Youth guarantee does not fulfil its promises

10 Jul 2014

The six European trade union federations (ETUFs) and their combined membership of 30 million workers who are powering the campaign “Enough of their crisis – back to our future”, are deeply concerned that the Italian Government, which has just this month commenced its Presidency of the EU, has cancelled the Inter-Ministerial Summit on Youth Employment planned to take place in Turin on 11 July.

The ETUFs see it as evidence that European politicians are ashamed of the dismal results in implementing the Youth Guarantee agreed by the Council in April 2013, and are responding with a twitter storm to make heads of state, Members of the European Parliament and the Commission accountable for their inactivity.

The Inter-Ministerial Summit was intended to follow those that took place in Berlin (July 2013) and Paris (November 2013).

According to the ETUFs, the cancellation of this meeting is nothing short of alarming, with Europe still in recession and persistent mass-scale youth unemployment in spite of modest recovery in some areas.

The modest 6 billion euros set aside over a seven-year period to implement the Youth Guarantee was always seen by the ETUFs as too little, too late. In a joint declaration in February 2014, the ETUFs state that with an estimated cost of 21 billion euros per year to set up an effective tool, and without any enforcement measures for implementation on national level, the EU’s promise remains far from adequate to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.

This week’s failure of European leaders to share any positive results of the Youth Guarantee is testimony to the accuracy of the ETUFs’ prediction. Leaders have called for more time, with the Summit postponed to the end of the year – a clear indication of the lack of political will to prevent a jobless generation.

Member States, together with the European Commission, must think harder about the design of the Youth Guarantee and prioritise direct and transparent measures to reduce youth unemployment, such as investing in new quality jobs.

The ETUFs will hope for more commitment from the European Parliament, which is likely to table a resolution on youth employment at its plenary session agenda on 16 July. Together with their respective youth organisations, the ETUFs will meet with the newly formed European Parliament groups later in the year to lay out their key demands to reclaim the rights of Europe’s youth.

Since their campaign launch in March 2014, the ETUFs have undertaken flash mobs in different European capitals to draw public attention to the critical situation for young workers in Europe, led a 50,000-strong European trade union demonstration and undertaken other isolated actions around Europe, spoken in the European Parliament, convened a press conference and penned a series of articles.

Media contacts

EFBWW: Werner Buelen +32 (0)475 84 06 48 or
EFFAT: Dominique Mitchell +32 (0)490 56 94 05 or
EPSU: Pablo Sanchez +32 (0)474 62 66 33 or
ETF: Koen Reynaerts +32 (0)470 93 05 90 or
industriAll Europe: +32 (0)473 86 58 84 or
Uni Europa: +32 (0)476 25 76 50 or