Monday

18th Feb 2019

Focus

EU youth unemployment is 'social emergency'

  • Barroso - EU unemployment a "social emergency" (Photo: xOchoa)

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has put further pressure on governments to create a pan-European youth guarantee scheme to tackle record levels of youth unemployment.

The scheme aims to ensure EU citizens aged between 16-25 would be offered training, full-time education or a job within four months.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday (30 January) Barroso said "it is clear that we must take even stronger measures to fight unemployment, notably youth unemployment."

He added that there is still time to address the matter in discussions on the EU's next long term budget.

The commission is pushing to allocate funds from the EU budget for governments to finance national schemes. One in four under 25s in Europe is unemployed, rising to over one in two in Spain and Greece.

Barroso admitted that the "social situation is very severe. Unemployment, in particular youth unemployment is a huge concern for all of us. In 12 of our 27 member states youth unemployment is higher than 25 percent." He added that several EU countries faced a genuine social emergency."

On Tuesday Economic Commissioner Olli Rehn emphasised the size of the bloc's unemployment crisis, pointing out that over 2.5 million manufacturing jobs had been lost in Germany, France, Italy and Spain during 2012.

Barroso was speaking at the final session of the European Parliamentary week, with over 100 deputies from national parliaments in Brussels. Most MPs said that the European Semester was too focused on austerity.

Politicians also emphasised the need for national parliaments to take a prominent role in scrutinising economic reforms drawn up under the European Semester programme and new EU rules on economic governance. A paper prepared by the European Parliament's research unit found that just three countries - France, Italy and Luxembourg - had held parliamentary debates on their National Reform Programmes (NRPs) in 2011 and 2012.

For her part, Sharon Bowles, the British liberal MEP who chairs the powerful economic affairs committee, commented that "only a minority of national parliaments are actually grilling their ministers on what is being negotiated. We could all learn from some of those countries where parliaments do get involved and give a mandate to their ministers."

Germany, Denmark and Finland are among a minority whose MPs are required to give a mandate to ministers in advance of negotiations in Brussels.

Youth unemployment risks 'social disaster'

The rise in youth unemployment in some member states could pose a “serious threat to social cohesion,” the European Commission warned Friday.

Rehn under fire over Berlusconi remarks

EU commissioner Olli Rehn is at the centre of a political row after blaming Italy's former prime minister, Berlusconi, for the country's financial crisis.

EU to 'revive hope' on youth jobs, Barroso pledges

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has called on EU leaders to tackle youth unemployment at their June summit, promising that the EU executive would do its bit to "revive hope."

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers call climate change 'direct and existential threat'
  2. Seven MPs leave Britain's Labour Party
  3. Czech PM: May's EU elections 'most important ever'
  4. 'History will judge us': May tells MPs on Brexit
  5. Trump warns EU on release of Islamist fighters
  6. Venezuela expels 'conspiratorial' MEPs
  7. Holocaust dispute upsets Israel's EU lobbying
  8. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars
  2. British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule
  3. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland
  4. ESA pushback against new EU space agency plan
  5. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  6. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  7. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  8. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us