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.
Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) - Related News
Improving the management of the EU's external border is no longer just an aim, it is an emergency, according to an EESC opinion adopted today. But this should not be done at the detriment of fundamental human rights, notably the right to asylum and the right to free movement in the EU.
New forms of employment contracts and relationships– including zero hour contracts, mini-jobs and work via online intermediaries – have proliferated since the financial crisis. While innovation and creativity must be encouraged, new forms of employment relationships have also increased uncertainty for many workers and this has led to an increasingly unequal labour market.
Labour mobility is a founding principle of the EU and one of the achievements most highly valued by European citizens. It must remain a cornerstone of Europe's internal market, says the EESC in its opinion adopted at the plenary session this week.
Labour mobility can help to bring employment opportunities and prosperity to European citizens and companies. It means better use of skills and knowledge, boosting innovation and growth, and creating more culturally diverse societies.
Since the peak of the migration flow in 2015, the European Union has had to focus on operational and urgent responses to immediate challenges. However, a solid long-term migration policy needs to be developed to manage and accompany migration, as stated in the European Agenda on Migration.
How are new forms of employment impacting workers? Is the total flexibility of workers and labour market desirable? Will the sharing economy be putting an end to Europe's social protection systems?
Over a million migrants and asylum-seekers have arrived in the 28 EU Members States in 2015, many of which are Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis. What are the policies and measures implemented at European level to integrate them into the labour market? What is working and where are the gaps? Those were the questions tackled at the EESC Labour Market Observatory's debate entitled "Integrating refugees into the labour market: turning the crisis into an opportunity".
The EESC urges the EU Council to reiterate the commitment made in the Europe 2020 strategy, namely to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line by at least 20 million by 2020 and recommends that, when doing so, it take into account the Sustainable Development Goals.
The document on a new agenda on EU migration published by the Commission should be considered as one of the most important documents of recent EU history regarding the establishment of a minimum common migration policy, for economic as well as for international protection reasons.
More than 200 participants explored and debated work organisation and skill development practices that benefit both employers and employees at a joint seminar organised by Cedefop, Eurofound and the EESC in Brussels on 19 November.