Young people were particularly hard-hit by the financial crisis in 2008 and still suffer from high unemployment, or have become the working-poor. The S&D Group fights to give young people a voice to shape EU policies and to guarantee equal opportunities in the labour market and quality long-term jobs.
Today the parliamentary committee on culture and education backed the report for an EU Youth Strategy (2018-2026) drafted by the S&D MEP Eider Gardiazabal.
Eider Gardiazabal said:
“Everyone speaks about the young, but they are rarely given a voice or the chance to participate in the decision-making process. This is something we want to change.
“The current Youth Strategy (2010-2018) had very general goals and it is hard to measure where it succeeded. However, one thing is clear: one of the main successes was the Youth Guarantee, which was put forward by the S&Ds. Up to 1.6 million young people benefited from it, so we must build on that experience.
"Beyond jobs and education, we want a comprehensive approach. Access to culture is a fundamental right, and we want all young people to have the possibility to study and to enjoy mobile experiences, despite socio-economic difficulties. We want a strong focus on people with special needs and on minorities, because they need more support. Furthermore, all young people should easily have access to culture, because it is crucial during times when intolerance is growing.
“This is a crucial moment to ensure a solid Youth Strategy because we are also about to discuss the European multi-annual budget after 2020. Member states will show what their political priorities are, and we honestly hope that youth is at the top of the list.”
S&D spokesperson for education and youth, Silvia Costa MEP, said:
“European youth programmes should be strengthened, improved, promoted and well financed with a long-term and co-ordinated vision if we really want to deliver.
“We, in the S&D Group, will demand increased funding for the Erasmus+ programme, for the Youth Employment Initiative (which is the EU financial instrument for the implementation of Youth Guarantee schemes), and for the Europe for Citizens programme. In addition, we will also request fresh money for the new European Solidarity and Voluntary Service.
“In the EU, up to 25 million children (more than 26.4 % of all Europeans aged 0-17) are at the risk of poverty in families that are lacking sufficient income and basic services. So we call on the Commission to develop a Child Guarantee as a long-term tool to offer equal opportunities for all children in the EU.”