“Youth unemployment is one the EU's greatest challenges. 24% of young Europeans don't have a job therefore we must act here and now. The European Parliament will do its utmost to guarantee an effective and timely implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative”, said Sidonia Jędrzejewska MEP, who initiated the organisation of an EP hearing on this pressing matter.
At today's hearing, Members of the Committee on Budgets examined the state of the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). The invited experts from the European Commission, national administrations and NGOs discussed major challenges for the EU and its Member States in the area of labour policy and shared best practices.
“Thanks to MEPs' efforts, the EU will commit an additional €6 billion to support employment of people under the age of 25 from the EU Budget 2014-2020. The money was frontloaded to the first 2 years of the current financial framework instead of being spread over the entire seven-year period. Moreover, Members States were allowed to exceptionally start implementing YEI-related measures already as of 1 September 2013”, emphasised Jędrzejewska.
Currently, youth unemployment in the European Union is twice as high as adult unemployment. In Greece and Spain, 59% and 56% of young people respectively are facing unemployment. These two countries, together with Italy, will receive the biggest share of the YEI for the amount of €1.7 billion. Although the YEI should provide a general stimulus to the EU economy, it is mostly about giving young people a chance to gain their first job experience. It will be used to finance training, apprenticeships and career counselling for young people from EU regions where unemployment exceeds 25%.
The Committee on Budgets hosted the event in cooperation with the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The invited speakers included Michel Servoz, Director-General of DG Employment, European Commission, Jacek Męcina, Undersecretary of State of the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, and Tatiana Esposito, Social Attaché from the Permanent Representation of Italy.