Introduction      The publication      The situation      Documents


The crisis which started with the banks, and became an economic, a social and also a European integration crisis, has been with us for more than four years now.

It affects social services, pensions, jobs – but probably most brutally of all, it destroys the prospects and aspirations of young people.

Austerity-only measures have further exacerbated the situation, plunging millions of young Europeans into despair. This is why progressive responses are urgently needed. 



The publication


Untitled Document






The facts
In November 2012, there were 5.8 million unemployed young people in the EU, rising by  329,000  since November 2011. Some of the worst hit countries have seen youth unemployment rise to above 57%, with no end in sight.

Around 7.5 million young people between the age of 15 and 24 and an additional 6.5 million 24-29 year-olds are currently Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).

This concerns not only those with low levels of qualifications, but increasingly also those who have already invested heavily in their own education.

This is gradually creating generations of young people deprived of the means to build their own independent lives, disillusioned with the political and economic system, and left without hope.

Prolonged austerity-only measures have a lot to answer for. In fact, tackling youth unemployment cannot be but part of of a broader EU strategy to re-launch growth and stimulate decent job creation.





The way forward
Tackling youth unemployment requires immediate and bold action in order to avert a major catastrophe. Not only do current figures seriously undermine social cohesion in some Member States but they also jeopardise European integration as a whole.

For this reason, a first step forward is the youth guarantee schemes, ensuring that every young person in Europe will be offered a job, further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or after becoming unemployed.

The PES Group in the CoR has fully supported the campaign of the Party of European Socialists Your future is my Future – A European Youth Guarantee Now!, which has born its fruit since the European Commission proposed last December a Council Recommendation on Establishing a Youth Guarantee.

Thanks to the Irish Labour Party, tackling the issue of youth unemployment has been one of the top priorities of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

There was an immediate response, led by Socialists, Social Democrats and Progressives, both in the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions, with the adoption in January of two Resolutions: the CoR Resolution on a Youth Guarantee and the EP Motion for a Resolution for a Youth Guarantee.


As a result of the efforts of European Socialist and Social Democratic Ministers, the Council of EU Employment and Social Policy Ministers meeting in Brussels on 28 February agreed to introduce a Youth Guarantee. The swift implementation of this scheme is essential in the fight against youth unemployment.

The role of regional and local authorities
The PES Group in the CoR urges regional and local authorities to act swiftly and provide the support they can to address this major problem. In many countries, local or regional levels of governance are responsible for education and vocational training. In many cases, they support local businesses and are in close contact with them.

Together with them and other stakeholders, local or regional actors can develop new ideas, implement new projects, help to bring in financing from the national or European level, provide guidance or make contacts.Locally and regionally elected Socialists and Social Democrats can make a difference!


Useful information youth unemployment
Moving Youth into Employment
Europen Commission working document accompanying the Communication on Youth Employment (COM(2012) 727 final)

The PES Guide on Youth Guarantees
Introducing youth guarantees on the national level

Young people and NEETs* in Europe: First findings
by EUROFOUND, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
(* NEET = not in employment, education or

Best days of their lives? Youth in Europe
by EUROFOUND, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

The growing pains of Europe's youth
Fresh thinking magazine 1/2012, Foundation for European Progressive Studies

Youth unemployment debate
Social Europe Journal

Youth unemployment: the crisis we cannot afford
The ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment
NEETs - Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe
by EUROFOUND, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

Combatting youth unemployment
Report adopted by the PES Presidency on 9 February 2012

Youth Guarantee: Experiences from Finland
and Sweden

by EUROFOUND, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012
Report by the International Labour Organisation

European Quality Charter on Internships and Apprenticeships
European Youth Forum

Youth unemployment in Europe: Theoretical considerations and empirical findings
Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung (FES), July 2012

We are excluded - Case studies on youth unemployment in different EU Countries
Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung London




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