The European financial crisis has calmed down quite a bit.
And now the hope is that perhaps the economy is about to turn the corner as well.
But the long-term ramifications of the downturn may prove to be incredibly corrosive to European politics, and long-term economic health.
In comments today, Bank of France chief Christian Noyer says that youth unemployment is a fundamental threat to the European Project.
This is intuitive. A huge generation of unemployed youth will create volatile politics, the potential for social unrest, and blight of lost skills and time that could harm Europe for years.
Meanwhile, the EU has released a memo on tackling the youth employment crisis (via Peter Spiegel). It urges the establishment of national Youth Guarantee programs, which ensure job offers and vocational training to those under 25.
What is the EU doing to tackle youth unemployment?
The July 2012 country-specific recommendations sought to ensure that youth employment remains high on the policy agenda of all Member States where youth unemployment rates are particularly dramatic.
The European Commission proposed in December 2012 a Youth Employment Package to help Member States specifically tackle youth unemployment and social exclusion by giving young people offers of jobs, education and training (see IP/12/1311 and MEMO/12/938,). This package includes:
- A proposal for a Council Recommendation to introduce a Youth Guarantee
- A Quality Framework for Traineeships
- A European Alliance for Apprenticeships
The Youth Guarantee Recommendation was adopted by the EU’s Council of Ministers on 22 April 2013 (see MEMO/13/152). The European Commission urges Member States to now put in place the structures to make the Youth Guarantee a reality as soon as possible. The Commission will soon present further initiatives to support Member States in their efforts to put in place their youth guarantee scheme.
What is the Youth Guarantee?
The Youth Guarantee, based on experience in Austria and Finland, seeks to ensure that all young people up to age 25 receive a quality offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The Youth Guarantee is one of the most crucial and urgent reforms required to address youth unemployment and to improve school work transitions.
This chart in the report shows the extent of the crisis across the EU.