Europe gives a push in the fight against youth unemployment
Today in Strasbourg, S&D Euro MPs backed a proposal to boost the Youth Employment Initiative, designed to help young Europeans to find a job, professional training or an apprenticeship.
Youth unemployment in Europe remains very high with 4.85 million young people, under the age of 25, out of a job.
S&D Group negotiator and Italian Euro MP, Brando Benifei, said:
"One billion euro is being made immediately available to member states, to finally launch the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) programmes, and to start delivering results for young people.
"This surgical intervention, though still small when compared to the scale of youth unemployment problem in Europe, is a smart and positive step in the right direction.
"In proposing to increase the pre-financing of the YEI programmes from 1% to 30%, the European Commission is translating into practice a request originally made by the S&D Group.
"Europe is doing its part. Now it's time for the member states to act. We urge them to use all the resources made available with this programme, to provide quality opportunities for young people. We cannot afford to waste more time when the future of our youngsters is at stake."
S&D Group spokesperson for employment and social affairs, Jutta Steinruck, added:
"Finally with this initiative, we are getting some movement on this "old chestnut" that still remains the biggest problem in Europe. We, as the S&D Group, have always made it clear that the solution to youth unemployment is not achieved through radical cuts, but by taking joint European responsibility.
"Unfortunately, we are still far from the moment when we can celebrate great results. Therefore, the fight against youth unemployment must remain our number 1 priority, with the pre-financing providing an initial impulse for member states."