The latest Eurostat data, both in the Eurozone and across Europe as a whole, show that inflation averaged over 11 per cent year-on-year, with peaks that some countries had not seen in the last 40 years. Only three years ago, the European average was below 0.5%.
This increase in the cost of living that affects all European countries also has an impact on the youth activities that thousands of organisations carry out.
Indeed, while the cost of living continues to rise, public subsidies, both national and European, for youth activities and initiatives have remained essentially unchanged over the last three years, since the new European programming cycle began.
We ask the Commission and the European Parliament to make a clear political choice, recognising the strategic social, educational and cultural value of youth programmes and promoting the educational mobility of young people and those who work with young people, by including automatic mechanisms for adjusting to inflation.
The lack of these adjustments has a very serious impact on youth activities: in very concrete terms, to give an example related to the activities of the European Solidarity Corps, the contribution given for volunteers' activities or for their pocket money, if it used to be sufficient for one month, is now on average only sufficient for 24-25 days of each month.
In practice, European-funded youth activities are becoming increasingly difficult to sustain in economic terms, with the risk that the number of beneficiaries, the number of activities and the social impact of programmes such as Erasmus+ and ESC will be reduced.
There is another risk, perhaps even more serious. And that is that, faced with contributions for activities that are increasingly reduced in proportion to the cost of living, only those who are in good financial shape will be able to benefit from these programmes. If this is the case, paradoxically, programmes that were created to overcome social barriers and encourage participation by all will turn into instruments of economic discrimination.
We trust in the sensitivity and commitment of the European institutions, so that the support for programmes made with young people and for young people is maintained. These are programmes that, in their various modulations over the past decades, have marked the history of the whole of Europe and not only of the youth movement.
Petition promoted by:
Associazione InformaGiovani - Italy
Ambitia - Slovenia
Asociatia Divers - Romania
Aventura Marao Clube - Portugal
Estyes - Estonia
Fundación FICAT - Catalunya, Spain
I Girasoli - Italy
La Rotllana - Catalunya, Spain
PI Genclik Dernegi - Turkey
Radi Vidi Pats - Latvia
Regionalne Centrum Wolontariatu Kielce - Poland
SEEDS - Iceland
Service Volontaire International - Belgium
SPPMD Council for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency - North Macedonia
The latest official data on inflation in Europe are available on the Eurostat website at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat.