Reasons to support F2020
Economically, socially, and culturally
In this section we would like to give you a short notion of what this initiative can do for Europe. What would change if F2020 were to be successful? If more people crossed borders within the EU, how would that affect Europe and you? Below we have tried to collect some preliminary answers.
Greater mobility = Higher growth
Firstly, greater mobility will make it easier for people to take up jobs in countries where their skills are needed, therefore bringing unemployment rates down across the EU and boosting economic growth.
Participating in exchange programmes develops personal skills such as language skills and the ability to work with people from different cultural backgrounds. This will make Europe more competitive and create jobs.
Finally, the skills needed to get along in a new country fit perfectly with developing a spirit of entrepreneurship, therefore eventually stimulating SME growth across Europe – the backbone of any strong economy.
Bringing Europeans together
Firstly, exchange programmes will help people to develop a European identity and cross-cultural understanding. In time this will also lead to more solidarity in Europe.
The person doing the exchange could be viewed as an ambassador of her/his home country, thereby addressing stereotypes that might be present in the host country and forcing people to look beyond stereotypes.
Finally, F2020 is socially fair as it will enable all people in Europe to spend time in a foreign country. Recent surveys show that a lack of funding is the main barrier to going abroad (see here).
Some people that read about F2020 might be afraid that winning a European identity is losing a national identity. They might fear that their home country might eventually cease to exist in terms of language, traditions, and culture. A real nightmare scenario!
Studies prove, however, that it is perfectly possible to feel European and national at the same time. Exchanges lead to new cultural encounters that can give birth to new ideas and enrich our understanding of ourselves and others. They do not lead to people feeling detached from their home countries!
What would a united Europe add up to culturally? We don't know. But we want to find out! That is what F2020 is about...