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

Featured Stings

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

EU rewards organisations that make eco-innovation pay

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

In China things are moving in the right direction

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Unemployment and stagnation can tear Eurozone apart if austere policies persist

“Will TTIP solve the massive EU-US unemployment? Absolutely not!” A revealing Sting Exclusive with Tim Bennett from the Transatlantic Business Council

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

The European Commission to stop Buffering

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

A money laundering case on Vatican Bank’s road to renovation

Entrepreneurship in a newly shaped Europe: what is the survival kit for a young Catalan and British entrepreneur in 2018?

India’s Largest Entrepreneurship Event is Back! (23-24th August 2016)

A Sting Exclusive: Paris Climate Change Summit, a defining moment for humanity, by Ulf Björnholm Head of UNEP Brussels

Industrial products: Lifting the last impediments in the EU single market

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

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

Italy’s Letta: A European Banking Union soon or Eurozone collapses

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

“Beating pollution for our planet”, a Sting Exclusive by Mr Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: The Draft Agreement Updated

The inhumane face of crisis mirrored in numbers

How the Irish people were robbed by banks, the Commission and their own government

The DNA of the future retail CEO

Travel the world, find yourself

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

The European Commission cuts roaming charges. But “it’s not enough”…

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

The Irish Presidency bullies the Parliament over EU budget

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

EU Parliament says ‘no’ to austerity budget

ZTE @ MWC14: ZTE excels in all areas at this year’s Mobile World Congress

Why Commissioner Rehn wants us all to work more for less

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

EU and Japan agree on free-trade deal and fill the post-TPP void

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

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