Merkel admits EU's youth unemployment initiative has been a failure

Angela Merkel. Brussels, 2011. [European Council/Flickr]

During the EU's Council summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted during the EU's Council summit that the EU's Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), launched a year ago, has so far been a failure.

Asked by journalists during her press conference Friday afternoon (27 June), Merkel said that youth unemployment is "clearly" one of the areas that needs to work better in the EU.

Youth unemployment has been emphasised as one of the next Commission's key priorities together with energy security, strengthening the monetary union, foreign policy, and migration. 

Between 2007 and 2013, youth unemployment reached record highs across Europe, dramatically increasing from 15.7% to 23.4%, according to Eurostat. Currently, around 5.6 million young Europeans are jobless. In some countries, youth unemployment rates have reached critical levels, such as in Spain (55.5%) and Greece (58.3%).

Attempting to halt the crisis, in February 2013, EU heads of state and government launched the €6-billion YEI, expecting member states to submit national plans enabling them to seek money from the YEI at the start of 2014.

"Six months afterwards, we are here and not one euro has been spent. I can only agree. Yes, you are right, it needs to be more efficient. We need to be faster. We need to be more efficient. We need to be more effective. It needs to be possible for us to spend the money, and to spend the money sensibly," Merkel told journalists.

"I'm not pointing my finger at anyone, but nobody is able to understand why this is happening. It's not really worth saying... Again, I'm not blaming the Commission, the member states... I'm just saying that the result is such that we need to change this," the German Chancellor continued.

Moving forward in France

Earlier this month, France became the first and so far only EU country to receive an approval for its national scheme. The Commission will make funding available so that France can receive €620 million from the YEI and the European Social Fund (ESF). The money will go towards helping young people who not in employment, education or training (the so-called NEETs) to find a job in those regions where youth unemployment rates over 25%.

But though France secured the EU funds, the Commission has criticised the efficiency of national measures.

"Public services to promote youth employment (called 'local missions') are having difficulties proposing appropriate services to job-seekers," the Commission emphasised in its recommendations on France's 2014 national reform programme, issued on 2 June.

According to the Commission, the measures taken by the French government to deliver the Youth Guarantee are "insufficient".

"The actual quality of this support, which includes CV-writing workshops and interview simulations, is unclear at this stage. Moreover, this guarantee only tackles a minor part of the overall youth unemployment, as there are 674,000 young people registered in total," the Commission said.

  • 16 July: Extraordinary EU summit in Brussels.
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AR's picture

I am Alberto Rodrigues an economical and digital science researcher youth unemployment can be solved without any investment from EU it is enough to force EU universities to make researches in order to find economics models which can bring more than 25% profit in less than 75 days Like this when EU entrepreneurs will know that certain EU universities will have a list of those economics models they will ask for a righ to implment them and for this purpose they will employe students to work part time Apart of this Eu universities must be obliged to include in their education programme how companies can increase sales with more than 27 % taking profit from new media and digital science advantages If companeis will know that certains EU universitie wil teach their students those things even from the first University year scholl they will employe them part time and give then high salary if just 10 millions companies will like to have those advantages and they will employe 3 persons it will be create 30 millions new jobs Apart of this EU Universities must be obliged to organise know how transfer events and give students opportunities to valorise their talent new media and digital science skills If after a know how transfer event which can be combined with touristics products an University will publish ebooks ,tools ,apps and in a short time they will have more than 70 millions downloads with 15 -20 euro the University will get more than 1 billions euro Given that for this purpose Eu Universities will be obliged to make researches and do things according to the market demanding ,like this Eu Universities will become productive and not just some certificate engines which delivrey unemployed and unpreperad graduates

AR's picture

There is some other big mistakes for example we have a situation as that when Ronaldo have a pain in his leg and the doctor intead to treat him well he will ordened to cut him his leg and then send him to play agains Messi This is what EU had been doing since 2009 instead to give a recomendation to all 28 countries to do what must be done to dinamizeze at least 5 external sources of income ,digital economy ,tourism ,know how transfer events which can be combined with tourism products ,digital productions a of products as ebooks ,apps ,tools and get billions euros they order to cut salaries ,dismiss people ,etc

AR's picture

I am Alberto Rodrigues Different companies use more than 10% of their incomes in advertising Europe Union use just 1% of PIB for propaganda and this is done using funds Because of this EU use to spread useles funds in different areas which do not bring incomes and create enough jobs but it help in propaganda issues Europe Union must stop this and invest all the 1% in the economic engine The situation is similar with a train which must run in competition with some others but instead to put all the fuel gas in the engines they spread useles it in different parts of the train just to provoke a smel for propaganda isues and because of this the train run slowly just 10 km and then it stop in midele of the road During this time Eu competitors as they use to put all the fuel gas in the economic engine they arrive fast in the destination and they leave EU so much behind EU must stop all those mistakes must stop all those useless financiand and fincace wit priority just project which can bring profit in very short time without consuming resourses and makeing pollution and in the same time can offer possibilities for employes to work from home and like this they can take care with their child give then good education
Apart of this it reduce pollution and help in a better demografic distribuition of the population because like this a big oparte of people who are leaving in so croed cities can move back to the country site Because of the strategy importance of those projects all the 1 % funds must be canalised just for those kinds of projects Apart of all those advantages money is invested in know how transfer which can be combined with tourists products ,money invested monday will create jobs in tourism ,transport ,agriculture , construction ,real estate ,artesanat ,food industries ,entertainment ,ecological industries ,advertiseing ,new media ,digital economy and dozens of some other domains linked with them