EU Proposes Youth Mobility Pact with UK

EU Proposes Youth Mobility Pact with UK


The European Commission is poised to initiate discussions with the United Kingdom on a post-Brexit agreement aimed at enhancing opportunities for young individuals to live, work, and study abroad.

Last week, the EU’s governing body announced its intention to request authorisation from the EU Council to begin negotiations on a comprehensive youth mobility pact with the UK, while also criticising the UK for trying to selectively engage with individual member states.

Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for UK relations, stated, “The separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union has particularly affected young people in both regions who wish to study, work, and reside overseas.”

He further noted, “Today marks the commencement of efforts toward a comprehensive yet feasible pact between the EU and the UK to address this challenge. We aim to reconstruct the human connections between young people across the Channel.”


Potential Youth Mobility Scheme Between UK and Europe


The proposed agreement would permit citizens of the EU and UK, aged between 18 and 30, to reside in the host country for up to four years, fulfilling specific conditions. During this period, they would be able to engage in activities such as working or studying.

The Commission emphasised that the mobility should not be limited by quotas or excessive visa charges and should include fair treatment in employment and educational fee structures.

This prospective agreement is considered more comprehensive than the Youth Mobility Scheme previously proposed by the UK, notably in not requiring EU participants to pay a health surcharge for accessing the UK’s National Health Service.

The statement clarified that this agreement would not substitute the freedom of movement that was forfeited by the UK upon exiting the EU, which has led to new obstacles for Britons wishing to relocate abroad.

Additionally, the agreement would be separate from the UK rejoining the continent-wide Erasmus+ program, which facilitates student exchanges. The decision to exit this program was made by the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration, which deemed the costs too high relative to the participation rate among British youth.

The Commission’s initiative comes amid debates over whether any UK youth mobility pact should be EU-wide or if individual EU nations should negotiate separate agreements with the UK.

On this matter, the Commission stated on Thursday, “The UK has demonstrated its interest in youth mobility by engaging with several Member States.”

However, it asserted that “an EU-level approach is necessary to ensure equitable treatment of all Member States concerning the mobility of young people to the UK.”

Earlier in the month, the European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory body of the European Commission, had urged the Commission to prioritise youth mobility, including efforts to reintegrate the UK into the Erasmus+ programme.


Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing & Content Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

Legal disclaimer


The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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