The European Commission will "in the coming weeks" launch a new one million euro project to help young Europeans make the right choices for their savings and investments in a bid to prevent a repeat of the financial turmoil generated by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis.

The new project will be directed at young people and teachers. The objective is to help educators to incorporate financial matters into their classes and evaluate students on these topics.

"We plan to launch in the coming weeks a new major exercise to extend Dolceta to primary and secondary education," said a Commission official speaking at a conference on consumer information and education organised on 16 April in Brussels by the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) and the European Savings Banks Group (ESBG), two of the largest international banking associations.

Up till now, Dolceta has focused on adult education. The new project aims to improve the service offered by the website in order to make it useful also to young people. In fact financial interests change with age. An adult tends to be more interested in how to invest or save money, whereas a young person usually needs information on how to use a bank account or a payment card.

The new project is designed to run for two years. It will complement the Europa Diary project, under which, in 2007, the Commission distributed more than two million copies of an education kit to 18,000 European schools to help teachers explain the basics of finance to their students.

Commission initiatives cannot currently go any further due to the provisions of the Treaties, which leave educational competencies to the member states.