Education reduces unemployment. Professional training is in this context very important. As part of its strategy for boosting employment, the  European Commission is aiming to nearly double the number of young people, teachers and researchers who get EU grants for study and training abroad, from 400 000 recipients per year now to almost 800 000 in future.

This is one of the key objectives behind the significant increase in EU investment for education, youth and creativity proposed by the Commission in its budget plan for 2014-2020. Improving education and training and helping people acquire the right skills is crucial for meeting future job needs and fighting poverty. Investing more in the creative industries will also boost job opportunities in a sector which represents 4.5% of EU GDP and 3.8% of employment.

The new programme for education, training and youth will allocate €15.2 billion (+ 73%) over seven years. As well as increasing study and training grants, it will target support at modernising education systems, more cross-border cooperation between education institutions and policy reforms. This is the highest increase in the proposed budget, underlining the priority given to investing in knowledge for the future in Europe.

The new ‘Creative Europe’ programme, encompassing the current Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus schemes, will support the cultural and creative sectors with a budget of €1.6 billion (+37%). The focus will be on helping organisations and enterprises that operate across borders and have a strong link to the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Marie Curie Actions, which support skills, training and career development of researchers, will be part of the EU’s new ‘Horizon 2020’ strategy for research and innovation, which would receive €80 billion (+46%) under the budget proposal. The aim is to boost Europe’s global competitiveness and help create jobs and ideas of tomorrow.