Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-321"

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"Mr President, it is not very often that we feel such a strong consensus as we do now. I should like to express my gratitude to those who made it possible, as it is not automatic. I am sure that this consensus makes it probable that in the coming weeks we will be able to adopt, in the full sense of the legal term, the Youth in Action Programme. I should especially like to thank Mrs Gröner, the rapporteur for the programme, as well as the Committee on Culture and Education, which dealt with matters in a very constructive manner during the procedure. I extend my thanks to the committee and its chairman, Mr Sifunakis, for their support. This consensus and progress in the work will allow full continuity between the current Youth Programme and the next one, so that there will be no interruption. This is a very different case from the previous one seven years ago, when there was a significant suspension in the Youth Programme for several months. The new programme is a partial but important response to the Union’s priorities: citizenship, growth and peace. Firstly, in terms of citizenship, it will enable young Europeans to affirm themselves as supportive, responsible, active and tolerant citizens in pluralist societies. Getting young people more involved in the field and the life of local, national and European communities and fostering active citizenship represents an important challenge for our societies. There is also a need to enhance young people’s awareness of the fact that they belong to Europe and to develop their sense of European citizenship. Secondly, it is equally necessary to respond to the aspirations of young people by providing them with the opportunity to enrich their education and training on a less formal level. Non-formal educational activities deserve to be supported and recognised at European level because they contribute to European growth. That is why I am very happy that we will have more space for voluntary service in Europe. Lastly, young people’s willingness to develop new relations between young Europeans and young people all over the world, their concern for mutual understanding, a spirit of tolerance and openness are important contributions towards world peace. Progress in the negotiations on this programme was subject to the agreement on the financial perspectives last May. Following the adoption of this budgetary framework and the decision to allocate EUR 885 million, at current prices, to the Youth in Action Programme, the institutions have shown their capacity to react quickly and constructively to have a new programme adopted without any further delay. I believe that is a very strong message to young people sent by the European institutions today."@en1

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