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Statement by Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Vice-President of the EESC, on International Youth Day

Today we celebrate International Youth Day, which recognises the power of youth in transforming the world. First launched in Lisbon in 1998, this year's International Youth Day is dedicated to promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their aim to fight global poverty and promote a sustainable world for all. Our ability to implement the SDGs effectively will determine the future of today's youth.


In order to bridge the skills gap, we must first identify precisely which skills are needed for the future. This remains difficult, due to the rapid pace of change we are seeing today. Adaptation of education systems, development of lifelong learning systems and close cooperation between employers, policy-makers and academics are some of the ways to help people adapt their skills to the demands of future labour markets. These were among the conclusions reached at the conference on Bridging the Skills Gap for Growth and Job Creation – the Business Perspective, which took place on 22 March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.


EESC President Georges Dassis participated in the presentation of the pilot project "European Framework for mobility of apprentices", in Toledo, Spain, on 30 September. After the enormous success of the Erasmus programme (for higher education students), the European Union is launching a new project, this time focused on vocational education for trainees and apprentices (who do not go to university or college). As Europe is facing a difficult time when it comes to creating jobs ...

Participants in YEYS 2019
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Въвеждането на задължителна учебна програма по европейските политики с цел повишаване на познанията на гражданите преди гласуване е предложението, събрало най-много гласове в изданието на „Твоята Европа, твоето мнение!“ за 2019 г., младежка проява, организирана от Европейския икономически и социален комитет (ЕИСК) на 21—22 март 2019 г. Тази инициатива и три други избрани предложения, насочени към използването на нови технологии и социални медии за увеличаване на участието в избори за Европейски парламент, ще бъдат изпратени на Европейския парламент за разглеждане.

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According to Eurostat figures, in May 2016 there were 4,197 million unemployed young people (18.6%) in the EU-28. Although an improvement on the previous year (20.3%), the figure remains appalling and shows that the threat of a "lost generation", which has loomed large since the beginning of the economic and financial crisis, is still hanging dangerously over Europe. Despite this, businesses across the EU are struggling to find young people with the skills they need.