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Stanishev in open letter to Juncker and Thyssen: Youth should remain on the EU’s priority list


12 Jul 2016


EU Priorities 2020

The PES deeply regrets the fact that the European Commission’s draft budget for 2017 does not include additional commitments for the Youth Employment Initiative. We count on the European Parliament and European Council to push for extra money for this important priority.

PES President Sergei Stanishev sent an open letter to President J.C Juncker and Commissioner M. Thyssen expressing PES concerns on the faith of the Youth Employment Initiative in Europe after the Commission’s draft EU budget 2017 was revealed.

In 2014, the EU proposed a concrete set of answers to the major problem of youth unemployment in its Youth Guarantee scheme. It also gave itself the financial means to start changing the situation on the ground with six billion euro of funding from the Youth Employment Initiative. Just two years into its existence, the Youth Guarantee has demonstrated that it can be a game changer for youth employment policies. In the Brussels region, it helped bring down youth unemployment by 25% while  Austria’s government is so supportive of it that it is considering making the mechanism mandatory.

Sergei Stanishev said: “A structural reform such as the Youth Guarantee cannot happen in one day. It requires consistent and ongoing actions to achieve its full potential. If EU support is discontinued in 2017, all the efforts undertaken by  Member States up until now will have been in vain. Sending such a negative signal to young people and letting youth unemployment rise again is not an option. As part of the PES’s European Youth Plan we want a clear commitment in favour of youth employment and we want the EU to engage an additional 21 billion euro to support the Youth Guarantee from at least 2017 to 2020. Youth does not deserve to be taken out of the EU’s priority list.

This call was strongly supported by PES Member Parties’ leaders in the ‘New Agenda for Europe’ paper that they adopted in Paris on 7 July 2016.

To find out more about the PES’s European Youth Plan and watch the video about it, go to the following web page:

Party of European Socialists (PES)


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