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The much-awaited "Green Paper on learning mobility of young people" was released, at the beginning of July by the European Commission. It represents an answer to the call launched by the Education, Youth and Culture Council in November last year, when the latter invited the Commission and member states to elaborate further on the concept of mobility for all young people.
This is precisely what the recently released Green Paper does – it further develops and expands the concept of learning mobility for all. As already stated in the official text, the scope of the Green Paper is quite broad, encompassing the mobility of young people in a wide range of contexts – at school, at bachelor, master and PhD levels, during university studies, but also “internships, apprenticeships, youth exchanges, volunteer work or vocational training, in or outside the European Union”. Its scope gets even broader as young people are defined in a Lifelong Learning context, which in practice means imposing no age limits on the target group. Still, the focus group of the Green Paper seems to be the 16-35 year olds.
In terms of structure, the Green Paper is divided into three parts. The first section deals with a variety of issues related to the preparations for becoming mobile, e.g. information, motivation, language training, etc. The second part addresses issues related to the actual stay abroad, including some follow-up aspects such as recognition and validation. Finally, the third section enlists proposals for a new partnership on youth mobility. For each of the three sections additional information on the respective section is provided, examples of good practice are given, and broader questions are raised.
The overall purpose of the initiative is to open up the debate on how to best boost the mobility of young people. While the expectations run high, it remains to be seen whether the consultation of a wider public will enrich the already ongoing debate, in expert circles, on student mobility and propose innovative solutions.