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Eurodyssey – Europe's oldest professional mobility scheme celebrates its 25th anniversary


04 Oct 2010


Regional Policy

Murcia, Spain (E), 1 October 2010.

30 members regions of the Assembly of European Regions' (AER) Eurodyssey programme met during two days in Murcia (E) to celebrate its 25th anniversary. By welcoming the participants, María Pedro REVERTE, Minister of the Presidency and Public Administration, Murcia (E), said that her region "has a clear and unequivocal commitment to Europe. With our youth, Eurodyssey, a programme that has the unconditional support of the region, gains every year more in importance". Referring to the Lisbon and Europe 2020 strategies, she considered that "the young people, who fortunately are brave and enterprising, need new tools that allow for their academic and professional development and harness them for the working environment". She appealed to public authorities and national and international institutions to "reinvent mobility in order to provide them with a perspective for the future and wider opportunities".

Rui BETTENCOURT, Secretary General of the Eurodyssey programme (Açores-P) and Guylaine CHOUISSA, Head of unit for international youth mobility, representing the region Franche-Comté (F) that ran the Eurodyssey secretariat for the first 17 years of its existence, were among those who paid tribute to the founders of the programme. It is with pride that they recalled the innovating character of this programme which started in 1985 as the European Youth Tour and had a precursory role for others, such as the EU Leonardo programme. They stressed the visionary role of AER's founding President Edgar FAURE (Franche-Comté) who, with the help of the "enabler" François LACHAT (Jura-CH), first President of the programme, had put the initiative in motion. Ester ESTANY, responsible for international exchanges in Catalunya (E) emphasised the role of those who, like former Catalonian and AER President Jordi PUJOL, had developed the programme internationally "at a time when there was no freedom of movement for workers".

Follow-up inquiries among former Eurodyssey trainees show that 70 to 80 % of them find permanent employment within 6 to 12 months after their traineeship. Since its creation, Eurodyssey has sent more than 10.000 young people abroad. As testified by two former trainees, Dora HAMDI and Catarina PIRES, Eurodyssey provided them with an "opportunity to improve their professional, intercultural and language skills and had helped them to overcome their fears, to gain in self-confidence and to shape their identity". They consider that Eurodyssey was "a perfect springboard in their search for a job". As Celia IBANES, trainee from Murcia commented: "Each experience is an opportunity to learn".

Eurodyssey provides young people aged 18 to 30 years with traineeship opportunities ranging from 3 to 7 months in a foreign region and in a new cultural and social environment in order to gain a first professional experience. For more infos about the programme visit:  

The Assembly of European Regions (AER – is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.

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Doris Materne
‘Culture, Education and Youth’ Committee
Policy Coordinator
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