Why do overwhelming proportions of EU’s youth feel excluded?

Visit by Marianne Thyssen, member of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility to Greece. There, Thyssen attended a meeting regarding the "Voucher for youth up to 29 years old in private enterprises in the Tourism Sector to obtain work experience”. The various EU programs for training and work experience have not succeeded in alleviating the exclusion feeling of the EU’s youths. Date: 21/04/2016. Location: Athens. © European Union, 2016 / Photo: Yorgos Karahalis.

Visit by Marianne Thyssen, member of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility (first from right) to Greece. There, Thyssen attended a meeting regarding the “Voucher for youth up to 29 years old in private enterprises in the Tourism Sector to obtain work experience”. The various EU programs for training and work experience have not succeeded in alleviating the exclusion feeling of the EU’s youths. Date: 21/04/2016. Location: Athens. © European Union, 2016 / Photo: Yorgos Karahalis.

The Eurobarometer, the public opinion analysis tool of the European Commission, interviewed 10,294 Europeans aged between 16 and 30 in the 28 EU member states between 9 and 25 April 2016, and found that most of them feel economically and socially marginalized by the crisis. Of course, there are incredible differences among the member state countries, on most of the issues addressed. In crucial questions pertaining to marginalization or feeling compelled to study, train or work in another country, the respondents in member states like Greece, Poland, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria seem to live in a different planet than their counterparts in Denmark and Germany.

In detail, the absolute majority of respondents (above 50%) in 21 countries feel excluded, though there are striking national differences of up to 66 points. For example, 93% of the Greek youths feel excluded in comparison to only 27% in Germany. As expected, the rates of those feeling excluded are very high in the countries, which were worst hit by the economic crisis. Despite that, in the EU as a whole, few young people (15%) really feel compelled to leave their country and seek employment and a better life elsewhere. Understandably, national results differ greatly between the well to do and the worse off countries.

Huge differences within the EU28

Differences are so huge between the member states, that it’s a high statistical risk operation to draw arithmetic means or medians. The classical example for the uselessness of averages, is middling the assets and the incomes of two persons, a billionaire and a homeless. This is not only scientifically unacceptable, but it may hide murky intentions. Calculating, for example, the EU28 average of youths feeling excluded at 57%, tells only part of the story.

See the whole picture

Undeniably though, it’s alarming enough to find that well above half, the EU youths are feeling ostracized by their own society. The striking differences between the youths in the south, who felt excluded at a rate of more than 70%, in comparison with the two best off countries (Germany and Denmark) where the relevant rates are estimated to be below 30%, is an obvious challenge and can be used as a policy guide for decision-makers, if any of them really cares about it.

There are more alarming findings, though, in this Eurobarometer survey. At the exclusion of these last two countries, all other member states produced a rate of feeling excluded youths of more than 40% (to be compared to an arithmetic mean of 57%). It’s quite disturbing to learn that almost half of the EU youths in 25 member states are feeling that way. To be noted here, that using the arithmetic mean as a research tool may hide the truth, that actually there aren’t many better off cases with lower exclusion rates than the mean. Even for Germany, the fact that one third of the youths (31%) of up to 30 years of age feel excluded, is a disturbing fact.

A dark future

The next thing that comes to mind is that the future is also not at all promising for those frustrated youngsters, because noticeable economic growth is excluded from the horizon. As a result, there are no good prospects in the foreseeable future for 31% of young Germans. It will be impossible for them to find a steady, secure and well paid job, like their parents did.

This reality has already been felt in the German political life. The left wing part of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is currently raising critical questions, about the party’s participation in the decade long governing coalition with Algela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). Not to say anything about the rise of extreme right wing, xenophobic and nationalistic political groups all over the EU, a dreadfully reality fast developing.

What about education?

However, the Eurobarometer survey tackles the causes of this appalling reality for EU’s youth. In the nations where high percentages of youths are compelled to study, train or work in another country, those rates are tightly correlated with high proportions of poor adaptation of the education system to the world of work. It’s characteristic that, out of the four nations where the youths feel more compelled to leave their country, namely Cyprus, Poland Greece and Bulgaria, the three, at the exception of Poland, do not have an education system which can lead to a job.

Unfortunately, this observation means that things cannot change soon because redressing the education system to better answer the needs of the economy cannot be done overnight. If a groundbreaking reform of the education system started tomorrow, it would take at least the time span of one or two generations to adapt to the needs of the world of work. Even worse, there is no news coming from the worst hit countries about a realistic diagnosis of the problem and an equally pragmatic plan to reshuffle the education system.

It’s the economy, stupid!

In any case, the EU’s education system is not the basic cause of the present problems. Before the crisis, the education system was the same, if not less adapted to the economy than today. Yet, such problems were not so acute as now. Overall unemployment was low, the youths had much better prospects and most of them could choose out of an array of careers.

As for the ‘Youth Guarantee’ project, initiated and endowed with €6 billion by the EU to help the under 25s to get a job or a training within four months after leaving the education system, most of the European youths have not even heard of it. According to the survey, 76% of the EU young people don’t know anything about that. The percentages of ‘never heard’ range from 48% in Finland to 89% in the UK.

Real unemployment double the official rate

Unquestionably, the problems of the Europe’s young generations are related to the general destruction of the ‘good old’ structures, which guaranteed to almost all a normal working and social life. The problem is not only that the official overall unemployment rate is stuck above 10% for years now and ranges freely above 20% for the under 25s, but that real unemployment is double than the official rates. Alas, this newspaper has proved this, using Eurostat (the EU’s statistical service) data. No wonder then why overwhelming percentages of the EU youths feel excluded. And they are not alone in that.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

Bugged Europe accepts US demands and blocks Morales plane

Failing to see reality or deceiving the masses? The EU about poverty and social exclusion

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

EU-US trade talks go ahead despite Prism and civil rights breach

Why the euro may rise with the dollar even at lower interest rates

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

A Sting Exclusive: “Our ambition is by 2020 Indonesia to become an emerging power of World’s Maritime Access”, reveals the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Indonesia in Brussels, treating WEF, ASEAN and EU-Indonesia relations on the eve of the World Economic Forum East Asia 2015 in Jakarta

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth Unemployment

UK’s Cameron takes the field to speed up TTIP talks. Will “rocket boosters” work?

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

ECB doesn’t dare touch Eurozone’s big banks

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Love Affair with Some(one)/(thing)

Irish Presidency: Not a euro more for EU budgets

Greece did it again

New skills agenda for Europe needs real investment

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Germany loses leading export place

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

South Eurozone countries threatened by rising borrowing cost and expensive euro

South Eurozone urgently needs fairer distribution of taxation burden

ITU Telecom World 2017: exploring smart digital transformation

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

France asks help from Germany but it will not be for free

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

European Council: Choosing new leaders for the EU betrays efforts for a wider arrangement

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will impact young people’s future the most

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

French election: Will France vote for a reformed or no EU?

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

IMF’s Lagarde indirectly cautioned Eurozone on deflation

CHINA UNLIMITED. PEOPLE UNLIMITED. RESTRICTIONS LIMITED

230 Junior Entrepreneurs and over 70 guests attended the International Congress on “Entrepreneurial Skills for Youth”

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Launch of CREWS, climate risk & early warning systems

MWC 2016 LIVE: Under Armour learns from “robust community of data”

Deutsche Bank: the next financial crisis is here and the lenders need €150 billion from taxpayers

MWC 2016 Live: Roshan CEO opens up on Afghanistan challenges

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

Greece returns to markets at a high cost to taxpayers, after four years out in the cold

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Berlin and Paris pursue the financial fragmentation of Eurozone

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] finds that more than half of young Europeans aged 16-30 feel marginalised in their own country. The European Sting analyses the results of the Eurobarometer poll in detail, identifying some of the causes why overwhelming percentages of EU youth feel […]

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s