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Youth Guarantee: EU Parliament increases pressure on Member States

With a parliamentary question and a motion for a resolution on a Youth Guarantee, the European Parliament this week put additional pressure on the Member States and the EU Commission to speed up the introduction of a Youth Guarantee. However, the dispute concerning financing proves to be a major hurdle. The Austrian Chancellor, who had been a guest of the plenary session of the European Parliament this week, used the occasion to voice his support for the idea that in the negotiations on the EU budget, the rebates on member contributions, which some EU states received, would be invested to help young people. This money could be used to immediately get a million of young people “off the street”, said Federal Chancellor Faymann. An interesting proposal!

Commissioner Andor: Youth Guarantee will reduce youth unemployment and increase employability

EU Employment Commissioner László Andor put it in a nutshell when he said one should stop crying crocodile tears all the time, but start to take action, as already done by the EU Commission with its Communication on introducing a Youth Guarantee. In doing so he addressed the fact that even though many MEPs, ministers, as well as heads of state and government would hardly ever miss an opportunity to lament that youth unemployment of more than 22 % would be intolerable, however, that many were not prepared to part with money to improve the situation. Now it was the turn of the Member States to introduce and implement the Youth Guarantee, said Andor. Based on the adopted resolution, the EU Parliament concretely urged Member States’ Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs to agree in the next session in February to implement the Youth Guarantee programmes in all Member States.

Austria serving as an example of a Youth Guarantee

It is always a pleasure to hear that Austria is serving as an example of the "Youth Guarantee" programme planned by the EU Commission. The Programme shall ensure that unemployed young people will be offered a job, an apprenticeship or a vocational and training place after four months out of a job at the latest. This is de facto the adoption of the Austrian four-point plan. Unfortunately, from the point of view of the Chamber of Labour the proposals by the EU Commission on Youth Guarantee do not go far enough. A bundle of measures should be taken, such as the binding introduction of a Youth Guarantee system, the determination of a European youth target (for example the reduction of respective youth unemployment by a certain percentage), the clear increase of the European Social Fund by 40 billion euro for the next financial period for youth employment or setting up a separate fund as the obligation of other EU funds to also make a contribution. Evelyn Regner, MEP, who took part in the debate in the European Parliament also called for a separate fund to combat youth unemployment, telling the house she was not completely satisfied with the proposals of the EU Commission.

EU Parliament adopted resolution of Youth Guarantee with broad majority

Finally, the European Parliament adopted the Motion for a resolution on a Youth Guarantee with a clear majority of 546 against 96 with 28 abstentions, thereby urging all EU countries to set respective initiatives in train. The Ministers of Employment and Social affairs are now able to take a first step at their meeting in February.

Additional information:

Parliamentary question on Youth Guarantee

European Parliament resolution on a Youth Guarantee
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