The European Commission study on the impact of the crisis revealed that in eight out of 25 member states, investment in education fell since 2010. The study analysed funding at all levels of education, in 35 national and regional education systems. Although a very minimum increase in education spending was seen in countries like Sweden and Malta, cuts of more than 5 per cent were enforced in Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Lithuania and smaller decreases were seen in an additional four member states.
The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 member states. Public sector support for pupils and students such as grants, loans and family allowances however, were not affected in the majority of countries for the last two years. Education is fundamental to youth empowerment and personal fulfillment. It must be aimed at employability, but also at nurturing talent, creativity, and the capacity to get involved in the sustainable development of society. A recent report by the Council of Europe, Young Europeans: An urgent educational challenge asks member States to adopt a comprehensive approach to education and take action to set the right policy frameworks, create new learning opportunities and enhance the existing ones, set specific measures at a European level, in particular to improve access to education for young people from disadvantaged groups, as well as to encourage non-formal education and ensure greater recognition of competences acquired through non-formal learning.
The European Youth Forum believes that youth organisations, as education providers play a central role in the field of sustainable quality education, are insufficiently recognised. The Youth Forum calls on the European Union and member states to further support youth organisations when investing in education, training and young people.