Unanswered questions for Europe’s youth in President Juncker’s State of Union


State of the Union Speech by Jean-Claude Juncker, at the podium, in the presence of Martin Schulz, on the right in the background. © European Union , 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

Whilst highlighting the plight of young people in his State of the Union speech, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker left many questions unanswered after his welcome statement that he cannot accept Europe as the continent of youth unemployment. His good words are at odds with the subsequent announcement of an effective cut in funding of more than three-quarters[1] in the Youth Guarantee as compared to 2014-2016 funding. Without the political will and funding to effectively implement the Youth Guarantee, youth unemployment will continue in Europe. Similarly, more details are needed on the newly announced European Solidarity Corps which must support, not replace or just rehash the good work already being carried out by young people and youth organisations.

 It is extremely disappointing that at very difficult times for Europe, and especially its young people, the European Commission’s answer does not match the promise of Juncker’s speech, by implementing an effective cut in Youth Employment Initiative funding: from €6 billion over 2014-2016 to €2 billion for the next four years. The Youth Forum calls on the European Parliement and the Council to ensure at least the same amount of funding as there is currently for the Youth Employment Initiative for 2017-2020.

The Youth Guarantee has its faults but Member States are gradually improving their implementation and millions of young people have directly benefitted with a job, a training or an apprenticeship.

European Youth Forum studies have shown that only 1.8% of the EU budget directly targets young people. However, young people are the group most at risk of poverty and social exclusion across the EU. With youth unemployment at 18.8% in July 2016, the European Youth Forum therefore questions the European Commission’s commitment to “put its money where its mouth is”. Given the doubling of the funds for the Investment Plan, we expect to see a proportion of this money invested in youth and in young entrepreneurs. We also call for a more coherent and concrete approach to implementing Juncker’s call for “a more social Europe”, through for example anti-discrimination legislation.

Young people, especially the millions that are part of youth organisations, have already been at the forefront of actions to support refugees and those in need. The new proposed European Solidarity Corps of young volunteers must support and not replace or reinvent these ongoing efforts. Volunteering must be of good quality and make a genuine contribution to developing young people’s skills, as well as helping those in need, but it must not replace jobs with unpaid work.

Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, comments:

“Europe is on a cliff edge: decisions made now impact all of our futures, but especially young people’s. Whilst we welcome President Juncker’s concern for youth, we are past the time for nice words, which is what he offered us this morning. What we need is answers, detail and real, new investment in young people. If he wants to empower citizens, Jean Claude Juncker must include us and create a real dialogue with young people about our future. We call on Member States and the European Parliament to continue existing levels of funding for the Youth Guarantee. European leaders must now, in this week’s summit in Bratislava, show their comitment to youth and invest in us in order to release the huge potential that we have. We look forward to hearing what importance they place on all of our futures.”







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

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

Confronting antimicrobial resistance of animal origin

This is how we can feed the planet while saving the ocean

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must ‘scale-up’ soil health – UN

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

Draghi: ECB to flood Eurozone and the world with more zero cost money; risk of drowning in cash

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

We need a reskilling revolution. Here’s how to make it happen

European Agenda on Migration: Still fragile situation gives no cause for complacency

It’s not enough to respond to crises. We need to take action before they happen

A third of world’s out-of-school youth live in conflict, disaster-affected countries: UNICEF report

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

Children are still dying in Yemen war, despite partial ceasefire, says UNICEF chief

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

International co-operation vital to improve integration of refugees

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

Remarks by President Juncker at the joint press conference with President Tusk ahead of the G20 Summit

From glass ceiling to glass cliff: women are not a leadership quick-fix

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

The world’s coastal cities are going under. Here’s how some are fighting back

100 years on, UN labour agency mission focussed on growing inequality, says Director-General

The first new university in the UK for 40 years is taking a very different approach to education

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

Sustainable development funding is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Guterres underscores UN role in achieving a free, secure Internet

World Bank President steps down, Chief Executive assumes temporary role

An Eastern Wind

Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

Somalis ‘will not be deterred’ by Friday’s terror attacks – UN chief

LGBT community in Chechnya faces ‘new wave of persecution’: UN human rights experts

Cybersecurity should be a source of hope, not fear. Here are 5 reasons why

How voice technology will change your life

Vienna has the world’s best quality of living

EU Justice Scoreboard 2018: justice systems’ key role in upholding the rule of law and EU values

What do toilets have to do with climate change?

Mental health and suicide prevention: why focus on primary care

Syria: ‘Violence, displacement’ and cold kill 11 infants ‘in the past two days’

Main results of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) – 18-19/10/2018

If on a summer’s night: is UK businesses’ “new deal” the only key to the “best of all worlds”?

Will CETA be implemented after eight long years or it will be vetoed by the EU citizen?

Europe and UN form bulwark against ‘might makes right’ worldview, EU foreign affairs chief tells Security Council

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: The health of capitalism won’t be the only worry for those who head for Davos

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