Tuesday

24th Jan 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Focus

Anti-HIV measures failing in EU, says WHO

Rates of infection have stayed constant for a decade in the EU, though there has been a massive surge in Russia apparently caused by drug users sharing needles.

News in Brief

  1. Greek island mayors plead for the transfer of migrants
  2. Tzipi Livni cancels Brussels trip amid war crimes probe
  3. Romania's president plans referendum on prisoner pardons
  4. Sweden to host EU social summit
  5. US Congress may Trump-proof Russia sanctions
  6. Fury over UK 'cover up' of failed missile test
  7. Theresa May: I will not be afraid to stand up to Trump
  8. Brexit will destroy NI peace deal, says Gerry Adams

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Influence of Turkish Politics in Europe After the Coup Attempt
  2. World VisionEU Urged to do Better Ahead of Helsinki Conference on Syria
  3. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  4. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  5. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  6. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  7. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  8. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  9. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  10. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  11. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London

Latest News

  1. Dutch PM tells people to 'act normal, or go away'
  2. EU to step up effort against Russian and Islamist propaganda
  3. Serbia-Kosovo talks back on track
  4. Secret EU law making takes over Brussels
  5. EU says milk protest 'difficult to understand'
  6. Future of euro on EU agenda This WEEK
  7. Pope warns populism could lead to 'saviours' like Hitler
  8. How the EU can protect the world’s forest by tackling corruption