EESC opinion: Youth Guarantee (ESF)

Two referrals: COM(2013) 145 final (in English) and COM(2013) 146 final


Key points

  • In spite of the misgivings that it has expressed about the amounts and manner of funding secured for the Youth Employment and Youth Guarantee initiatives, the EESC agrees with the Commission about the need to adjust the Parliament and Council regulations on the European Social Fund and the Structural Funds.
  • The EESC stresses the need for policies decided upon now to contribute to growth and the creation of high-quality, stable jobs and to strengthen social cohesion.
  • The EESC regrets the fact that funding for the Youth Employment initiative has not come from an increase in funds from the Union, but instead comes from a reduction in the overall budgetary envelope for cohesion.
  • The EESC firmly believes that the 6 000 million euros earmarked for this is not enough to cope with the magnitude of the problem and the urgent need to resolve it.
  • The EESC recommends either that there be greater flexibility in setting the percentage of youth unemployment enabling access to the allocated funds or that this percentage be set at 20%.
  • The EESC recommends that the age limit for accessing the Youth Guarantee be raised to 30, particularly in those countries with higher levels of youth unemployment.
  • Lastly, the EESC calls on Member States not to cut back the financial commitment for promoting youth employment.