Monday

28th May 2018

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.

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."

Opinion

Paying a high cost: EU's role in Spain's painful health cuts

The EU should either conduct, or ask states to conduct, human rights impact assessments of country-specific recommendations to ensure that the implementation of austerity measures does not result in reduced human rights protections.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach