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  • Tuesday, 21 May 2024
EU Proposes Post-Brexit Talks on Youth Mobility with UK

EU Proposes Post-Brexit Talks on Youth Mobility with UK

The European Commission has announced its intention to initiate talks with the United Kingdom regarding a post-Brexit agreement aimed at enhancing opportunities for young people to live, work, and study abroad. This move comes amidst concerns over the impact of Brexit on the mobility of young Europeans and Britons.


Addressing Challenges for Young People


Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission Vice President responsible for relations with the UK, emphasized the challenges faced by young people in both the EU and the UK post-Brexit. The Commission is seeking permission from member states on the EU Council to negotiate a comprehensive youth mobility agreement with London.


Ambitious yet realistic agreement


The proposed agreement aims to facilitate the mobility of EU and UK citizens aged 18 to 30, allowing them to reside in the destination country for up to four years, subject to specific criteria. The Commission's objective is to foster connections between young Europeans on both sides of the Channel.


Key Principles of the Proposed Deal


The Commission outlined key principles for the envisaged agreement, including equal treatment in job opportunities and higher education fees. It emphasized the importance of ensuring mobility without quotas or excessive visa fees. However, the deal will not replicate the freedom of movement that the UK relinquished upon exiting the EU.


Distinction from Previous Schemes


The proposed agreement is distinct from the UK's previous participation in the Erasmus+ program, which facilitated student exchanges across Europe. While the UK opted out of this scheme, citing cost concerns, the new mobility agreement seeks to address broader issues beyond educational exchanges.


EU-Level Approach Advocated


Despite UK outreach to individual EU member states on youth mobility, the Commission argues for an EU-wide agreement to ensure equal treatment for all member states. This stance reflects ongoing debate over the scope and framework of potential agreements between the UK and individual EU countries.


Continued Advocacy for Youth Mobility


The European Economic and Social Committee has echoed calls for prioritizing youth mobility, including efforts to re-engage the UK in the Erasmus+ exchange scheme. The Commission's proposal underscores the importance of mobility initiatives in fostering cross-border cooperation and opportunities for young people.


Awaiting Response from the UK


As discussions unfold, the UK Home Office has been contacted for its response to the Commission's proposal. The outcome of these negotiations will have significant implications for the future mobility rights of young Europeans and Britons alike.

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