Youth unemployment is a top policy priority of the EESC. Monitoring youth employment measures closely, the Committee is putting forward recommendations based on current practices in Member States. It also suggests that only a strategy geared towards growth and aimed at strengthening competitiveness and restoring the confidence of investors and households, as well as sustainable investment and an economic recovery plan, can stimulate demand for labour.
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The EESC stresses that a real growth strategy at EU and national level is needed to support the creation of better and more stable jobs for young people.
The EESC considers that there is an enormous need for a social investment package to counter poverty and promote employment. Implementing such a package requires:
- creating an investment programme amounting to 2% of GDP;
- identifying new sources of revenue;
- including social investments in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester;
- considering excluding social investments from the calculation of net government deficits; and
- finding the right tools to measure the effects of such investments
The biggest challenge now facing Europe's economy is how to sustain the recovery that is now underway. This is the main message of the 2014 Annual Growth Survey (AGS). Its adoption kicks off the fourth European Semester of economic policy coordination in an environment where growth is beginning to return and Member States are making progress on correcting the imbalances that developed before the crisis.
Traineeships have become an important gateway through which young people enter the labour market. However, although traineeships have become standard in European labour markets, their spread has been accompanied by growing concerns as to learning content and working conditions. To facilitate access to employment, traineeships should offer good quality learning content and adequate working conditions.
Five years into the economic and financial crisis which spread from the United States to engulf Europe, it is all the more necessary to carry out a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the shadow economy and undeclared work in the European Union. The EESC calls for the fight against the shadow economy also to look beyond EU borders and for corporate social responsibility to be applied where minimum decent working standards are lacking in third countries subcontracting for EU companies.