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EU to consider EU-UK youth mobility scheme

April 25, 2024

On 18 April 2024, the European Commission adopted a Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom on youth mobility.

The initiative aims to facilitate youth exchanges, making it easier for young EU citizens to travel, work and live in the UK, with reciprocity for young UK nationals in an EU member state. The envisaged agreement on youth mobility should be guided by the following parameters:

  • Limited to young Union citizens and United Kingdom nationals aged 18-30.
  • The period of stay is limited to a reasonable timeframe (e.g. 4 years) for different purposes: to work, study, train training (including internships), research, volunteer, other activities or just visiting/travelling during the period of stay;
  • Not be subject to a quota;
  • The treatment of beneficiaries be equal to nationals, at least in respect of working conditions, including pay and dismissal as well as health and safety at the workplace, freedom of association, certain aspects of education and vocational training, tax benefits, in so far as the person is a tax resident, and advice services afforded by employment offices;
  • Equal treatment be provided in respect of tuition fees for higher education – which his interpreted as meaning that participants in the scheme would pay home student fees, and not international students;
  • That the United Kingdom “healthcare surcharge” is waived for Union beneficiaries;
  • Conditions for the exercise of the right to family reunification with the beneficiaries.

The explanatory memorandum notes that: in the course of 2023, the United Kingdom approached several (but not all) Member States with the intention of negotiating arrangements on youth mobility, modelled upon the United Kingdom’s youth mobility visa scheme. This approach has created a concern that it would result in differential treatment of Union nationals.

It is proposed that an agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom on youth mobility would seek to address some of the main barriers to mobility for young persons posed by current rules applied in the Union and in the United Kingdom. It would be reciprocal, i.e. all Union citizens and all United Kingdom nationals would benefit from it.

The Commission’s Recommendation will now be discussed in the Council of the EU. If adopted, the Commission would be empowered to launch negotiations with the UK on youth mobility.

The Commission also suggests that this discussion could be usefully supported by a parallel discussion on the possible association of the UK to Erasmus+.

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The material contained in this article is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken.

 © Miller Rosenfalck LLP, April 2024