Important update on IAPA´s Petition to the EU Parliament to negotiate a Youth Mobility Scheme with the UK

Important update on IAPA´s Petition to the EU Parliament to negotiate a Youth Mobility Scheme with the UK

We have good news!

IAPA´s petition to the EU Parliament with the “Request to commence EU/UK negotiations to establish a reciprocal youth mobility scheme to reinstate bilateral cultural exchange” (Petition No 0827/2021) has been accepted by the EU Committee on Petitions.

Why did IAPA submit this petition?

After BREXIT came into effect, the Au Pair programme into the UK came to an abrupt halt.

As a result, young people from the EU are not able to enter the UK as au pairs anymore (with only a few exceptions), UK host families are struggling to find childcare; and many UK Au Pair agencies have been forced to close down.

The UK government has decided not to offer a viable visa option to au pairs as well as some other areas of cultural exchange. The few options that do exist either involve very few countries or do not do justice to the idea of cultural exchange.

Many attempts to convince the UK government to change their position have gone unheard. However, the UK government did signal that they would be willing to establish Youth Mobility Scheme agreements with further countries.

Therefore, IAPA approached the EU via a petition asking them to support negotiations with the UK. See also our news post from 20 July 2021

What is the status of the petition?

Our petition was generally approved by the Committee on Petitions in December 2021

Since then the Committee collected opinions from the European Committee on Culture and Education and the European Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Both Committees stressed their regret over the UK Government’s decision to restrict opportunities for reciprocal cultural exchanges. They would generally welcome facilitation of these exchanges for young people from the EU into the UK, but they also made it clear that ultimately the Uk government will have to  be willing to work on a solution

What happens next?

We are pleased to announce that we have just been informed that our case will now be officially discussed in the EU Committee on Petitions on 15 June.

Our Managing Director, Patricia Brunner, will join the discussion online and personally present our case to the Committee on Petitions members. They will then also hear the opinion of the EU Commission on the topic before formulating a decision on how to proceed further.

How can you support this important cause?

Anyone (EU citizen or otherwise) can submit their support for the petition online on the petitions page of the EU Parliament.

To do so, please do the following – which will take less than 5 minutes of your time:

  1. Create a user account by following this link
  2. You will then receive a confirmation e-mail
  3. Then go to IAPA´s petition (Petition No 0827/2021) by following this link
  4. Click on “support the petition” at the bottom the page.

We would very much appreciate your support and remain hopeful that the Committee will decide in favour of our petition and approach the British government for negotiations to establish bilateral cultural exchange opportunities.