17th of July 2014
The European Parliament has sent a welcome, yet smokeless signal on Thursday 17 July by adopting a resolution on Youth Employment during its last session before the summer break. The six sectoral European trade union federations (ETUFs), uniting over 30 million workers and organisers through the “Enough of their crisis – back to our future” campaign, appreciate the urgency with which the newly elected Parliament has dedicated itself to addressing this matter of utmost urgency.
The ETUFs welcome the Parliament’s call for swiftly implementing the European Youth Guarantee and increasing the funds allocated to this important initiative as well as the initiative to extend the program to all young people under 30 years of age. The proposals to establish a legal framework introducing minimum standards for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and including the reduction of youth unemployment as objectives under the European Semester process are equally appreciated.
However, efforts to deflect from the pressing problem of youth unemployment by demanding an ever increasing degree of mobility and flexibility from young workers, or by trying to oblige the families of young people to cover their expenses in case of unemployment are bound to fail and create social hardship. Instead, the EU Member States and enterprises throughout Europe must finally come through on facilitating the access of young people to the labour market and quality jobs, training programs and apprenticeships.
The ETUFs therefore regard this Parliament resolution as one step of a long road that needs to be travelled. The effectiveness of these initiatives will have to be measured in front of the backdrop of the EU’s success in overcoming the crippling effects austerity policies have had on labour markets, public spending and economic growth throughout Europe that have particularly disadvantaged young workers. The numerous initiatives by the European Council, the Commission or the Parliament have yet to deliver a working solution for young workers and job seekers.
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