Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

On 4 April 2014, the members of the Workers' Group of the EESC took part in a demonstration organised by the European Trade Union Confederation in Brussels. (EESC photographic library).

On 4 April 2014, the members of the Workers’ Group of the EESC took part in a demonstration organised by the European Trade Union Confederation in Brussels. (EESC photographic library).

Last Friday the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a public hearing on the implementation of European Union policies to counter youth employment. EESC is a consultative body made up by representatives of Europe’s socio-occupational interest groups and others (employers, workers and various interest groups). It gives its members a platform to express their point of view on EU issues and forwards them to the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. In this way it plays a decisive role in the Union’s decision-making process.

During this last public hearing, the Labour Market Observatory (LMO) of the EESC conducted a detailed stock taking on EU policies on youth unemployment. “The hearing involved high-level stakeholders, from EU institutions – the Commission and the European Parliament – as well as from Eurofound, the EU social partners and European and national youth organisations”. It must be noted, that today the Commission will host a conference in Brussels to discuss progress towards tackling youth unemployment through the Youth Guarantee and how EU countries are implementing the scheme.

The Youth Guarantee

The subject matter of the hearing was the implementation of the Youth Guarantee scheme. The study focuses on the views and recommendations of organised civil society on the policies currently in place to help young people find work in a selection of six Member States (Austria, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Italy and Slovakia). The “Youth Guarantee project”, was adopted by the European Council of the 28 EU leaders in July last year. It provides €6 billion for a scheme aimed at making sure that within four months,, all youths under the age of 25 after leaving school get an offer of a job, an apprenticeship or a traineeship.

The target is to reverse the tsunami of unemployment engulfing EU’s youths, but the results are far from encouranging. Since 2008-9, when the EU financial crisis first broke out, 1000 young people join every day the ranks of the unemployed, according to the EESC. In the worst hit countries, youth unemployment has reached unheard before levels (in Greece 58.3% in December 2013, Spain 53.6% and Croatia 48.8% in the fourth quarter of 2013).

Reading carefully the Press release issued afterwards, the main conclusion that can be drawn is that the Youth Guarantee scheme works better in countries where it is less needed. In EU member states like Austria with low overall and youth unemployment rates, it seems that the scheme works alright. There are Member States such as Austria and Finland that already have a Youth Guarantee in place, in full partnership with the relevant stakeholders.
What can be done?

Paying the dearest price

However, in Member States where the levels of youth unemployment are more than just alarming, implementation, use of EU funds and involvement of stakeholders is lagging behind. Heinz K. Becker, MEP (Austria, EPP) stated “I consider the mandatory inclusion of the European Youth Guarantee in the European Semester (the new EU economic governance structures) of the utmost importance, in order to step up the so-called benchlearning at European level and to support Member States with their ongoing reforms!”

Discussion was focused also on intra EU mobility of workers. Encouraging internal migration from one EU country to another in search of a job, has acquired lately a special position in EU’s labour market policies. The factor of mobility in the EU is a politically sensitive point though for many Member States, as it is considered on the one hand, as one of the most positive aspects of the EU project, while on the other hand, it surely generates a brain drain in the long run. As Dubravka Šuica, Croatian MEP (EPP) pointed out “Over 30,000 young people who should be the vectors of economic recovery have left the country already. Mobility is a great instrument but it is a 2-sided coin “.

The core problem remains that despite the fact the financial crisis is largely behind, there is no indication the labour market has started to benefit from that. The anemic economic growth cannot offer more quality jobs. Massimiliano Mascherini, Research Manager for Eurofound, observed that completing their education is not any more a cause for celebration for the young because looking for a job may ve a long and painful process.

In total, EESC’s public hearing on youth unemployment arrived at disappointing conclusions and didn’t detect a light at the end of the tunnel.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Barriers to healthcare: are they real?

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

New seat projections for the next European Parliament

Latin America is a mass-transit powerhouse. But it needs fine-tuning

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

EU approves disbursement of €500 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Libya stands at a ‘critical juncture’, UN mission head tells Security Council

China by numbers: 10 facts to help you understand the superpower today

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

A new generation of women leaders is making waves in the Arab world

Ongoing insecurity in Darfur, despite ‘remarkable developments’ in Sudan: UN peacekeeping chief

EU Directive makes haircut on uncovered deposits a standard in bank bail-ins

Let us keep ‘their spirit of service alive’: Guterres leads tributes to UN workers who died in Ethiopia crash

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Killing of aid worker in Syria part of ‘disturbing trend’

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

G20 starts to tackle inequality

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

UN food agency appeals for access to key storage facility amid fight for Hudaydah

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Afghanistan extends ceasefire with Taliban; UN urges both sides to work towards lasting peace

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more inclusive Argentine economy

UN chief praises impact of Palestine refugee agency as ‘our common success’, at key pledging conference

The ‘abuse of food relief in Yemen’ must end now

Onagawa’s spirit of togetherness: lessons from the 2011 tsunami

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

Drone regulation is necessary to democratize the sky for humanity

European Commission and four online marketplaces sign a Product Safety Pledge to remove dangerous products

Who will secure Lithuania?

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

Is Data Privacy really safe seen through Commissioner’s PRISM?

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

GSMA Mobile 360 – MENA Dubai on 26-27 November 2019, in association with The European Sting

Sri Lankan authorities must work ‘vigorously’ to ease simmering ethno-religious tensions, urges UN rights expert

Cybersecurity: agreement reached on better protection for citizens and companies

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

Despite falling attacks, ISIL terrorists remain ‘global threat’: UN report

4 radical shifts required to achieve universal health coverage worldwide

Senior UN adviser sees ‘rare’ victory for humanitarian diplomacy as aid convoy reaches desert camp in Syria

‘Much more’ can be done to raise awareness about the plight of persons with albinism: UN chief

EU Commission closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panel imports?

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

Microplastics have been found in Rocky Mountain rainwater

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

South Sudan: UN condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assaults on roads to Bentiu

Menu for change: why we have to go towards a Common Food Policy

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

Eurozone: New data show recession and debt closer to explosion

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris and beyond: EU action and what COP21 should deliver”, Green MEP Keith Taylor discusses from Brussels 

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s