S&D MEPs call for a strong European Youth Guarantee

S&D Euro MPs expressed mixed feelings on the youth guarantee proposed today as part of the European Commission’s employment package.

Said S&D Group leader Hannes Swoboda:

« I am pleased to see the European Commission taking up the idea of a youth guarantee – we have been campaigning for this guarantee for more than a year – but as it stands, it is not up to the challenge.

« We would have preferred a real European youth guarantee, backed with specific funding.

« A strong youth guarantee would be a powerful tool to fight unemployment among youngsters. It would guarantee that young unemployed people must be helped to find training, a job or pursue their studies.

« Austria has already successfully introduced the system. The country has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in Europe.

« Having heard the tone of the recent discussions on the future EU budget, I am concerned that the youth guarantee will remain an empty promise and may simply be sacrificed by member states. »

Said S&D Group spokesman for social affairs, Alejandro Cercas:

« With up to half of young people out of a job in several EU countries and 1in 4 across the whole EU, we need to take strong action now.

« For the first time in recent history, young people cannot look forward to a better life than their parents. A real European youth guarantee could be part of the solution in the fight against growing unemployment. »

Said S&D Euro MP and chair of the employment and social affairs committee Pervenche Berès:

« The resources from the European Social Fund should be used effectively at national level to reintegrate young people back into society and the workforce.

« We call on EU leaders to agree on a strong budget for the European Social Fund in the discussions on the future financing of the EU budget. At least 25% of the cohesion funds should be devoted exclusively to the European Social Fund.

« The youth guarantee scheme has become part of the annual growth survey. The European Commission must now ensure its effective implementation in country specific recommendations. »