The European Youth Forum applauds the strong stance taken by Jean-Claude Juncker on the refugee crisis during his State of the Union address today and his focus on human rights. The Youth Forum also welcomes the Commission’s new goal of full employment and the role of investment in this and looks forward to more concrete policies in the coming months on social policy especially addressing young people.
The Youth Forum has urged Europe to welcome and to protect the human rights of refugees. We were therefore pleased to note President Juncker’s proposals to help those in need and seeking refuge in Europe and we urge EU States to show solidarity to solve this crisis.
The President’s call for full employment is also welcome, but for young Europeans today, this goal seems like a distant dream! Across Europe, over one in five young Europeans are out of a job and these young people were expecting to hear concrete measures and proposals about how the creation of good quality jobs, particularly in today’s context, mentioned by President Juncker of consolidated budgets and structural reforms. Ambitious job creation policies are needed, with corresponding investment attached to them.
The cost of youth unemployment is both social and economic, blighting young people’s lives, but also potentially costing European economy over 600 billion Euro over the mandate of this Commission. The Youth Forum demands action such as ensuring social standards for young people are upheld, including enforcement of equal pay for equal jobs and the elimination of age-based discrimination in the social system and on the labour market.
Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, comments:
“Young people agree that the European Union is not in a good state. They feel this every day: far too many do not have a job and far too many are not afforded the full access to their rights that they are entitled too. As President Juncker said, we need action beyond strong rhetoric. Young people expect a Europe with a strong social agenda at heart of government that aims to reduce inequality and increase opportunity, especially for our generation and all young people. We are ready to work with the European Commission and to propose ideas in order to help achieve their goal of full employment.”