Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

eyf logoBrussels, 16th April 2015 // The European Youth Forum has welcomed the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe because of the potential it has to increase youth employment. In its reaction today ahead of the next step[1] in the European Parliament for the Investment Plan, the Youth Forum warns, however, that the Plan must tackle inequality and create good quality jobs for young people. 

More than five million young people are unemployed in Europe and, therefore, the European Youth Forum has high hopes for the Investment Plan and the potential that it has to turn Europe back into a place of high employment, quality work, competitiveness and innovation. This will benefit not just a generation of young people, but also society as a whole. In 2011 for example, the economic loss due to the exclusion of young people from the labour market was €153 billion.

The Youth Forum welcomes the increase in investment as it believes that investment, which has dropped significantly (by 15%) since its peak in 2007, is currently at a level which is too low to effectively fight unemployment. Youth unemployment, in particular, remains at unacceptably high levels, leading to growing rates of poverty and exclusion of young people and an increase in inequalities.

The Youth Forum calls for the Investment Plan to lead to the creation of sustainable jobs of good quality. A recent report[2] found that if projects for investment are carefully selected then 2.1 million new jobs could be created by 2018. Such projects should consider the long-term potential and the development of young people, for example by investing in the fields of education, research and innovation.

The Youth Forum also calls for:

 ·       Member States to commit more resources to the European Fund for Strategic Investment, in order to achieve the target of €315 billion;

·       The social impact of projects to be taken into consideration by the Selection Committee;

·       Funds to be allocated according to unemployment rates in Member States, in order to decrease inequality;

·       The Plan to be implemented in a transparent way and its impact monitored objectively.

Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, said

“The Investment Plan must turn the tide of inequality! It offers Europe an unparalleled chance to pull young people out of the difficult situation that they have been in for far too long and to give them the hope of a decent job. In order to do this, funds must be targeted carefully and Member States need to be fully behind the Plan and give the resources necessary in order to ensure that young people are not again disproportionately hit when times get tough!

 “We are concerned that in the political bickering during the ongoing process of agreeing the funding for the Investment Plan, vital schemes for Europe’s young people, such as Erasmus+, may be jeopardised. Funding for the Investment Plan must not come from such schemes.”  

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