By Roza Grigoryan
EU4Youth and other EU programs making young people competitive
Young people are in the axis of cooperation of the European Union and its Western neighbors, including Armenia. According to the European Union, youth unemployment is extremely high in Armenia, and few young people take part in processes that will determine their future. Here is where the European Union helps with its various proposed programs.

One of the latest major initiatives is the EU4Youth Program for Eastern Partnership countries, including Armenia. This regional program is aimed at helping young people become more widely engaged in public life and making them more competitive in the labor market. This is done by providing many special opportunities for the enhancement of leadership and entrepreneurial features.

The European Union informs that the youth window of the Eastern Partnership is a special program with an annual budget of 3,450,000 Euros and is open to young people who want to be leaders. Young people can apply for the Young Leaders Program in order to receive grants or help their respective youth organizations.

The European Union offers an entrepreneurial cooperation program for young businessmen, and preference is given to business ideas that imply overcoming of the social challenges in a specific community.

The EU also offers a grant for education and training for the young people of rural communities to improve education and find jobs. In this case, preference will be given to young residents of regions where there is a lack of opportunities, and rural communities are among such regions.

The EU4Youth also gives grants for young creative businessmen with the desire to be involved in green economy and social business.

One of the major EU programs that are accessible to young Armenians is Erasmus+, which allows young Armenians to study in Europe. It offers various exchange programs, scholarships to study in Europe, student and youth exchanges, European service for volunteers and more.

The EU informs that several young people of Armenia have participated in the program and are applying their knowledge in Armenia as well.

According to the EU, in 2015-16, Armenia received 3,700,000 Euros for the exchange of students and scientific workers through the Erasmus+ Program. Armenia’s universities were engaged in 121 projects that were selected and funded, and 746 young people of Armenia traveled to different countries to participate in exchange programs. As a matter of fact, the number of exchanges has doubled over the past two years. These exchange programs also provide young people with the opportunity to meet their peers and become unified.