, Milan Gaľa, Claire Gibault, Vasco Graça Moura, Lissy Gröner, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Luis Francisco Herrero-Tejedor, Ruth Hieronymi, Bernat Joan i Marí, Manolis Mavrommatis, Marianne Mikko, Ljudmila Novak, Doris Pack, Christa Prets, Pál Schmitt, Nikolaos Sifunakis, Hannu Takkula, Helga Trüpel, Tomáš Zatloukal

Substitutes present for the final vote

Rolf Berend, Emine Bozkurt, Ignasi Guardans Cambó, Gyula Hegyi, Åsa Westlund

Date tabled – A6

15.9.2005

A6-0263/2005

Comments

...

(1)

COM(2004)0487.

(2)

Brussels European Council, March 2005, Presidency Conclusions, paragraph 37 and Annex I.

(3)

The Youth programme (Decision 1031/2000/EC) and the Community action programme to promote youth organisations active at European level (Decision 790/2004/EC).

(4)

OJ C ...,

(5)

'In order to establish a framework for joint contributions from young Europeans to the humanitarian aid operations of the Union, a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps shall be set up. European laws shall determine the rules and procedures for operation of the Corps.'

(6)

Not yet published in OJ.

Last updated: 6 August 2006Legal notice