EU Parliament Youth Resolution is a step, not a solution

18 Jul 2014

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 fact that the newly elected European Parliament has dedicated itself to addressing youth employment as a matter of utmost urgency.

The European Parliament sent a welcome, yet smokeless signal by adopting a resolution on Youth Employment during its last session before the summer break. The ETUFs welcome the Parliament’s call to swiftly implement the European Youth Guarantee and increase the funds allocated to this important initiative, as well as the request to extend the programme 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, certain elements that have been included in the resolution entail some deplorable perspectives for young workers and remain a reason for concern as regards to the Parliament’s capability to deliver a solution.  Recommendations that suggest deflecting 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 programmes and apprenticeships.

The ETUFs therefore regard this Parliament resolution as just one step along a long road that needs to be travelled. The effectiveness of these initiatives will have to be measured against the backdrop of the EU’s success in overcoming the crippling effects of austerity policies 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 functioning solution for young workers and job-seekers.

Media contacts

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ETF: Koen Reynaerts +32 (0)470 93 05 90 or
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