European states, affected by successive crises, are reacting in the disorder.
In the eyes of European citizens and especially young people, Europe is becoming less and less as a solution, more and more as a problem. Between 2008 and 2010, the total number of unemployed youth in the EU (under twenty-five years) has increased by one million, making it one of the groups hardest hit by the economic crisis: their unemployment rate has now increased to over 20%, and it peaks at over 40% in some Member States.
The isolationism and protectionism are current threats. Faced with the loss of identity and values, Europe does not find the answers to the height of local and global issues.
The Europe of Jean Monnet evoked dreams of generations as well for those in the West, scarred by the memory of the world wars, as those in the Eastern who were deprived of personal liberties. Today, our Europe lacks leadership able to reignite the march towards progress for generations. It is up to civil society to take its destiny in its own hands!
The Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee under the patronage of its President, Henri Malosse, organised a thematic meeting in the context of the French CCI University on questions related to the European youth, entitled "European Youth: Hope or Despair for the New Generation?" on 29th-31st August 2012.
The meeting took place at the Palais des Congrès in Versailles and aimed to give answers to questions, including:
What needs to be done give young Europeans the best tools and assets to succeed in life?
Does intergenerational solidarity need to be put in motion to restore meaning to collective action?
How can the European Economic and Social Committee, which represents the aspirations of civil society, contribute to this momentum?